I wake up feeling cramped. The feeling stays with me all day while I work to meet a tight deadline. The project manager rushes me. When I hit send I’m at a loss. What’s been accomplished here? The work is anonymous and I don’t know who’s going to read it, if anyone. Too tired for my real work. And now the day is passing like so many others, like smoke in the wind.

I want a drink. Walking to the pub I think of those words by Burroughs that sometimes come back to me, from the book with the corny slang: ‘Kick is seeing things from a special angle. Kick is momentary freedom from the claims of the aging, cautious, nagging, frightened flesh.’ Seductive words. He was talking about drugs, about escaping the prison of the body, the sensory world – until you drop back down and want some more.

As seductive as a preacher, I think as I try to catch the bartender’s eye. Gnostic salvation from the flesh. Irreconcilable duality of elements. Spirit and matter. Soma-sema, body as tomb. Most clear perhaps in Jainism with its separation of body and soul. The body weighs the soul down, roots it in the cycle of birth and death. Most souls stay and are reborn over and over, but through severe ascetic practices some can shed the karmic matter that’s stuck to them from the beginning of time and at the moment of death fly to the top of the universe to live in eternal bliss.

Enough of that. Finish your pint, go home and say something nice to S., feed Rookie, make a good dinner. Don’t let the day pass without a trace.

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