open mic at Cacao Lane; Buddha at the bar

Went to the open mic at Cacao Lane Wednesday, played a few songs - longest I've played since I crushed my finger, and didn't have any pain. Hooray!

Interesting episode afterwards:

the Buddha said, "do not drink alcohol"
I've never quite agreed with the Buddha on that one

and he's not
here, now
sitting at this bar
next to a young man who wants to buy us all shots
to toast the memory of his dead girlfriend

if I were the Buddha
maybe I could say something amazing about the
illusory nature of birth and death
that would help ease his pain

but I am not the Buddha
and he's not even here to help me out
(self righteous bastard
wouldn't even be in a bar in the first place
wouldn't drink a shot if someone offered it)

if I tried to say something like that
here, now
sitting at this bar
it would go down like a shot of ground glass
like salt on skin rubbed raw
like empty words that give no comfort

and so the most compassionate thing I can think to do
here, now
sitting at this bar
next to a young man who wants to buy us all shots
to toast the memory of his dead girlfriend

is pound back this goddamned mix of rail vodka and some energy drink the bartender's pulled out
which I would never drink of my own choosing
pound it back even though I'm driving home
even though I'm right at the edge of one too many
pound it back to join him somehow, to share....something
drink it like sucking poison out of a wound

the mantra of the Heart Sutra in my mind as the alcohol enters my bloodstream
drink until we're all gone, gone
really gone
gone all the way over, bodhisvaha!

and the Buddha-nature is at the bottom of the glass drunk with compassion
as much as it is anywhere

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