Driving. With my alcohol.


4:40 am.
I’m rumbling down I-95.
Dave Matthews is blaring through the speakers. And has been joining me on the morning ride all week.

You’ve been off. Haven’t found your rhythm. It’s back. You’re burning it from both ends.  The adrenaline – – it’s pumpin’.

I look down at the gas gauge. And then to the estimate of the mileage remaining. Annoyed at the interruption. Need to stop. Better stop. I pull over to the Mobile station.

I’m listening to the clicks on the pump.  And find myself drifting off.  There’s mist coming from my nose, rising up, and then disappearing into the darkness. I breathe in deeply. Exhale through the nose. And watch the show again. Magic. A Miracle. My morning moment of meditation.  And like the wisp of air, Pessoa’s disquiet rushes to fill the stillness.

You’re more comfortable moving. You find peace in motion.  Yet, you know it ain’t peace.

It’s hanging on my bulletin board in the office: “business is the art of getting people to where they need to be faster than they would get there without you.”  A Hugh McLeod illustration.  A Big red hand with index finger pointing up – #1.  There it is. Your strength. Your core competence. The transference of your disquiet to others.  Pushing the pace.  Injecting your adrenaline. More. Better. FASTER.

I’m back in the car.  Moving. Comfortable.

I’m surrounded by semi’s looking to beat the morning rush hour into Manhattan.

Man on his own Cannonball Run.

I notice I’m rocking in my seat in time with Dave and his Band.  The boom, boom, booming of the drums…followed by the sticks on the cymbals. The fans are cheering. The House is rockin’.

I glance over at the orange digital clock on the dash. 5:10 am. I pull into the garage at the office.

Here’s my Alcohol. My Amphetamines. My comfort zone. My Zen.

Game Time.

Everyone has his alcohol.
To exist is alcohol enough for me.
Drunk from feeling,
I wander as I walk straight ahead.
When it’s time,
I show up at the office like everyone else.
When it’s not time,
I go to the river
to gaze at the river,
like everyone else.
I’m no different.
And behind all this,
O sky my sky,

I secretly constellate and have my infinity.

— Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Image Credit: Aaron Randall. Poem Source: Fables of the Reconstruction


  1. I have no doubt that you challenge those you supervise to their best effort, encouraging them to be better, faster, on it – in ways that they would not be without you. Seriously.


  2. such an interesting way to look at it – we are each fueled by our own “alcohol”
    love the last line: “I secretly constellate and have my infinity”.


  3. Dude, that is just too early.


  4. Familiarly eye-opening.


  5. Sometimes…I think you are a bit of a contradiction…or maybe you’ve just figured out how to have it all. 🙂


  6. Isn’t there something awesome that we’re wired to breathe, that we can’t give it up, and that it can bring us back to the moment? (mist or not)


  7. getting in your groove.


  8. Brilliant! Welcome back, David.


  9. nutsfortreasure says:

    You know I adore so much of this one David.


  10. I love all of your posts, David – and I sooo look forward to the ones about YOU, like this one. Delicious. (I’m with A Simple Village Undertaker, though – wow, that’s early! I try not to even walk down the hall to my home office at that hour – but must confess the adrenaline has been pumping, I’ve been in some kind of zone – progress is not resisting it, leaning in.) Thank you!


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