I’m refluxy. I’m over tired. I’m in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m a little mad at myself. I’m here for a big symposium/conference, but I’m by myself. Surprisingly, the research community at this conference and of my actual area of expertise don’t overlap as much as I think they should. In my lonliness, or at least my desire to not be isolated to my hotel room, I went out.

There are a lot of strip clubs in Phoenix. I drove by a number of them, fortunately I’ve viewed going to one of these establishments by myself as a boundary of sorts that need not be crossed. Still, the passing cheesy neon signs with lame names had me craving some interaction so I ventured out further. I found myself on Mill street in the bar/club district of Arizona State Univ. That’s all a guy like me needs…college kids.

I brought my notebook and did some writing, I found a quieter bar off the main drag and did a little writing. Temptation was minimal. I talked with an investment guy about the company I worked for. I also chatted with one of the wait staff about hockey as the Blackhawks/Ducks game was on. I was feeling fine, but a couple beers (and one truly excellent salad) later I was ready to head out more. I hit another bar to wrap up the 4th overtime of the game and started trying, a little too hard, to talk with the ladies at the bar. One more beer and I was feeling more lonely, no connection to be made last night. I walked back to my car to find it littered with “free admission – two drink minimum” cards for a couple more strip clubs. By this time the notion just drug me lower.

I made a quiet drive back to my hotel, feeling very off, I went to bed. After a little bit of sleeplessness I texted an insomniac friend to see if she was still up. It was the one night of the week she decided to sleep so no dice.

I decided to lay there in my mild buzz and pray a little. After a moment or two a good answer came to me. My manufactured lonliness was really a spiritual disconnect. This completely turned me around. My real Higher Power now “present” my feelings subsided and I found enough peace to get to sleep.

I woke up this morning way too tired. My morning pills; prozac and a low dose blood pressure med mixed with the residual whatever in my stomach have me a little acid reflux-ish. A nice physical reminder, but minimal pain and remorse compared to how the night could have been (envisioning my old days of internet chatrooms until the sun comes up). Still, I could have done better, and intend to tonight.

I’ll let you know how it goes!