Saturday, August 26

my permanent accessory, or, possibly the only way out is not through

So last night I had some drinks.

Actually, last night I got fucking wasted, although not in the Adam Sandler sense of the term. Which is not to say there wasn't weed available. It's just that I didn't want to make an ass out of myself in front of a bunch of pre-school teachers.

Dammit.

The point of this entry is that I think I've entered a new phase of my long-term relationship with alcohol. There was a time in my life — from here on out I'll just refer to it as "college" — when any morning stood a pretty fair chance of being this hungover. And then there was a while when every morning, along with several other parts of the day when I wasn't actively drinking, was this hungover.

Except not really, because it's amazing the sort of tolerance you can develop when you work at it, and I spent a lot of time running around chasing discs or pushing lawnmowers, so that whatever other damage I was doing to my body I was still in the best shape of my life.

Nowadays, things are different. I sit in front of a computer all day, and between having no friends and having no money, I have little inclination to drink and even less capacity. I stopped being a social alcoholic the day I got on a plane out of Nebraska, and a year and a half later it's fairly obvious my body has caught up. I know this because now, when I am presented with large quantities of free booze and I crack that first beer or down that first shot and the inevitable spiral into drinking like I still drink follows, I wake up in the morning and everything is fine until the memory surfaces and I have to go wash all the blood off my face, or what have you, and it occurs to me that none of this was a very good idea. And invariably I have some conversation with my girlfriend where I come to realize that most of several hours has vanished entirely from my brain, and this never stops reminding me of another conversation which made me realize I was in the middle of utterly fucking up my entire life. Even if I didn't do anything worse than look like a jackass by shouting at some poor kid about George Lucas betraying his own mythology, it all starts to seem like part and parcel of an earlier terrible mistake — and mistake is the wrong word here, because it implies a kind of innocence or a "nobody's fault, really" quality which is utter bullshit — which I then begin to feel is somehow ongoing. And in a way of course it is.

I'm doing a bad job of articulating what it is that's changed, but it's clear to me that something has, and it feels important. Largely I suppose it is just context, and in the context of this different life getting really fucked up doesn't feel like a shared endeavor of almost holy urgency the way it once did. It feels like creating a sad spectacle of no particular interest.

I'm not sure that I should mourn this, but in some way I think I do. I think I mourn leaving the path of excess, or my easiest access to it.