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.
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.