Monday, October 11, 2010
Getting Drunk... With Truth...
Over the weekend, I drank and I drank, and I drank some more. Vodka martinis were my grog of choice. Don’t get it twisted! It wasn’t a binge or one of those traumatic, deep-seated alcoholic bender things. It wasn’t a scene from The Lost Weekend starring me, as the negro Ray Milland. I was just imbibing the steady grog and pondering the gods of my own inner ponderation.
I don’t drink very much anymore. I don’t drink to get high. I don’t drink every time my mind or spirit want to celebrate. I don’t drink to call upon my sleeping bravery. I don’t need to drink to get blatantly ballsy, and I don’t need a drink to score. Still, there are some rare times I’ll drink to remember, or I'll drink to forget the things that distress or floor me.
Often, I’ll see people who drink, as if on a mission to get drunk, get lit, get loose, get bent, get wild, get busy, or get crazy-- constantly. I’ve my own theories about drinkers and drunks, and the drinks they drink.
Some do so to collapse and defeat the curse of being them selves; to rid their minds of the people they are the majority of the time. They drink to escape the job, the boss, the wife, the huzzz-ben, the kids, or the past they’ve lost. They drink to give themselves permission to laugh or cry, to bitch or become mad violent at their world… that world in their mind, that darker world they sometimes inhabit.
I see it. I witness it. I get it. I do.
See, I’m that dude behind the bar, the one who facilitates their intake. I’m the master prestidigitator of their personality overhaul. I’m that cat who watches their habits, morph, who hears their voices rise, their words slur. I'm the one who sees their posture loosen. I'm the one who liberates their inner thoughts. See, it's me who unchains the insanity... and soon they are engaging with their freer tongues.
I sometimes even like them drunk— the friendly ones, at least. I grin, sometimes even laugh out loud when their inner comedian’s are unleashed. Some people are human light shows when lit by the neon of alcohol. They can be very entertaining. I like those people. And they like me. Maybe it’s a sham. Maybe they really do. Or else they affect an attitude that resembles fondness by escaping the confines of a sometimes racist persona, and despite their true hillbilly-hearts, they manage to put-on a helluva fakery. Who knows?
But then there are those belligerent drunks. These are the ones who hate their lives, out loud. These are the ones who relinquish all control, lose their tongues, and surrender their charisma quotient. Their words become like great titanic farts, nasty, stinky, offensive-- harsh. Their eyes get crazy. Beware the crazy eyes! The transmogrification begins with the language of the eyes, and the mouth and the hands. Some toxic chemistry sleeping within becomes awakened and roused, and these toxins move through the body like mercury. That thermostat which controls and measures tolerance, suddenly blows. It cracks its glassed enclosure, and all HELL can break loose!
Trust. I’m not such an admirer of the belligerent drunk. Not a fan of those people housing those great chunks of rage, or possess some thick and combustible funk. To see them, hear them, or have to restrain them when they get physical, often makes my gig a living Hell.
Well, this weekend, I drank. I drank and I drank and then, I drank some more. I became neither the comedian nor the combatant.
Instead, I got in touch with my introverted side, my inner grotesque, my quietly fiery cat... that woe-is-me taboo blues cat. I’m not sure you’d like him much. I’m not sure he’d even talk to you. He gets lost in his music, gets caught in the twists and turns and traps of life. It’s then that he takes refuge in fits of prolonged brooding. He writes songs and poetry direct from his soul. He composes stories he never shows to anyone.
He gets vaguely pissed at his station in life. He grows impatient with the tediously slow-ass rhythm of his progress. He wonders why mediocrity is so often applauded… while emotional substance so often gets ignored.
He misses the company, the shining personalities, that singular sound of laughter from those people who are no longer inhaling air. When vulnerable, he speaks to them, there, in his dark room, alone, hoping to commune with their ghosts.
He wonders whom among them he’s most disappointing. Which of them has turned their backs to him, and which ones still stand in his amen corner? He thinks these deep thoughts. He gets lost in thought. Sometimes I think he thinks too damn much. He doesn’t cry very often. But he’s been meaning to… just fall down upon his knees to moan and sob and cry and scream and WAIL for quite some time.
I don’t think you’d like him much. But I really don’t think he’d care.
He doesn’t drink to celebrate, to get brave, or ballsy. He doesn’t imbibe the elixir to up his charisma factor. He doesn’t drink to feel mad sexy or even to score. But sometimes he drinks to remember, and sometimes he drinks to forget those quiet little tragedies he tries to ignore, when they beat so loud, so hard and so close to his chest.
So, he gets into these moods… they last for a bit… and then, by way of God and Music, he breeeeathes… he's free... and he just gets over it. And then… he tells himself: