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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:






becomingkate said...

I drink so rarely anymore, but when I do, it's just to dance. With Bill; we do it a few times a year and it's awesome.

Have a good one, Lin!

Anonymous said...

You have a very beautiful way of expressing and exposing your heart.

"Some people are human light shows when lit by the neon of alcohol"

Yes, that harsh, bright, illuminating neon that shows more than one may have intended. It shows all the pimples and crows feet and laugh lines and all that we work so hard to hide, when we're hiding.

Im on the verge of tears for some reason.
Talk to you later, Eastside.

Keith said...

You did what I felt like doing this weekend. I used to have a spot.. a Bar that I hung out in and I would drink with my friends..
I was happy in their company and I drank just enough to get a buzz...
That was my weekly stress reliever.
That spot is closed now...It's been two years...They used to have live entertainment too. I miss the socializing and the social drinking..I miss drinking nd listening to some good jazz occassionally...Your post brought back some fond, not too long ago memories!

Felicia Monique said...

I dig this revealing poetic prose. It's interesting how alcohol (and most substances) brings out something different in each of us depending on where we are at that moment in time. It's nice to know that you can go...there...and find your way back to JOY!

I would love to patronize your spot one day when I'm in NY. You would love my tipsy demeanor--full of laughter, innocent flirtations, crooked glances, and wobbly walking. =)

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

Like Anna Renee said, I had to fight back emotions too, Lin. Your writing is so richly expressive, heart piercing, relative and a whole bunch more adjectives that I have to learn. Just my way of saying I'm thankful for you ;-).

Val said...

Great prose, as always, Lin!

Dorrie said...

lovely expressed.... cheers!

Wizardress said...

This brought tears to my eyes Lin- It is often in those moments of vulnerability that we can really open up to ourselves- to reflect, to ponder and to just 'be' who we are.

You are precious. *hugs*

Mizrepresent said...

Hey Lin, great post! I was in your neck of the woods this past weekend and i was drinking and drinking and drinking to celebrate! I enjoyed every single minute of it and all those with me enjoyed it too! Loved my bartender who seemed to enjoy me, (what with all the free drinks he sent my way...what can i say, it was wonderful). I love the self evaluation and your revelation! Always Snatch JOY!

Lovebabz said...

I am a fun drinker! I can drink and drink and drink and laugh and laugh. My friends say I become more ME...if that is possible (Auntie Mame meets BSmith). I never get angry unless someone messes with my mood and mess kicks off (which is rare) I am more a cocktail party/soiree kind of woman. Oh I love a good neighborhood haunt too.

YOU are fascinating...You must be a Capricorn... all moody, smart and stoic. Drinking makes you more YOU :)

Jason said...

You are that dude, but you already know that brethren!

"Some people are human light shows when lit by the neon of alcohol"

Bruh, this was a very emotional piece. Lord knows I have had my bouts with the bottle. Alcohol brings out that "other you" that we try so hard to suppress in our daily dealings.

Chet said...

Getting drunk or better yet enebriated...With truth. There are those times when I've found myself drinking, drinking and enjoying my cocktails without any static or anger flaring up; instead I'm the brotha full of laughter and cheer.

I truly appreciate your expression and setting forth your feelings through words.