Someone once told me it will be one of the signs of The Apocalypse when I finally get off my lazy ass and publish a blog. Strange signs and wonders abound these days, but this one really seals the deal. Now I feel guilty for fulfilling that prophesy, thus speeding along our collective demise. In my defence, I had to do something with my time. When I shifted from DMM (Drunken Maniac Mode) to H&I (Harmless and Inconsequential) I found myself with a lot of dead air-time, and a lot of programing slots to fill. My life had become like the fringe cable channel that repeats the same episode back to back for an entire week-end. Work, eat, sleep. Gone were the surprises that come with being an impaired lunatic, The wonder. The mystery. Who is this person sleeping next to me? Why are the police here? How did THAT get broken? Why is there a live lobster in my bathtub?
Don”t get me wrong. This new life is easier, and according to my core values, easy always trumps difficult. I’m kind of nut like that. However, it was not easy making the switch. First, there was the matter of re-entry into Reality. Reality terrified me. Reality held things like Cancer and awkward silences. Reality seemed to always intrude on the Ideal. It always managed to show up when it was least welcome. Hell, without Reality there would be no “Reality TV,” and that’s a damning enough indictment. Reality was the ultimate buzz-kill.
Now Reality was everywhere, and everything I never wanted to look at was looking at me. And, there was no place to run. I get nervous being in anything without knowing where the emergency exit is located. That’s why I carried my own, one that came with a convenient handle. When the walls started to close in, I’d pop open an escape hatch and check out. Losing my mind in reckless abandon was the one sure way out, out of just about anything, except losing my mind in reckless abandon. Emerson said that the fastest way out was through, but to me the fastest way out was out, way out. Beer reassured me that no matter what, there was a way out. It could be a little tricky measuring how much each individual predicament warranted, so I chose to use a blanket standard. More.
To quote another pioneer of American Transcendentalism, Liberace, “Too much of a good thing is…wonderful!” (God bless that fruit-cake!) To me, beer was a good thing, and too much of too much of it, was just enough. When it started to pour down my throat anything could happen, and no matter what, I could be guaranteed it would be different from before. Often it was something much worse, but you had to take that chance. You might just fix everything in one mad act. But which one? Why chance it? Do them all.
Inside the average alcoholic, no matter how sodden and downtrodden he might appear, is the heart of a fearless daredevil. A 12 pack of beer for breakfast just before the job interview/probation hearing/department meeting? No problem. Fuck it. Let’s roll! Time to take care of business. I was bullet-proof, baby. I was rolling like a dump truck filled with broken patio concrete. My head was an Easter Island statue, but with lighting bolts of charisma shooting from my eyes. I had the ability to overcome all obstacles, crush all opposition to my will. Two breath mints and a splash of Old Spice Woodland Reserve ensured that nobody would suspect where my superpowers came from. All I had to do is be as loose and spontaneous as possible and I could charm Death itself.
Of course, this sort of liquid bravado often resulted in zany misunderstandings and kooky misadventures. I will attempt to document some of the more colorful examples. I’ll also share about my return back to The Land of The Living, which itself was not devoid of mischief and hijinks. Hopefully, nobody will get bored along the way. While recovery from alcoholism is serious business, it doesn’t have to be a total drag. The ride itself might have been painful and heartbreaking at times, but it wasn’t without a lot of healing laughter. It is a journey I’d like to encourage any downtrodden daredevil to take. The rewards have exceeded my wildest expectations. Afterall, everything we alcoholics want from inside a bottle turns out to be already inside us. We just need to be brave, take a crazy chance (we’re experts at that) and look. Now, shall we trudge?