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?
Incredibly proud to be your first commenter. I can’t wait to see what is to come. Write like your hair is on fire.
Ah, finally everyone, a woman who will be able to testify on my behalf that I’m not as bad a person as my writing makes me out to be, Sue Bob!…Sue Bob?
Moderately proud to be your second commenter.
(I am especially drawn by the lighthearted and whimsically festive layout of this blog site.)
30-ish years ago, you were the mad leader of a troupe of misfits. I am thrilled that you have managed your way so elegantly across the abyss that we both know so well.
Your ability as a wordsmith was and remains unparalleled. The world is in for a heapin’ helpin of hilarity as the word spreads.
I respectfully remove my chapeau and hand-spiral it toward the ground as I bow in deference to your majesty…
Mr. Artuso, I am flattered, honored, and shamed by the magnitude of kindness you’ve expressed. You have done more for me than you will ever know as one of the pioneers into the wilderness of Sanity. You’ve brought more delight in my life than a man like me deserves. I stoop, swooping my plumed cap in a downward sweeping movement before your buckled shoes in humble aknowledgement of my indebtedness.
I simply duck.
I am very scared that I understand you and where you are coming from. You are kind of like Aristotle, David Sedaris and Bill W. all rolled into one. Can hardly wait for Chapter 2. Did I mentioned that I am very scared?
Lola, I’m going to tell you what I tell all the girls. You need to take the fear you’re feeling right now and change it into excitement, and then let me work my magic.
Uh…should I still be here for this?
Yeah kid, I think you need to run along at this point. It’s going to get weird.
Personally, I can’t wait for the weirdness
I was sitting in a friend’s living-room, which was permeated by the pungency of burned popcorn when this rant became obvious –
Everyone LOVES bacon.
Those who do not are anomalies. And yet Jews and Moslems can’t eat the stuff…not the hardcore. What’s up with that?
I posit this theory…
The day the hardcore Jews and the die hard Islamics get it together and (even if only for a nanosecond, or an instantaneous whim) have a willed moment of true peace… no matter how short… God will grant them eternal absolution to eat bacon.
At that moment, everyone in the world will know that these two have atoned and can now eat bacon. Armageddon will be over, the Apocalypse fulfilled and the smell of bacon will fill the air.
This day will not be called by some esoteric Hebrew or Arabic (or Greek or Latin) name, though these will be coined… no it will be forever known as Bacon Day; and it will be the holiest of all days, the moment all humankind reconciled.
Of course for pigs it will be the beginning of the end.
What? Whatdya mean that was off topic?
I thought we wuz talkin bout the end of the Woild.
Not scary at all… fun and sizzles…and smells good, with no need for a breath mint.
Ah… this is why I can’t do Blawgs…
You depth of soul , frank honesty, little boy devilishment, sincerity, and wry sense of humor never cease to amaze me. I am DELIGHTED to see you are writing again. Such a gift you have. Go BIG BOY!!
Thank you, you funny, funny man – it must have been difficult for you
“growing up Hispanic.”
Bastard. You shame me. You’re taking all of those experiences you’ve been rat-holing away, and turning them into some sort of profane art. All of that liver-poisoning may come to something good after all. Continue dancing in the rubble.