I consider myself a “measured alcoholic.” I generally drink the same kind of alcohol, at the same time, and at the same pace, and at the same volume, every night.
Generally I’ll start off slowly. I’ll take that first sip of beer around 6 PM. I really don’t like the taste of beer. So I’ll sort of choke down that first bottle like when you’re swallowing bitter medicine.
The second bottle usually goes down a little smoother and a little faster. And tastes better.
By the third beer I usually don’t feel much of an affect. Aside from feeling a little more relaxed and a little less concerned about all the problems that have been beguiling me. I usually have my cellphone (for Facebook babble) and my radio headphones (tuned to ’80s oldies radio station — “The greatest decade!!”). So I’m settling in and getting comfortable for the long haul.
By the fourth beer I start to feel the affect. They call it being “drunk.” But I actually feel mentally sharper at this point. I start getting more excited about things. I usually have several different conversations going on Facebook. And I’m typing away faster and sharper with an almost manic focus on whatever subject I’m dealing with. Most of my website blogs are written at this point. So you can judge for yourself whether my mind is lucid or if I’m one more sloppy drunk.
By the fifth beer things are definitely starting to spin faster. Some sappy love ballad on the radio may cause me to burst into tears. And I might suddenly proclaim to my Facebook friends “I LOVE YOU ALL!! AND I LOVE MY FERAL CATS TOO.”
By the sixth beer I start to reach this wonderful state of mind where I don’t care what ANYBODY thinks of me. Which is a wonderful state of freedom to be in (unfortunately the next morning I WILL care about some of the things I babbled in this state).
By the seventh beer I start thinking I’m a lot smarter than I actually am. And I start making all sorts of sweeping generalizations that make perfect sense at the time. As well as crushing like a bug anyone who dares to challenge my brilliant arguments (again, the next morning I will become painfully aware of some of the holes in my thinking).
By the eighth beer I’ve reached the perfect state of drunkenness. 8 beers times 12 ounces of (7.5% alcohol content) beer equals 96 ounces of beer. So I’m perfectly pickled at this point. And it’s like I have an inner clock in my head that usually says “You’re as buzzed as you’re gonna get. The party is over. Time to call it a night and go to bed.”
But every now and then I can’t resist those ninth, tenth, and eleventh beers. Where I go beyond the 100 ounces threshold.. Usually because I’m having so much fun that I don’t want the night to end. It’s at this point that I can get into trouble. But usually even after the 12th beer I can still talk to a cop coherently and bullshit my way out of any problems.
This is one of the things I find really annoying about alcoholism. Its 2 in the morning. And I’m way drunk. But I manage to walk all the way up to my campsite in the Berkeley hills.
But as I’m approaching my campsite I notice these blurry flashing lights off in the distance. I can’t make out what they are. That’s odd. So I put my hands up to my face. And I realize:
“HOLY SHIT MY GLASSES AREN’T ON MY FACE. I’M HALF BLIND WITHOUT MY GLASSES. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY GLASSES???!!!”
So now its 2 in the morning, I’m drunk out of my mind, and I have to figure out what happened to my glasses. Usually they’re sitting there right on my face. Wedged in there on my nose and hooked onto my ears. But now. Inexplicably. They’re gone. “WHAT HAPPENED TO MY GLASSES?” I think. Sadly.
Then. I remember. Dimly. From the alcohol-ridden recesses of my brain. “About a half mile down the road. I grabbed my sweat shirt from my stash spot. And I bet I took my glasses off so I could pull my sweatshirt over my head. And I bet I left my glasses sitting there on the curb.”
A plausible theory.
So I rush back down the hill. Get to that very spot. And — lo and behold — there my glasses are. Sitting there on the ground. VICTORY!!
The whole stupid thing was a drag. But part of me is also thinking: “I’m getting fat. I’m starting to get a beer gut. So this is a good thing. I ended up walking an extra half mile so I got some exercise and burned off some calories.” Plus. This might make for an interesting anecdote on my Facebook page (and so I took out my cellphone and posted the whole stupid story on my Facebook page). So it’s all good.
Or maybe I just have an ability to rationalize anything.
But the bottom line is. Its now 3 am. And I still have to trudge a half mile back up to my campsite. But at least I got my goddamn glasses. The End.
It occurred to me: One of the really disorientating things about alcoholism is that it imposes this weird schitzo/split-personality on the chronic drunkard. This Dr. Jeckyll/Mr. Hyde trip. I realize I have three basic, distinct personalities. None of which fits along with the others.
There’s 1.) the Flying High Drunk personality. Where I’m buzzed and feeling no pain and gassing off, flights of fancy, totally in the moment and I don’t give a flying fuck about anything, experiencing incredible soaring highs, going up, up, up.
Then there’s 2.) the Waking up Hung-over and Shatteredpersonality. My body chemistry is all hay-wire, I’m filled with dread and insecurity, completely stripped of the confidence and power I reveled in the night before, sinking down, down, down.
Then there’s 3.) the Around Noon Feeling Semi-Normal personality. I got some food and coffee in me, I’m fairly stable and normal, taking care of the mundane business of my life and just sort of shuffling along.
Being an alcoholic can be like living with three room-mates in your head, who are all incompatible with each other, but somehow have to get along anyways. “Hey Personality #3, did you hear about the big mess that that asshole Personality #1 made last night while we were sleeping, and now you have to clean it up!”
As of this moment I’ve gotten 99,349 page-views on my website. I average about 150 page-views a day. So some time this week I should be hitting my 100,000th page-view. Which I guess is a milestone of sorts. Though I’m not sure exactly what it means. I mean, I’ll hear about people who post stuff that goes viral and gets a million views in an hour. . . So I guess if there’s the “internet superhighway” my website is sort of the “internet back-alley.”
Still, 100,000 page-views count for something. And I’m happy that there are people out there reading this stuff. Otherwise I’d be sitting here talking to myself. Which I already do enough of as it is.
I’m not sure who most of these page-viewers are. They come from countries all across the world. Most of them seem to stumble onto my page by Google searches. I’ve become somewhat of an internet presence — my website regular pops up on the coveted first page of many, many different Google searches.
In honor of the 100,000th page view, I thought I’d give that page-viewer a special gift as a commemoration. But then I realized there was no way to tell who that 100,000th person actually was. So I decided to do the next-best thing. Buy a 40 ouncer of Olde English malt liquor. And pound that sucker in their honor. Cheers.
I’ve been drinking in public just about every night for the last 15 years. I don’t have an apartment and I’m too claustrophobic to drink in bars so thats what I do. Drink under the stars as the gods of alcohol intended. I like to pound a few at the end of the day to relax and unwind and/or get some kind of demented buzz going. Usually I like to drink about 96 ounces of malt liquor every night over a five hour period. Thats four 24 ounce cans of Olde English malt liquor, 7.5% alcohol content so its about twice as strong as regular beer. “More bang for the buck,” as they say. And I often like to smoke a couple of joints in between beers to add a touch of surreality to the proceedings.
I don’t know if this makes me an alcoholic. My line is: “I’m a drunk not an alcoholic.” Because that sounds less clinical and definitive. I consider myself pretty much of a functional drunk. Or, at the least, a semi-fuctional drunk. I’m usually a quiet, happy drunk. And I like people more when I’m drunk so that really helps. But lately I’ve been beginning to wonder.
I got a little retarded last night. I was sitting on a dark, secluded bench on the Berkeley campus pursuing that chemically-induced state of happiness. Hoping to reach that coveted “I-don’t-give-a-flying-fuck” state as I call it. Now to keep from getting drinking-in-public tickets I’m pretty discreet. I pour some of the beer into a coffee cup and then hide the rest of the can inside my backpack. This ploy usually works, but not last night. For some reason I put the can of beer into my pack up-side down. Something I realized shortly after when I reached into my pack and everything inside was soaked with beer, as well as my pack reeking of beer. A tragic waste of malt liquor.
So I take that as a sign to get the hell out of there. I walk up to the end of the campus to this lighted spot where I can survey the damage, dry off my shit, and pound my last beer of the night. So I take all my soggy stuff out of my pack and reach for the last can of beer, only to realize I had left it back at the bench along with my bag of cat food. So I quickly pack up my stuff and rush back to the bench to get it before somebody grabs it. Fortunately its still there. So I go from being a complete idiot to a guy who’s still on top of things and has his act together. So I pour the beer into the cup, reach into my pack to take out my Sony Walkman so I can listen to some tunes, only to realize I had left my radio at the other spot. So now I’ve got to quickly pack up my stuff AGAIN and rush back up to that spot to get my radio before somebody grabs it. But when I get there the radio is already gone. Fuck! I’m starting to feel like a ping pong ball rushing back and forth from one mess up to another.
I’m sure there’s a moral to this story, but I’m not sure I want to know what it is.