Humphrey Bogart once said, “The whole world is about three drinks behind.” That quote had resonated with me over the years, often when I was sitting at the bar and should have gone home at least two drinks ago.
I was sitting at the bar last night, nursing a second drink in no hurry to finish. My friends sitting next to me had been there for a while. They were rambling on about this and that. Most of what they said was unintelligible but it sure was important to them.
At that moment, I found myself on the flip side of Bogart’s wisdom. I didn’t like it there so I polished off my drink and ordered a third.
I stopped after three drinks and headed home, a little numb but not completely blotto. I refrained from embarrassing myself, which isn’t too surprising. I have no problem behaving when I’m moderately buzzed and am usually not an asshole even when I’m absolutely hammered. There have been exceptions of course, horrible low points I’d rather not think about. But for the most part, I do OK. And thanks to my selfish and callous nature, I hardly ever have to worry about getting sloppy either.
So for the most part, I’m a regular Dean Martin. Excellent. Well, not really. I wish I could be happy as a work-hard-play-harder sort of guy, but I can’t. I don’t like my current job and never really cared much for my career. I need something outside work to validate my existence. Booze alone is not a good way to do this.
Last fall, I swore off liquor completely for over two months. I had no set time limit for the duration of my sobriety. I didn’t know if it was going to last a week or forever. Overall, the time off did me some lasting good. My weekly alcohol intake is about half what it was in September.
So now I’m a moderate drinker, sort of. Still, that isn’t good enough.
(At this point, I started in on some tiresome blather that was equal parts rationalization and self pity. I’ll spare you. New story coming Monday).