Dateline: Up My Own Ass

I sort of had a whiskey moment last night when I was doing the dishes. No, I don’t mean I threw up in the sink. It was more like the whiskey mindset that holds the door of my brain open and beckons certain thoughts to come inside . Here is the thought I had:

I died a long time ago, but my coping mechanisms soldier on.

OK, I know what you’re thinking. If I want to know how many people read this blog, all I have to do is count the number of eyes rolling and divide by two. I’m right there with you and can happily report that the thought collapsed under the weight of its own bullshit before scrutiny could throw the first punch.

Though if I had my phone handy, it might have lived on as a Tweet and/or a Facebook post. Nihilism is a parlor game for me much like anarchy used to be so the fun element of posting it is there. As for its inherent cheesiness, I’d be fighting fire with fire. I’m talking to you, social media. As soon as you stop with your saccharine affirmations, copied-and-pasted drivel masquerading as reasoned political opinion, and unconvincing proclamations of what caring and enlightened person you are, I’ll stand down. Until then, fuck you.

See, this is how sober Dave repurposes his laughable ideas. And by sober, I mean a current state rather than way of life. I haven’t quit drinking, I just don’t do it nearly as often as I did and rarely to excess. There will be exceptions. A trip to Milwaukee at the end of this month will almost certainly be one of them.

None of this is intended as a slam against people in recovery. And while 12-step programs in particular have elements that do not sit right with me, I cannot completely dismiss their efficacy because they seem to work well for some people.

As for me, I guess my higher power turned out to be routine. I get into ruts. It’s what I do. Going to a bar after work was one rut. Not doing that is another. I like this one better. Perhaps it will last.

Still, I do sometimes feel homesick for the old barstool. It was a place where the whiskey mindset was working the door and my evening’s companion was whatever notion happened to wander in. I still have some of that mindset now, but without the whiskey and without the bar. It happens most often during my commute on the bus. It’s not the same though. The self-pity shit doesn’t resonate the way it did five to eight years ago.

This was the late era of my serious boozing. Closing the bar and serious misbehavior were just memories of a few years prior, years that failed to either bring lasting joy or kill me outright. I was now doing almost all of my drinking between six and nine in the evening. Granted, I packed a lot of it into those three hours, but a ritual of drinking a lot of water before bed kept me functional the following day.

From my barstool I would think my drunken thoughts and nod approvingly at my reflection in the mirror behind the bar. I attached a lot of wisdom to what was running through my head back then. ┬áThe whiskey had something to do with that, but there was more to it. In that time and place, there was truth in those dark, ugly thoughts. It was especially so as I walked home along just then streets coming alive with revelers looking for the good time I’d already given up on.

I don’t really want to go back to those days except for the little part of me that does. It’s the part that, when all is lost, will continue to soldier on.

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