Round, round with the glass, boys, as fast as you can, Since he who don’t drink cannot be a true man. For if truth is in wine, then ’tis all but a whim To think a man’s true when the wine’s not in him. Drink, drink, then, and hold it a maxim divine That there’s […]
More prompts from AntiDem. And here we go:
Fail. Sorry, it just is. I picked you up Sunday morning outside Bar Code stinking of your own puke. Your debit card was no good and you had no cash for the cab fare. Your clothes are at the cleaners. They will be done next week. I remember you. Your robot won the regional robot wars competition. I saw your post about pledging to KHK. I was your cabbie at the airport in 2008 dropping you at the Omni for your onboarding with Dominion Power.
I dropped you at the Healing Place because it was Sunday morning, Central Intake wouldn’t open for another few hours, and as I listened to you I heard the fallout of that meteoric rise. From the Omni Hotel to the Healing Place in six years. That was faster than I thought.
Why did you keep repeating, “we have to get rid of the girls” on the way to rehab? Girls are cool. They are more than cook, wet hole, maid and child-care worker. They make us more than we could be by ourselves.
Wow! I just read your post about alcohol being a better truth serum. Is that why your Monday will start with a case-worker for the homeless at the Healing Place? Makes me glad I opted out of the upper-middle class, Ivy League, white collar union life my Dad hoped I’d be down for.
You thought nirvana could be found on rural land gone fallow long enough for the trees to regrow. The plan was to live on the land, declare it sovereign, make moonshine and kick out the girls. That way there would be nothing the cops could do to you and you wouldn’t have to hassle with normal annoyances like dishes and diapers. It’s be ok to rough-house with your friends, blast Elysian 247 and stay drunk.
I and my downtrodden friends know this story arc too well. Everything is going your way, you are the cool nerd getting all the accolades. Then the façade begins to crack and the years of debauchery take their toll. You are not the object of devotion you once were. There are longer recoveries from the hangovers. Maybe some arrests for misdemeanors common among low-rent addicts. The negative consequences escalate. There is rehab, jail, hospital, rinse, repeat.
It goes both ways. Sometimes the end of the story is a funeral in which everyone mourns the fact that all the furtive efforts to stay in recovery fell short. That happens more often than the happier ending where it gets bad enough that this time you stay in recovery and there are an ever increasing number of sober sunrises. Nobody likes the third outcome, where it just sort of simmers along, never quite taking a direction, and some decades pass accumulating a middlin story of regrets until the funeral comes and the eulogies are conflicted over whether there was blessing and joy or it was all an unrelenting dirge of hard times and trouble.
I have news for you. There are no secular utopian communities older than a few decades of any size. Most of them can’t expand above 150 people without some sort of splintering. Ones like yours, based on juvenile ideas about what a real man is, are destined to fail, have failed. That you are in my cab puke drunk and penniless should be a bellwether worth paying attention to.
Too, addicts make terrible community organizers. The needs of the addiction trump everything. For all your ideals, that you drink means you first choose moonshine and then worry about things like shelter and food. Alcohol is a truth serum in one sense. Whatever hot mess got you started drinking escalates into increasing negative consequences, the last of which is death.
No, that I didn’t take you to Barton Avenue and the Wingnut isn’t a crime. Mo moved out of the Wingnut a couple years ago. She’s been sober since before she moved. Your fantasy of amenable debauchery at the Wingnut is an impossible faff. You should thank me that I didn’t take you there or the cop shop. I’m supposed to call the cops on you, burn a third of my shift with them trying to hold you accountable. I’ve had ones like you in my cab numerous times. You may have created a debt for $40.00 or so because you couldn’t pay. I can eat that and be ok. It’s when it becomes about the cops and arresting you that the debt escalates into hundreds of dollars and we are both trapped in an impossible conflict. It’s why I took you to the Healing Place.
So, your idea of utopia is a fort where you can be drunk with your buddies and horseplay with them? Right. You are a drunk. I shouldn’t expect you to be clear. I’m talking to a host to a symbiont called liquor that has you trapped. Out of your mouth come the words of the alcohol and you. You won’t even remember your brilliant scheme to buy some land, invite your buddies, build a moonshine still, and ban the women and the cops.
Foolishness. But, whatever. You are drunk so I shouldn’t be surprised. You are young, so the weight of your idiocy hasn’t hit hard enough yet. This is your future: your girlfriend will leave you, your inability to hold down a job will mean you teeter on the edge of homelessness, the demands of the bottle will push aside all other concerns of your life. You might even adopt the uniform of the millennial gypsie: light brown corduroy’s, a military tan t-shirt, Doc Martins, a Vietnam era camo jacket, dreadlocks, a beard, a dog and a tin cup to beg with. Having adopted the uniform you will live the dream with a sign begging for cash and living outside. You might even say you are living a more authentic life than us rubes who work a day job and pay our bills on time. Do you. Do it. One day, it’ll hurt bad enough that you’ll have to choose your light brown life or come in from the rain.
I’ll tell you what a real man is. He holds his own. He maintains himself well. He serves others as a matter of habit. He examines his life and himself constantly and where he has aspects of himself which impede him, these must die. He is not overly captured by the temptations of this world. He is humble, hard working, kind, loving and strong. He is good to the women. None of what makes him a real man requires buddies to drink with or land or docile women or amenable rules. A real father lives for his kids and his wife. He ensures that they thrive even if such assurance requires him to sacrifice treasured possessions or habits. You are a boy insecure believing a fantasy you learned from television and movies. Grow up.