January 15, 2012

Bowl of Sick for the Soul

Remember the good old days? Waking up in a pool of your own sick? Oh, those were the days. I pride myself on my ability to forgive. Especially my ability to forgive alcohol.  Alcohol, which has done me so wrong over the years, that I should hate it and never enjoy it again, but instead, I forgive. And forget. And rinse and repeat.
There is a love/hate relationship with Alcohol.  I never met a bottle that I didn't want to kill.  With alcohol, you can have your cake, and eat it too.  Just don't be surprised if the cake comes back up in the morning.  As you wake in the crumbs of the Devil's Food, it looks you in the eye, and says," you thought you could have me, but it was only a rental. "
We salute the hungover Jerry McGuire's of the world, who say, You had me at bottom's up! Then you had me again at face value, facedown in a bowl of sick.   
Ah, the hangover.  The morning after.  There is something about the hangover that we need to hold and treasure.  It is the return of our investment, the kick in the head, the point after last night's touchdown, the penalty shot right between the eyes.
My misadventures with alcohol could fill a book, but don't worry, I'm not going there.   That would be wallowing in the wasted.  We called the Jazzmanian Devils, The Hardest Drinking Band in Show Business.  It wasn't a musical endeavor, it was a Private Member's Drinking Club.   I remember enjoying a beverage at the Railway Club with the iconic Steve Taylor, who looked to the end of the bar, at the guy who was there every night, rain or shine, and said to me with all sincerity," If I ever look like that, promise me you will shoot me?"   
Judgement is another hallmark of alcohol.  A measurement of the man.  How many?  How much can you drink?  Can you handle your drinks?  Can you hold your liquor?  Can you drive home?
Now we get to the dark side of alcohol.  It can kill you.  Many things in life can kill you.  Getting up in the morning can kill you.  Sometimes even bad luck can kill you.  
I've known people who drank themselves to death.  It is not a pretty sight.  It is incredibly sad, especially to family members who watch this process.  I say process because rarely is it quick.  It is gruelingly long and progressive, and it draws in those around, wounding them as well.   Alcoholism, like other forms of addicition, has many causes.  
There are  as many reasons a person develops into alcoholism as there are reasons to drink.  Usually, there is an underlying genetic disposition.  More likely, there is an underlying cycle of pain or abuse or tragedy or a betrayal of trust.
Often love was involved.  But we say drink kills.  We don't say love kills.  We don't say life kills.  But everyone who has life will one day have death, so it follows that life kills.  We are born to die.  I want to Live Fast, Die Young, and leave a beautiful memory, or so the song says.  
There are traditions of romancing the bottle, romancing the relationship we have with booze.  Booze.  What a great word that is.  Makes it sound like it is.  Easy.  Breezy. Beautiful Boozy cover girl.  
But we likes our drinks.  We likes our whiskey and we likes our wine.  Our highballs, our 3 sheets to the wind, our slow comfortable screws.  We likes our Harvey Wallbangers, Tom Collins, Gin Fizzes, Martinis, our girl drink drunks,  Pink Ladies, Greyhounds, and Sidecars.  Booze has fun names, a rich history of mixology, associations with crime, bootlegging, the Mob, Al Capone, the Seagrams, the Bronfmans,  a verifiable Canadian history lesson.  
I consider myself a bit of an expert when it comes to alcohol.  I have extensive knowledge of bar lore.  I have more stories and jokes and bits of useless information relating to alcohol than much else in my life.  Oh yeah, I'm not a lawyer, but I've been called many times to the bar.  I went to the doctor, and he found traces of blood in my alcohol stream.   I got a million of them.

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