Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Some observations on drinking...

So, two months no booze. Fascinating to feel the brain and the overall system rewiring itself. I stopped not because there was "an issue," but because I was done with the stuff. There were taxes on the smallest amounts: A glass of wine would cause head-splitting, ear-ringing headaches, a beer would bring on brain fogs that would make London jealous. I think I'm allergic to the stuff. Actually, I think we all are. Uh oh... here comes the soap box...

A couple of thoughts (ok, 3):

1) People often drink to "unhook" themselves from the day. It's a hugely reinforced ritual - toil by day in misery and drown your sorrows in spirits by night. That interruption, that ritualized disengagement from the natural flow of one's life, has an interesting effect - I call it Groundhog Day Syndrome. You see, by "letting go" of your sober, suffering self, and jumping tracks to a looser, less stressful headspace, you create a cycle of repetition. You wake up, compromised and weary of the situation you psychologically distanced yourself from with drinking. You struggle to get through it, emotions throbbing, synapses shooting blanks, yearning for escape. Rinse. Repeat.

2) If you look around, alcohol is praised like a godsend. People talk about it winking and nudgingly, hinting at a wild and crazy inner self that comes out when the work is done. People strongly identify themselves by their choices of booze: The pretense of wine. The all American Budweiser. That quiet girl in marketing and her Margarita blowjobs. The worship. The bravery. The release! Alcohol loosens our inhibitions and makes us feel, temporarily, euphoric. (You know the rest.) Why is this?

3) What if alcoholic beverages were actually teaming with "intelligent" lifeforms that had a single goal: to colonize our bodies and eat away our brains and livers? What if over millions of years these bacterium and spirochetes had found a really good way of tricking us into welcoming them into our bodies? As in: Beguile the host with a veil of pleasure! The old Trojan horse set-up, or better yet, the siren on the rock, or what about a pretty green lady who beckons and prevents us from realizing we've been invaded until it's too late!

("The Absinthe Drinker" by Victor Oliva)


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