I know I’m not unique when I say drinking runs in my family. It runs in a lot of families. The substance itself has a devilish appeal when everyday life just isn’t cutting it. Bad day at work? Girlfriend dumped you? Friends betray you? Whatever the case may be, just have a drink on it! Or not.
I grew up in a house with a beer tap. I remember going with my mom on a fairly regular basis to get a new keg. It was actually a pretty cool setup. We had a ‘TV room’ with a huge burled wood plaque affixed with a standard bar quality tap handle. The beer was fed from the garage right behind the wall. Of course I always knew that I couldn’t have any, nor had I any curiosity. I remember there being little plastic monkey figures that had been placed in the rotted sections of this ornate wooden plaque. I always felt like those monkeys were keeping an eye out and would be bad luck if I ever messed with it. Is funny how these things come around years later pouring over with irony.
Through my teen years to the end of high school, I actually never really drank. The taste did nothing for me and it wasn’t my kind of fun. Things changed after high school though. I found a fantastic new way to socialize on a level I never thought possible with myself. It was an amazing time to be selfish. I had an excuse to act goofy and hit on girls. I got attention that I could brush off with the excuse of having a little too much. Where has this fantastic substance been all my life? I could have had thrice the number of friends and been a bit more popular if I really wanted to.
By now if you’re reading this you are probably waiting for some crazy twist in the story about how someone I know got killed in a horrible car accident due to the effects of alcohol. Sorry, not going to happen here. I got lucky. Plain and simple. For the most part there was no harm and no foul in my experience with drinking. Most of my stories are drama-based and have no real weight in story telling except for something to fill space and time. This is my blog though and I feel like talking about a few of them.
The moment that I should have realized that drinking was no good for me, actually made me drink a little more. It was after my second deployment and I was sitting in my apartment in North Carolina. I had a decent life. New car, new Harley, good friends, good job. I started getting into a rut. I’ll spare the sob story here. I ended up drinking an entire bottle of Jameson (my poison) within about 2 hours. I was obliterated. I laid out on my bathroom floor. My bathroom was amazing by the way. Huge garden tub, separate shower, two vanities, walk in closet and even a towel closet! Anyways, I tried to puke in the toilet but I couldn’t find the strength to hold my body straight and level so I decided I’d just lay on the nice cool tile. I threw up. A lot. Sad thing was I couldn’t move myself away from it. I was paralyzed. Nasty shit colored vomit was soaking into the nearby rug and into my hair. I tried to scoot away from it but ended up vomiting more. I decided to stay there the rest of the night. Luckily I lived alone and didn’t have to answer to anyone about what had happened. I cleaned it up the next morning and went for a four mile run. I was a champ!
All those cliche statements went through my head about not drinking anymore. Unfortunately, the lifestyle I immersed myself into wouldn’t allow such pure thoughts. I continued on with my drinking while keeping it under control. I wouldn’t want to embarrass myself in front of anyone else.
During my two trips to Ireland, me and my dad did a fair amount of drinking. It was good though. Nothing crazy except for the two hour drive from Limerick to Dublin at two o’clock in the morning after tying on more than I could count. Asking your dad to help focus on the road to stay between the lines is quite humbling when I look back on it. Especially when driving a manual transmission with the steering wheel on the right side. Most of the other drinking consisted of bus rides and brewery tours so we kept it under control. The major downfall about Ireland is that they didn’t have an abundance of lavatories. I remember me and my dad doing the potty dance on the double decker bus coming from Dublin to our hotel room. The bus stop was about six blocks from the hotel so we ran back trying not to wet ourselves. I ended up taking a dog-leg into someone’s fenced yard. It was probably the most satisfying feeling ever! Not really sure if anyone was home watching what I was doing. My dad continued into the hotel where they had a wedding going on. He sprinted to the toilet through the reception and got quite the welcome when he was dancing through the door trying to avoid an accidental discharge. Good times.
I could go on and on about drinking stories. Many I don’t tell because you ‘had to be there’ to really appreciate them. I recently quit drinking. Sort of. I’ll still have a few now and then. I’m not a total prude but I’ve learned that a good time doesn’t have to orbit around the essence of alcohol.
I the next year of writing I’m sure I will bring up drinking again, so this is just another one of my writings to help get me back in the mood. I’ll probably come up with some introspective pieces that hopefully sheds some light on what drinking really does to us.
(That last paragraph is actually a bullshit group of words because I’m tired and just wanted to finish writing this. I’m stuffed up and feel like crap and the last thing I want to talk about is ‘not’ drinking).