Last night I went out and met my friends who were in town from far away and I was excited to see them and also to see everyone else who had come out to meet them and the place we went to had two-for-ones and they let you get a double for the price of a single or two singles. I ordered a double and drank it and talked to everyone and then ordered another and felt good and thought about how that was probably enough to drink for me since it was a Tuesday and no one else seemed to be drinking any more than that since the night was winding down. Also, I remembered that I had been kicked out of this bar before for being too drunk and the bouncer kind of knows who I am because we are amiable and friendly but he gave me this look when I walked in, and the look said,
“I don’t want to have to kick you out because I kind of like you so lets not do that.”
That look, if you’ve never gotten it, is a complex facial expression to receive, but I heard it loud and clear and it made my face red and I felt ashamed and jackass-y because I work at a bar and hate drunk people that have to be kicked out.
People were dancing and I was dancing too, even though it was hard to dance because I had these sandals on that I bought for twenty dollars at the Somali Mall on Pillsbury and Lake. It was really hot on the dance floor, so that made me thirsty, so I drank my second double faster and wanted to get more so I went up and ordered a beer and got two beers and that was exciting. I didn’t want to hold two beers because that was guilty looking so I drank one of them down most of the way and then drank some of the other one and then poured the rest of the first one into the second so I just had one and not two. In retrospect just drinking one of the beers all the way down would have been the same, but at the time, I felt like what I had done was clever and sneaky and maybe that was symptomatic of the doubles I’d drank before because whiskey often makes me feel like I’m a genius which is why I like it, because in real life I’m not.
A lot of the time when I go out and see my friends, which is happening less and less often as the bonds formed in youth drift away, I end up drinking a lot more than they do and also end up wanting to keep on drinking when they all want to go home. I used to think that my friends just kind of sucked, but maybe there is more to this than that and maybe I am actually the one who sucks because I drink too much and make everyone feel uncomfortable. After I finished my beers I wanted to have more beers but some people had left and it looked like other people weren’t ordering anymore drinks, maybe because they didn’t want to spend anymore money or maybe because they didn’t want to drink anymore. I hoped it was the former and so I went to the bar and ordered two sets of two beers and brought them back to the table and then told everyone that we would share all the beers.
No one wanted anymore beer.
So then I realized it wasn’t the former and it was the latter and everyone had just drank enough and didn’t need to drink anymore and then I felt sad and embarrassed and more sad because I still secretly wanted to drink all the beers, even if it was just by myself, defiantly. Everyone was leaving though, so I gave two of the beers to some guys at the table next to ours who I liked because one of them had a Suicide Machines t-shirt on, and they were joyous because free beer is awesome and that made me feel good because at least the beers would be enjoyed by someone.
Then I drank the other two beers very quickly and forced someone, who didn’t really want to, to help me and then we all went outside and mulled around and I thought about how I’d had 8 drinks (if you count the doubles) when I’d meant to have 2. Actually, I also drank a 16 ounce travel mug of white wine when I was at the beach earlier in the day, and I’d had a beer with dinner too and suddenly my cute playful drinking problem didn’t seem so cute anymore.
My bike ride home was sad enough that I stopped and got Taco Bell to cheer myself up (never works) and when I got home I wanted to talk to someone so I told my girlfriend,
“My cute playful drinking problem isn’t so cute anymore!”
And she agreed but was nice about it, which was good because honesty is helpful I guess, even if it makes you want to run away and drink a bunch in the park with the homeless people. I didn’t go to the park though and instead, I just escaped into maudlin nostalgia, which is kind of what I always do.
When I was 11, before I ever even really thought about drinking, my older brother had seven albums on CD. Here is how I remember the order of purchase going:
1. Jock Jams: Vol. 1
2. 2 Unlimited: “Get Ready” (birthday gift maybe?)
3. Nirvana: Nevermind
4. Nirvana: In Utero
5. Nirvana: By The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah
6. Punk-o-rama: Vol. 4
7. Sonic Youth: Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No Star
I’m pretty sure that I’ve mixed some up, and I think there’s a Meat Puppets album in there, but his list is actually impressive. It’s less embarrassing than my own inundation into album purchase which has little cred and goes like this:
1. No Doubt: Tragic Kingdom
2. Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill
3. Less Than Jake: Losing Streak (bought off of aforementioned brother for 8 dollars after he purchased and hated it)
This has nothing to do with anything except that my relationship with that Sonic Youth album was sordid. I wanted to like it, like I wanted to like all the albums that my brother had, because 11 year old me lifted him up to the status of demi-god, but unfortunately I wasn’t that hip at 11, and Sonic Youth was art and hard to understand. I was chubby and bummed out and somehow clung much more honestly to the digestible alt-pop musings of Gwen Stefani and (hard swallow) Alanis Morissette.
I was however, obsessed with “Bull In The Heather,” the album’s only single and the most digestible track for an adolescent who knows nothing about anything and is saving up the money he doesn’t spend on Little Caesars breadsticks to buy more Magic Cards or a Spawn action figure…
Kim Gordon stirred a lot of feelings in me though, feelings that were heightened considerably when I saw the video at my grandparents house (grandparents=cable) which has Gordon and Kathleen Hanna bouncing around and kissing.
10..20…30…40…Tell me, that you, wanna, scold me…
Two nights ago, the night before I had my umpteenth revelation about my own medium brand of alcoholism, I went to see Thurston Moore and Kurt Vile at The Varsity Theatre. The show was great, and everyone was sweating a lot and we were all tired but everyone was there to see this thing through and have an experience. And Thurston Moore talked about how they were leaving afterward to drive to Vancouver and he talked about how he liked Minneapolis a lot because it had good bookstores and the crowd all really loved that because it was specific and true and so it seemed sincere. In fact everything that Thurston Moore did was pretty sincere, and he was funny and cracked a lot of jokes and the audience would crack jokes back and if he laughed then that person would feel like a million bucks because he or she had made Thurston Moore laugh. They felt connected by that.
At one point, Thurston Moore jokingly asked for a pitcher of Gin and Tonic and everyone thought it was funny but then some fan brought him one (just in a glass) that he had bought as a present, and Thurston took it and shared it with the band and then shared it with audience members and had everyone pass it around and so a bunch of people got to think about how they’d shared a drink with the guy from Sonic Youth.
So in bed, after Taco Bell, I thought about how the night that I went to Thurston Moore and Kurt Vile, I only had two beers and I had a really good time and I remembered everything and felt inspired afterward. I bet that Thurston Moore doesn’t drink that much, or if he does, he still somehow works really hard, because he has done a lot of cool things and it would be hard to do all of that if you drank and went out and fucked around as much as I do. And it’s silly because for someone who aspires to do great things as much as I purport to, I actually shoot myself in the foot with drinking and laziness almost daily. If I were in a band with Thurston Moore, I would be kicked out.
I think that sometimes I drink a lot because I remember these times when I was a kid or when I was in middle school and high school and college and even when I was 22 or 23 where I felt really close to people and felt wanted and fun and alive. And we would go out and drink and make these great memories, these epic nights that now I just go out and talk about with some of the same people, or other people. It’s secondary though now, like an experience once-removed, but I still try at this thing and in the end it’s not wanted by most people involved and so it’s probably just irritating.
When you’re little, you just have that bright alive closeness inside of you and when you’re older, drinking is exciting because it brings that back, but at some point I think it shifted, and the well of that feeling dried up and that’s a bummer but that’s just how things go I guess. People aren’t as close as they are when they’re younger, which is kind of shitty and everyone has things to do and drinking and running around tom-catting gets in the way of that.
So maybe being good and doing the best you can means that you have to give up the chase for that feeling and instead sit the fuck down and work at something. Because that’s, and this is conjecture, maybe how you get that feeling again…Or something similar to it, through doing what you like, and really trying at it. And I know that this is all old news and obvious and apparent but I guess you just need to be reminded every once in a while…Or constantly, on a daily basis, so that you don’t go to happy hour and come home and fall asleep and wake up later with a headache so that all you wanna do is eat pizza and watch netflix.