Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stolen Lines #3 - or - Hanging Up The Beer Goggles

There's something that I've been thinking about and wondering about and I'm very curious: am I the only one who knows?

Inspired by the oddest cast of characters, I put off cleaning my apartment again, yesterday, March 18th, for the 15th day in a row. Instead, I bought a bottle of wine and spent the majority of the day writing about grade school. The wine was bad, and I was totally fine with that. A day later, after too many martinis and another drunken night in a bathtub, I am becoming worried about my habits. Worried about the novelty of my drinking. Worried about my liver. It might just be that no one really minds that I am drunk a lot of the time, but I am starting to wonder why it seems that no one minds that I am drunk a lot of the time. Granted, this is the end of a long, very drunk week for me; I am in an Irish band and we played 6 gigs in 7 days and were literally hand fed beer after beer and shot after shot by happy people dressed in green. But I am beginning to find it disturbing that even my boss asked me with a smile if I had a chance to get properly shit-can drunk through out the entirety of what has become known as Saint Patrick’s week. At the time of this lighthearted questioning into my cute self-destruction, my eyes were bloodshot, my movement was lethargic, my head was pounding like there was an angry midget with a sledgehammer in my skull listening to slayer, and my hair was pointing in every direction at once. I was completely hung over. A coworker commented that it was the worst case of bed head she had every seen at two in the afternoon. Being the pompous smart-ass that I am, I corrected her, informing her this was not bedhead, but that my scalp was creating an artistic interpretation of the mental distance between the perception of reality as a confusing complexity verses that of a profound simplicity, using only hair as a medium. For some unknown reason, I then cleared my throat and rattled off the one and only thing that I truly learned in 8th grade. The implications of this regurgitated factoid have been on my overly saturated brain since that moment. Let me try to explain. At the end of my 8th grade school year in 1992, three of my friends agreed that we hadn’t learned anything of any consequence, which made the school year of 1992 amount up to a completely wasted year of our youth. We would not let this stand, something had to be done, something had to be learned, something of substance, something worth remembering forever. As if we had been assigned a holy mission from God himself to seek truth and universal knowledge, we went to the only provision for the deepest secrets of the universe that we could think of, an 8th grade Science textbook with a paper grocery bag as a book cover. We opened it to a random page, and blindly pointed to a spot. We were ecstatic. Underneath our fingers lay the euphoric answer to a years worth of intellectual foreplay. A hair is a carotene shaft, formed at the depths of a tubular in growth of the epidermis, known as the hair follicle. The question now arises, how can this one sentence legitimize a year’s worth of bullshit? We had consciously seeked out knowledge in the face of ignorance. We had conquered the fear that nothing had been achieved, nothing had come of this trip around the sun. The fact that, over the course of the next seventeen years, and countless attempts to destroy every damn brain cell I have been bestowed, I can recite that passage, pinpoints the exact moment that my pursuit of knowledge became a legitimate part of my life. It makes that seemingly pointless moment huddled over an 8th grade science book one the most crucial and defining moments in my life. It proves that there are answers to the unasked questions, not only to, “what is a hair?” but almost any question I could dream up. What does this have to do with last week? It formulates a question that needs answering. So sitting in that office, talking to my coworkers about my hair, swaying back and forth and shaking with delirium tremens, still drunk from the night before, a new question emerged into my head which silenced the midget with the sledgehammer. “How much drinking does it take to make me question my habits, and how much self degradation do I have submit myself to in order to put an end to this debasement.” The answer is not a carotene shaft, formed at the depths of the tubular in growth of the epidermis, known as the hair follicle. The answer is eight days of headaches, seven evenings of alcohol gluttony, three nights of vomiting, one morning waking up shivering in the bathtub, and no hint of concern from the outside world. The novelty of my drinking has got to end; I’m drying up for a while.

I stole the first line of this post from Then We Came To The End, by Joshua Ferris as part of Grace's stolen lines project #3. I suggest you follow in suit.


  1. sobriety isn't unsexy.



  2. "habit" is a perfect word to be used in your question. Lets play a board game soon.

  3. Any comment I would have about your flotilla of alcoholic dinghies would seem overwrought. I'm a drunk Baptist.

    So. That said. Get dry. Eat vegetables and then answer this question: Why did you allow the novelty become a form of self-identification?

    Thus endeth the whateverthehellthisis.

    Feck 'em if they can't take a joke. Let's get together soon.

  4. rehab is for quitters

  5. Anonymous5:03 PM

    Sobriety is often overrated but at times when drinking interferes with general functionality, a necessity. Excellent stolen line!