Sunday Afternoon

Quarter of four.

I finally restrung my white bass with the new flats. The old ones were given to me by Kate nine years ago. I think it’s time to throw them away, along with my memories of our relationship. All during our friendship I drank too much, and that altered my mind and judgment. I’ll have to form new associations with my Dell computer, though that takes time. The last couple of weeks have been very confusing to me, just because it’s an election year and the seat of government is up for grabs again. I have a Hegelian streak in my thinking, which may or may not be delusional. Also, I listened to Big Generator by Yes a while back, one of their more political albums. “Moving to the left / Moving to the right / Big generator / Lives out of sight.” This really takes me back to 1987, when my friends still believed in my big dreams. Today, my dreams are smaller and more modest. I’m not even sure what my dreams are. The vision has sort of left me, so now I’m just getting satisfaction where I can. It hasn’t been a very good week for me.

Quarter of five. I feel very tired. Time for something to eat and then a nap. I hope my sleep isn’t plagued by nightmares. I don’t take any drugs anymore that provide the reassurance that everything is all right. Things are what they are, without modification of perception. It takes more courage to live this way.

Hard Times

Quarter of noon. The good news is that I don’t have any psychosis or superstition at all. Time should take care of my woes. I want to enjoy my life.

One twenty. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. My chemistry is all fucked up. It could be the Vraylar. Not enough is known about this drug, so I’m just a guinea pig, or maybe a body bag. I want to find a homeostasis, a state of stability, but instead I just feel worse and worse. I’m tempted to drink beer, but out of masochism I won’t do it. If I were to give myself what I really want, I would probably get drunk and shoot the whole thing to hell. Still I won’t drink. The epic novel of current events is too fascinating to obscure from myself. I might as well read it as far as I can follow it. Some people are talking the end of the world. I’m not going to hurry it up. Hang on and hope for the best.

Cowbird Analogy

Ten twenty five. I found out that the party is not until noon today. So I went ahead to the store and got a root beer and some food. Cathy was cashiering and Supertramp was on the radio. After ten o’clock, business picks up really well for the market. I saw quite a few people there. The weather is cooler today, much more temperate and agreeable. My root beer tastes fab…

It’s nice to see that life goes on, much the same as before. Part of me craves beer, the taste and the feel of a cool Foster’s Lager. But I know that one beer multiplies to a 12 pack before I even know what happened. It’s a perfect day for a bacchanal, a drunken spree, but I have to forget about that. I can’t judge by what other people do. Some can afford to drink, but I remember how my account used to be overdrawn from spending on beer. And I didn’t care at the time; I could only think about having more to drink. It was a kind of mania with me, occluding my perception of everything else. Alcoholism takes over your whole life if you allow it to. Thus I won’t go back to drinking in any capacity. If I could make a political cartoon of alcoholism, it would look like this:

A bird’s nest full of eggs. A cowbird comes along and lays an egg in the middle of the nest, except this egg resembles a 750 ml can of Foster’s Lager. Before the other eggs can be hatched, the can of beer nudges them all out of the nest, becoming the sole occupant while the legitimate lives ultimately perish. The mother bird feeds the Foster’s bird until it grows to the size of a dodo…

Baby Steps

Quarter after three. I don’t know why I need parent figures here and there in my life. Someone to depend on. And my alcoholism was a kind of dependency as well: chemical. Well, Vicki has been rather parental for me, but not in a healthy way. I attach myself to people and places that feel safe to me. If I stop going to Community Market and shop elsewhere, then I will feel a little insecure for a bit. But I wish I didn’t need parents anymore. The thing with Vicki has been indeed an emotional attachment, as strange as it was. I really don’t know her at all. She was the person who used to sell me beer in the morning, when the addiction was out of hand. My dependence on alcohol was itself an emotional investment. The beer was soothing to me like a mother. And indirectly, Vicki came to signify motherhood to me also. I wonder why the maternity thing is important to me? I’d like to get over it and be independent. At least I can weed out the unhealthy parents and cultivate better relationships with people. Alcoholism is a very odd behavior, because you depend on something that isn’t even human. Alcohol is only a drug, nothing to have a relationship with. When I drank, I felt like I was in the mother’s womb, safe and protected from all harm… And what if I do go to a different store every day now? How will it feel?

Humiliation

Three o’clock. I gazed through the collected poems of Mallarme and remembered how Kate and I analyzed a couple of them together one night. It would be about eight years ago. I was stinking drunk as always, so this poetry was perfect for the occasion. Life was so lustful when I was just a bit younger, aided by alcohol. Without it now, life is the undiscovered country. I may never know myself this way, nor where I’m going. Part of me longs to regress to the old drunkenness, but I don’t because it has no future. I couldn’t function as an alcoholic; that’s simply me.

A doctor told me I had looked like I wouldn’t live much longer on booze. I used to get edema in my lower legs because my liver was malfunctioning. The phlebotomy nurse pointed it out to me. She tried to give me the benefit of the doubt and say it was the summer heat, but she knew better. Joann was very sympathetic, but I ran into many professionals who were not. The worst worked at the hospital. Some were downright sadistic toward alcoholic people. For that reason I wouldn’t want to drink again. I saw how they treated another drunkard one night. They humiliated him and made an example of him. My own bad experience happened on Labor Day of 2017, at the RiverBend emergency room. Now it seems like something that happened to another person. Anyhow, I lost all desire to drink after that ordeal. No more hospital trips for me.

A Sad Fact

Quarter after nine. Polly never valued education, and that’s her fault. Her resentment of the educated is not my problem, so I can forget about feeling guilty. She put herself in the position she’s in today, and is stuck with being a great-grandmother. Jeff always protected Polly, hid from her the truth of how stupid we know she is. They grew up together and like each other better than either of them likes me. Or they did until Polly figured out that Jeff is a liar. Polly is less intelligent than average, and that’s a sad fact. Should I beat myself up for that any longer or absolve myself? No one else is going to pardon me. It has to be myself. The past of when I used to drink is a little clearer right now. I wonder if I couldn’t quit because of the guilt and remorse I felt over the situation with my sister?… I never had to deal with Polly until Mom was gone. The exasperating thing about her is that she doesn’t stop talking, and she’s so stupid! Who cares about the opinions of an idiot? I resolve to love myself after this. Polly and Jeff will have to work it out with each other, and forget I was ever born. The problem is insoluble as long as I’m in the picture. I tend to blurt and blab the observations I make… I’ll be all right if the family leaves me alone. It was all a bad dream…

The Bottle

One o’clock. I think I want to drink beer, and that’s my battle with myself. A lot of evidence points to it. In this case, I probably need to heap on the religious discipline. It hurts, but it keeps me alive. I don’t know what to do. If I want to drink, then it’ll probably happen that way. My body would hate it, especially stomach and liver. I can’t afford the financial cost of drinking. Before I knew it I’d be overdrawn. I’d lose my friends. Aesop would be neglected. I could end up in the hospital. People would accuse me of being selfish and irresponsible. My conscience would kill me. I would be worthless as a person… It’s beginning to rain. Damien is not here… I know that I cannot drink alcohol. If I can just drive that home to my inmost self, I might achieve some peace. What can I do for a diversion? Playing an instrument usually helps.

Peligro!

Ten thirty five.

I had an intense drinking dream this morning. I was really very joyful, and I was with my friends Pastor and Eduardo. My mind is trying to dupe me into believing that I’ve been drinking when in fact I haven’t been. I guess if I had my wish I would go on a spree. Still I refuse to crack. My conscious self is in charge, the captain of my ship, regardless of what Freud asserted about the unconscious. Active alcoholism distorts the whole way you think, especially by rationalizing more drinking. It is a treacherous trap that kills you in the end. Evidently my brain still manufactures endorphins and remembers the crazy euphoria I used to get. It’s like being on heroin. I will go to the market soon and buy a soda of some kind. This is Saturday. I’m listening to my wiser self and denying my brain the pleasure it craves. Delaying gratification will bring about some greater good.

Desperate

One o’clock. I dreamed about Jeromy from C— Market back when I used to drink. He had “sex” with me, then I went from place to place trying to push some authorization through regarding my “dog.” I kept getting rejected. Meanwhile there was a problem with another dog that was mean, possibly rabid, and threatening Jeromy. I still wanted the “authorization,” but he didn’t. Moreover, I discussed with him a bass I’d bought but returned because the electronics weren’t right. It looked like a blue Yamaha I bought from Todd. I wanted to exchange it for the right model, and Jeromy said he’d look into it…

In reality, I almost talked Jeromy into buying legal insurance from me. I was only doing that job for beer money, so in the end it was good that he said no. Instead, he left his job at the store and started working for P—Health. The sales job was something rather shady and dishonest that I got involved in in April 2017. It didn’t take any particular skill to lie to people and hit them up on the phone. It was supposed to be a get rich quick scheme, but I don’t see that it was anything like a real job. The salespeople went to conventions and dressed up slick and talked about ways of cheating the public. I was really desperate. Later that year I stopped drinking and started my recovery by throwing myself at the Lutheran church…

Functioning Alcoholics

Quarter after eleven. Made my run to the store. Hank was glad to hear about my sobriety of over two years. He said that a lot of people don’t quit drinking. He remembered the time when I fell on the sidewalk and walked in with my face mangled. I remember it because I could barely walk. My nervous system was screwed up from withdrawals. Frankly, I miss the good times with alcohol, but those can never come back. To drink now would be to pick up where I left off. Once it was such a pleasure and happy time, but it became a nightmare after a while. And my poor liver had such a hard time metabolizing the stuff. This and my stomach plus my nervous system were all hit hard. After 2013, drinking was no longer fun. I drank because I needed to, not wanted to. I want to say that my addiction was not my fault. My brother was mean to me about it. He couldn’t understand why I couldn’t be a functioning alcoholic. He and my nephew live that way, but I found out that I cannot. May they leave me in peace… Polly’s attitude regarding alcohol has changed. She commented on how much worse drugs are than alcohol. I replied that alcohol is another drug. Plus I think she’s wrong about that. It almost killed me. It killed Polly’s husband. Alcohol kills people all the time, so she’s full of crap. She started rationalizing alcoholism because her son drinks daily. So it looks like the family is all together again except for me. Imagine that…