A Random Image
 

Jett Superior laid this on you on || January 17, 2004 || 10:37 pm

“….who is prone to rambling, Irish-tinged monologues….”

I make an excellent drunkard. This is because –unlike chemicals of a powdered and/or encapsulated nature– alcohol doesn’t have the word ‘addiction’ toe-tagged onto it where I’m concerned.

I take issue with the word bartender. After all, a bartender doesn’t tend to a bar, he tends to people and keeps a bar. Let us eradicate ‘bartender’ from our storehouse of language and supplant it with the age-old and dignified ‘barkeep’. Barkeep: Keeper of the Bar, Tender of People. Yes, I quite like that.

My excited, two-fisted days are over. I don’t know when this subtle shift occurred, but no matter: I know this, and unlike some, the knowledge brings no measure of sadness; I am a pleasantly warm drunk now. I call friends and say things like, “A real gentleman is there to answer the phone when a lady calls, all trucked-up on Bacchanalia.” (okay, I don’t remember saying that, but my speech does tend to get flowery and grandiose when I’ve supped of the nectar, so I believe him when he tells me this.) To imbibe beyond reason these days is like a slow, soulful dance between lovers, sensual and deep, where onceuponatime it was a frenetic impassioned affair. I was often the one abstaining from the pint (or hell, straight from the bottle itself) because of that; the end of an evening found me many times rounding up girlfriends sporting various degrees of buzz in order to roll them out of the car and onto their front lawns. Despite what their parents had to say about that, I never once stated the obvious to their obnoxious faces: The fact was, every one of those girls made it home alive and well weekend after weekend; none of them ever was raped or impregnated or got blood alcohol poisoning on my watch. None of them ever ran off into the sunset with any Toms, Dicks or Navy Boys they might encounter. And they made curfew without fail, as well.

When the shoe was on the other foot, however, it took all four of my Companionship Quartet staying stone sober to keep up with me. I was one big ‘Hellooooooo.’ and friendly wave toward the whole world.

“Helloooooo.”

I’ve always liked a party, and I’ve always wanted everyone to be In On The Joke. I’ve always wanted a drink to be a celebration for those around me, rather than being the fallback or the coping mechanism for sorrow or their sole road to a backbone. If you’re one of those people, you simply shouldn’t drink. You’re doing more than the body harm that way; you’re marring the spirit.

Funny, the exchanges that occur when you have a drink in your hand. People somehow feel that you are more easily approached, even if by all appearances you are content. Take early this evening for example: I was sitting in my favorite Mexican eatery, munching on a fajita and intently, interestedly eating a book up with my eyes. A big, fat margarita was sitting in front of me (the waiter had served it in a swirly blue martini glass, effectively making it a martini-ita, I suppose) and I was leisurely sipping at it (my third, maybe?) as I lightly turned the pages of my book, brow furrowing and raising delightedly in turns. A big ole boy to my left got my attention. He had red hair and a little boy’s face.

“Did you know that your mouth makes a perfect bow when you smile wide?”

He said this to me presumably because I’d just read a particularly amusing tidbit in my book. He sat with a companion possessed of broad shoulders and good hands (it’s habit…my eyes always, always drop to the hands. I’m a Hand Girl) and loud green eyes. I’ve no idea how long they’d been observing me.

“I guess that’s fitting,” I said, looking sidelong at Redhair, “because words are my arrows.”

“You must make Cupid sad, moving in on his job like that.” I tipped my glass toward him and winked.

His friend added in a soft –as in mild– voice, “You sure are pretty when you drink.” This was delivered not at all in the creepy manner or with the grody subtext that one (you, precious reader) might think, but was disarmingly genuine…and maybe surprised him that he even said it. And I can see why he’d say such a thing. When I drink my Irish betrays me (florid patches bloom up in my cheeks and my manner of speech), as does my Italian (my shoulders go even straighter and the smiles are more free). When I have a couple in me, I’m less brash and more serene.

Only one person has ever brought about a less-than-stellar reaction when I’ve had the drink in me, and that’s the mysterious ‘He’ that I sometimes allude to here in wordy missives and staccato, disjointed phrases. He and I are so much alike in so many key ways, and that alikeness has cost us a time or two: In our dreadful, selfish and capricious youth we romped on one another pretty hard at times. Being so alike in terms of temperament and ego and pride made us privy to buttons that others had no inkling of, and we didn’t just press those buttons, we laid on them hard during those moments where insecurity and foolishness met to shake hands.

Ours was an affair best left to fervent secrecy, and this was a goofy notion at best. If we were within a hundred yards of one another, the air crackled and we were transparent in our detestable lovesickness. One night I was at my club of employ, pounding one back right after another. So much so that there were hurried conferences going on in corners between Alex and Becky and Catt and Jacquie:
“You tell her to stop.”
“No-oooo, you tell her to stop.”
“Look, she won’t hit you. She never brawls while wearing a skirt.”
(and they were right…there was simple logic behind this: My mother would simply die if I were ever locked in a scramble while decked out in nylons and heels)
Eventually someone was successful in peeling me away from the barkeep, Mike, who was well-practiced in The Bottomless Glass. Mikey was a farging PRO, I tell ya.

We were gathered along one wall, conversing with some friends, when I caught sight of Him chatting up a ‘well-known’ regular. He looked pointedly at me, a hard look, and this brought about some mild indignation, because only I am allowed to shoot that look and get away with it. He made a large show of enjoying himself, while I patently did not make a large show of clenching the glass settled in my fist ever tighter. I was so drunk that I did not notice him navigating her deftly across the room little by little until they were some five feet from us in the crowd, Enjoying Themselves Like Hell. I had only just noticed when my friends began to stiffen a bit both from nervousness and proxy indignation.

About the time sweet, daft Jacquie punctured the tension with a question, “What’s her name again?” (“Robin,” Alex answered her impatiently and flatly while sharply jabbing her ribs) I registered the facts that, Yes, Here He IS, and Yes, He’s Trying To Mash My Buttons. My inhibitions significantly lowered, my usual prideful control out the window, I threw my perfectly good drink at him, and when a smattering of liquid only wet his arm rather than the sternum it was intended for, I was so incensed that I let fly my glass.

Most drawnks don’t make good pitchers, but I was no slouch, and fury is a fine, fine targeting system in someone who saves her blows for when they count. Had he not been so quick, I’d have nailed him square in the windpipe, but that infuriating fucker ducked clean down and came back up, laughing and with eyebrows raised. (I’m sorry, so sorry you-know-who that I hit you with that glass…I don’t recall if I ever apologizing to you for that, but I hope you ultimately chalked it up to a Fine, Fun Wild Navy Memory)

“HOKAY,” my very best friend and resident savior, Catt, announced, “it’s time we said ‘adieu‘.” Catt was ‘arty’ and was always peppering her sentences with mismatched foreign phrasings, all out of syntax and all out of sense. It was one of my favorite corny things about her, although on anyone else it would have rubbed me all, all wrong. So suddenly I was at the crest of a wave of people pushing toward the front door to retrieve the IDs held in check, but mostly to help me retrieve my dignity, which seemed to be far afield. Ah, friendship.

In the L-shaped parking lot sudden fury seized me again and I hurled my lighter blindly into one of its darkest corners. Owing to my drunken, emotional state, I immediately began blubbering and babbling some nonsense and my friends were very, very patient with me, setting out to find my lost lighter while I stood swaying in the breeze, waiting to fall over or be hit by a car. Either was a very real possibility.

This is how He found me –swaying and squint-eyed– as He took long strides toward me. One minute He was not there, and the next I turned and He was, and not for the first time I was speechless in His presence, Him looking down at me with those outstanding green eyes.

“Hey there,” he said, tucking the right corner of his mouth In That Way. Smarmy, imperious fucker.

“You sonofabitch,” I replied, and my palm cracked vicious against the left side of his face. At this, he offered me a hard little smile, whereupon I looked at him with a rich mixture of hurt and fury. Then he folded me into his arms and spoke sweetness into the top of my head.

(Years later he would ask me if I remembered that evening. Of course, was my reply. He told me that he knew I was going to hit him; he could see it coming. Why did you let me, then? was what I asked, and his response was that he knew that he’d deserved it, so he just steeled himself for it. “It hurt like fucking hell,” he told me, “Girl, you hit me hard. You hit me hard, but my head didn’t move one inch.” So apparently he took it like a man in all arenas that night. And apparently I’m the only person who’s ever struck his face and gotten away scot-free, according to him.)

I ran into Robin in the bathroom the following night on a break in my set. I didn’t coolly regard her or seethingly disregard her; there was a surprising lack of reaction there. But on some level I guess I just knew, even before she quite amazingly and maturely opened her mouth to speak it.

“I’ve never seen a man love a woman as much as He loves you.” She said it with a sort of quiet resolve and just a tinge of sadness, and all I could do was look at her, my lipstick-holding hand suspended there in midair, as she turned and walked out. I went out to the bar area to speak with Mike.

“See that girl over there?” I thumbed in Robin’s direction and he nodded.

“Cover her tab tonight. I’ll settle up with you before we close.”

(hit it.)

12 worked it out »

  1. I don’t really get why you would want to waste all that time and money getting drunk, instead of about 2 minutes and $15 on the buds. But then again, I have gaaay hands.

     
  2. Jettomatika 1.18.2004

    Way to miss the point entirely.

    Sorta.

     
  3. Sarge 1.18.2004

    I read this early AM, so forgive me if I miss the point…You like to drink, party, take care of your gals and they the same.

    For some reason you can be beautiful and bitchy all in the same alcoholic breath, but “HE” sees behind your red swollen eyes,, obnoxious breath, and loves ya for the person you are….

    It however took a sober friend to enlighten you once more, for things you new but didn’t quite seem to grasp…

    Party On!!!!

     
  4. waistdog 1.18.2004

    Martini-ita’s in the swirly blue glass.

    I was meant to drink them.

    But I had to stop going to bars.

    Too many buds and pshychedelics before hand.

    Leaving YOU with love and romance.

    Leaving me with the beautiful Barking Stars.

     
  5. waistdog 1.18.2004

    pshychedelics….of course, is how it’s pronounced after you’ve been to the bar.

     
  6. Jett 1.18.2004

    The Barking Stars are so, so much easier on the heart. Maybe not the head, but definitely the heart.

    Plus, no matter what, you know the Barking Stars are always there.

     
  7. melly 1.18.2004

    You my friend, are something out of a Tennessee William’s play. Just for you, I will gladly get inappropriately drunk, thus furthering to mar my already crippled spirit, drive for as long as I have to just to reach your window, sweat and bourbon stains down my wife-beater, just so I can yell the carnal,”STELLA!!!”

    I will have you, oh yes, I will have you. Or my name isn’t Stanley Kowalski.

     
  8. MaC 1.19.2004

    “The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”

    -Dr Hunter S Thompson

     
  9. Skillzy 1.19.2004

    The end of my two-fisting days came loud and clear to me in a Bremerton barracks room one morning when I was 25. There was no big, dramatic scene, the little voice in my head just calmly let me know that it wasn’t fun anymore, wasn’t worth doing. I had a few memorable benders after that, but they were few and far between.

    Having never been in a drink-flinging, face slapping relationship, I wonder if I’ve missed out on something.

    Give me a heads-up when Melly shows up under your window, I bet her boobies look good in a wet wife beater.

     
  10. waistdog 1.19.2004

    Absolutely.

     
  11. john 1.19.2004

    To Tapping the spirits for a glimse of the edge or for taking one off!

    But seeking moderation in all things including moderation.

     
  12. red clay 1.19.2004

    i can’t hardly stand it.

    love and booze is my midle name.

    which is why i have to write so small on the forms.

     

RSS feed for comments on this post.

(you know you want to)