I am engaged in another long standing tradition: going to the pub after getting bad news. In this case, the White Owl Social Club, which I’ve been meaning to get to for a long time.
There’s a Natian McGuinness on tap-milk stout aged in Kahlua barrels- so I get that and get somber. It costs $5.50 and instead of giving me change for my $6, she just keeps the .50. Her loss: I was getting ready to tip her a buck.
But the beer has got a really nice coffee flavor going on, with the kind of oily mouthfeel that I expect would glisten in the sunlight, like a puddle from an old car. I should probably let it warm up but I just don’t have the endurance to do that tonight.
The White Owl is lively and the Misfits is on the pa. It’s dark in here, too dark to play cards but I like it nonetheless. It doesn’t matter that I’m alone, alone is OK right now. Take your blessings where you can, I guess.
I want to be at home and sheltered from all of this. I want another drink. I want my parents to hug me. Everything is complicated and nothing looks good. I am confronted with an overwhelming sadness and I don’t want to wrap alcohol into my unhappiness, yet alcohol is wrapped into my work. It presents a very strange problem.
Because doing the work is a sustaining thing. Keeping the gears of your own life turning properly helps because it has a mindlessness, a method to keep everything going when all seems lost. We don’t have to talk about the risks of being a drinker who is a worker too often. Luck? Active avoidance? Perhaps the work supersedes the drink for enough of us that we don’t feel like we have to concern ourselves. Maybe it’s just that most of us are able to keep an even keel, we know that when things go wrong, there’s time for a drink but not several, or several drinks but not every day. The drink is our work, our work is not the drink.
I finish the beer and decide to pass on another. It’s going to be a long night and it’s important to make the good decisions I can when I can. Not staying out late by myself drinking is that good decision. Let’s go home.