Tag Archives: Booze

The Truth is In The Bottle

Alan shifted groggily as the first ray of sunlight slipped through the cracks in his blinds, its luminescence clawing at his eyes. A threat to face the day. As with any afternoon like this, he thought he would roll from his left side to his right, his body a sodden, rotting log, curved like an “S” that somehow insinuates cutlery, but when his left arm tried to lead him there and shield him from the sun, it was faced with some resistance. Not much, but still enough to startle his body to a slightly higher form of consciousness than that booze-induced coma he was in. He aware of his flesh, and his flesh now aware of its surroundings, Alan felt something sleek and smooth, cold and curved, held tightly against his body like that terrifying clown he used to cuddle with as a child. What was his mother thinking when she gave that to him, anyway?

The crack of dried saline and gunk compounded with the thudding in his head as he peeled his eyelids up, opened just enough for him to make out the shape of things beside him: an empty handle of Evan Williams bourbon. He’d crammed enough forensics knowledge into his head during that semester that even despite the horrific hangover he was still able to deduce that said hangover was likely due to the presence of said bourbon absent from said bottle and even more likely being processed somewhere between his liver and soul. Content with solving the mystery of the missing bourbon, and discovering the identity of the mysterious shape asleep beside him, Alan felt accomplished enough to complete his turn away from the window and fall back to sleep.

He closed his eyes before his bourbon-slowed mind could fully comprehend the significance—or even the presence—of the used condom sprawled on his hardwood floor like the sad and lonely shreds of the balloon that Jesse Hird popped at his 6th birthday party. Not that Alan was bitter or anything. The thought of this childhood trauma was finally enough to shake him from his slumber, and Alan sat up more abruptly than he likely should have. Blood rushed to his head with the thud of an angry fist against an oak door. Or maybe a baseball bat.

Once he was able to think again, Alan realized that perhaps the night’s conspiracy reached deeper than he previously thought. Especially since he was still wearing pants. Was he living in an episode of Californication? Alan had always idolized David Duchovny, but more for Fox Mulder than Hank Moody. The X-Files was his inspiration for moving to Washington, D.C., and pursuing a Forensics degree, in hopes of one day becoming an FBI Agent, and discovering for himself if the true was really out there after all. But if life should imitate art, he wondered, then perhaps his life was changing along with the career of the artist whom he imitated.

This threw him into a panic. A crisis of faith. What had he been doing with his life? He had only ever seen the Series Premiere. He would have to catch up on all the seasons on DVD. How many seasons had there been so far? The X-Files had nine! How many more would they have by the time he caught up? And when would he find the time, now that he had to leave George Washington and transfer to some school in California to pursue an English degree. What the hell was he going to do with an English degree?

For a moment, he wished there was still bourbon to drink, but the mere thought of it made his stomach churn and sent him hurtling towards the bathroom. Perhaps Californication would have to wait.

The Morning After

When the daggers stabbed my eyes, I knew
the blinds had all concaved, allowing light to roll
around their curves and permeate
through the smallest cracks, dragging me
to consciousness. My dry lips
parted, peeled off duct tape
and breathed that putrid air,
thick with sweat and some other
taste that burned the whole way down,
down,

Down the hatch.

My natural response was to lick the outside
edges of my mouth, moisturize the desert skin around
it like I’d been told so many times
not to do. As my tongue drew circles
all within its reach, my eyes fell
towards the ground; my muscles weren’t
in shape to hold them up. I made a mental note
of all the labels, clothes that littered
the hardwood floor like debris from
a plane crash, still smoking, left for dead.

I tried to sit up and give
my spinning head perspective,
but my arm was pinned down
by the weight of the porcelain,
glass, smooth and hard, that screeched
like nails on chalkboards every time
I wrapped my arms around her curves.
I conceded, I exhaled a stale breathe,

held within my steaming cheeks so long
that it fermented, stained with the sweetness
of artificial fruits like chapstick smacked,
smeared, and shared from one mouth to
another. The shock hit me hard
once it reached my head, but
it was my gut that churned first.

My head spun quickly around the room
once I gave in to momentum, kept vertigo.
Go.
Going.

Gone.

I mumbled some excuse below
my breathe, found my underwear,
and limped to the bathroom to survey the marks
and battle wounds that I’d received the night before,
cleansed my palette, and finally crawled
back into that strange bed. Hard and small
though it may have been, it wasn’t
a couch, and I wasn’t alone.

Waiting For Columbus – Little Feat

2 am, 8 years old, Milford Massachusetts visiting family friends my Mother and Father had known since high school. Long after the children went to sleep I walked up the stairs and was invited to a rare event, my parents enjoying themselves in the company of other parents. Old Folks Boogie played loud in the foreground while they discussed what it was like to age. I had no idea what they were speaking about but was happy to be a part of the fun time they were having. This was not the first time I was exposed to this Little Feat album, but it was my first distinct memory. As the oldest child I was allowed to stay up with them, have soda (while they had their drinks—Budweiser for the hosts and Dewars and water for the guests) and watch them dance and enjoy the music. This was my first introduction to my parents as the people they were before children, the persona parents usually expose post high school graduation. I noticed two things this evening, one, getting older does not necessarily mean getting bored, and two, my father was a lot more into the music then anyone else.

My aunt had a framed picture that my father drew of his favorite musician; this was a mainstay in every house she ever owned. From the time it hung above a piano I played on when I was five to my cousin’s 18th birthday party when it was a fixture in her dining room. This portrait was of Lowell George, the founder and front man of the band Little Feat. Lowell George’s death in 1979 affected my father much like Elliott Smith’s affected me. There are few musicians I can pay attention to for their full careers and Elliott was one of them. My life wasn’t affected by the deaths of Kurt Cobain, Brad Nowell, or any of the modern day rock and roll casualties (with the exception of Joe Strummer), and my father was the same way, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, they were all givens. With the exception of Keith Moon and John Bonham, my father was only really devastated by the death of Lowell George…hence the name of my brother, Kyle Lowell George. Little feat reformed in 1988 and continues to play today, but the songs of the original founder are still the most soulful and skillfully crafted.

5/15/2003—Three days after my high school graduation (thank you, internet): My father bought tickets for myself, my mother and his friend to see Little Feat at Lupo’s in Providence. I drove while the elders passed a bottle of booze around the car on the 40 minute drive to Rhode Island’s corrupt capitol city. I was able to see my father enjoy his favorite band at the same venue I had watched NOFX, Boy Sets Fire, Goldfinger, H20, Madball, Foo Fighters, Ignite and all the other bands that made my high school years what they were. He made sure I had seen Duke Robillard, Little Richard, Percy Sledge, Bob Dylan, and a ton of other musicians before it was too late, but it wasn’t until he had me see his favorite band did I truly realize what it was like to love music. I wanted to say about 700 different things about this album, but I’ve decided just to leave you with the lyrics to Willin.

I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow
I’m drunk and dirty don’t ya know, and I’m still…willin’
Out on the road late at night, Seen my pretty Alice in every head light
Alice…Dallas Alice

I’ve been from Tuscon to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that’s ever been made
Driven the back roads so I wouldn’t get weighed
And if you give me: weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
I’ll be willin’, to be movin’

I’ve been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet
Had my head stoved in, but I’m still on my feet and I’m still… willin’
Now I smuggled some smokes and folks from Mexico
Baked by the sun, every time I go to Mexico, and I’m still

And I been from Tuscon to Tucumcari
Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that’s ever been made
Driven the back roads so I wouldn’t get weighed
And if you give me: weed, whites, and wine
And you show me a sign
I’ll be willin’, to be movin