Friday, November 1, 2013

if I could throw this lifeless lifeline to the wind...

It was easy to be spouting this philosophy when you're not old enough to drink and the libations available are Natty Light and cheap wine, and then you get older, and you realize there are things you like the taste of (why hello hard cider and Irish coffee!), and you laugh when you offer to front the beer money and come out to your car to find Gorilla Biscuits and Minor Threat CDs in your console, because you have this love/hate relationship with the opiate of the masses that isn't religion.

But you saw too many girls stumble home drunk and half-dressed from fraternity row and wonder if it makes you a bad feminist for agreeing with Prudie that the ladies should be careful. Yes, men shouldn't rape, no shit, but they do, some of them, and for the last few thousand years of recorded history they have done so.

That's no excuse, but I know I saved myself a world of pain by maintaining possession of my mental faculties and sticking with the "one and done" approach unless with those I really trust. I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that.

And I've lost family members to booze, seen marriages break apart, see the girls in my world messed with, seen friends struggle. I always tell people I'll bail them out if they can't make it home, designated-drive, do whatever so they can get home safely but most people don't take me up on this because they feel guilty or whatever. I beg my sister to do this because I know she drives drunk a lot but she never wants to. And last night I get my first call where someone does.  On the one hand, I'm kind of cranky, but on the other, I am glad that I can be there but hope this does not become a regular thing.

You probably hate seeing me like this... the mumble between the incoherent conversational threads alternately existential and ridiculous and I say, yeah, yeah I do, but you've seen me in bad spots so it's okay. I'm here. You're lucky I had too much coffee tonight and I was awake enough to pick up the phone and pull on some pants that weren't pajamas to drive out in the rain and hope you are where you say you are.

And I'm past the point of sugarcoating problems. I'm sick of all this. I'm sick of excuses and being complicit by being silent, I say all the things I wish I could say to any of my drunk friends, I probably say too much but know most of it won't get remembered anyway. That I feel like someone's mother, that I care and that it pisses me off and what were you doing, you know what this does to you. And by this point I don't need to yell, even though I want to scream, because we're tired, and our souls are weary, it's just I have a place to rest my own, and we hug, and I wish I could pulse healing energy into you and know it doesn't work that way, that there is only so much I can do, you can call me your savior but I can't save you.


  1. straight-edge had the for me timely idea that being of sound body and sober-minded in a society that wanted you to tune-out and binge your life away consuming whatever they were selling was a viable counter-cultural move, it had of course a self-indulgent, even thuggish, puritanical potential but what doesn't really?