One of my proudest moments, God bless me, comes from more than a decade ago when I was 17. With my best adolescent poker face I purchased a case of Carlton Cold from the 7th Avenue Palm Beach bottle shop. Minus a fake ID but plus an early or perhaps about rightly timed bloomer couple of days’ stubble. Success. I will always remember with glee strutting across the Gold Coast Highway with the case on my shoulder to be consumed by my two years younger brother and few months older best mate. They both passed out before me. Relatively naive to the ill effects of alcohol, I alternated, concerned, between the two of them trying to figure out if they were sleeping or in some kind of alcoholic danger. My brother woke up with purple bubble gum stuck to his face. It was awesome. Fuck any prudes, lame-os or conservatives who think otherwise.
But then again, more than a decade later, perhaps I should give pause to the effect Lady Liquor has since had on my life. It’s actually hard to identify the negatives. Or the alternatives. Perhaps I look older than I might otherwise. My liver might not be as healthy as it could be. Maybe I’ve missed out on pleasurable romantic experiences with women that I could have had with more frequent sobriety (or less-frequent drunkenness). Such hypothesising is merely speculation on an alternative universe – one in which I’m doing God knows what with my time in the absence of the brown, red, amber or clear liquids. I could have been religious, which would go dead against the skepticism (cynicism) I’ve cultivated that I can’t be sure isn’t itself influenced by the devil drink. Or I could have been a fitness freak. Not a footy boy at a high level of fitness who nonetheless gets drunk and rowdy with an entire team at his back. But a serious amateur or professional athlete with blinkers on for such distractions.
I’m just about done already, in light of the fact that there’s a large amount of hard liquor coursing through my system as I tap frustratingly at my phone while my laptop sits dejectedly nearby. I think, to be honest and not particularly positive, alcohol is a self-destructive indulgence for me. (Although I’m almost without exception a happy drunk.) I’ve never been terribly fond of the pain associated with life. The reality of living in a capitalist society, in which people will profess to care only should there be an advantage present for them to seize at my expense. A society in which the most deserving of wealth are judged not enough by their character but by the wealth they already possess. A society in which my good manners and gentle nature are seen as a weakness and my self-destructive tendencies self-perpetuatingly seen as an excuse for avoidance and malignancy. I don’t drink to forget. I don’t necessarily drink to be more social. I drink to be happy. To be more insulated from this world’s superficial and heartless realities. I drink because as people go about their lives around me I feel more content with mine only because I find their possibly ridiculous choices and opinions to be less grating. I drink because I can. Because it’s a legal and socially accepted escape from the fucking circus we call post-World War Two Western Society which has more evils to answer for than any evil empire which came before it. I drink because my knowledge of history and shame at a present I can too little control permits me to do little else. I drink, and that’s ok. I drink.