Get Drunk

Always be drunk.
That’s it!
The great imperative!
In order not to feel
Time’s horrid fardel
bruise your shoulders,
grinding you into the earth,
Get drunk and stay that way.
On what?
On  wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get drunk.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up
on the porches of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dismal loneliness of your own room,
your drunkenness gone or disappearing,
ask the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock,
ask everything that flees,
everything that groans
or rolls
or sings,
everything that speaks,
ask what time it is;
and the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock
will answer you:
“Time to get drunk!
Don’t be martyred slaves of Time,
Get drunk!
Stay drunk!
On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!

Charles Baudelaire

I’ve had the good fortune of being drunk on many o’casions.  I’ve been drunk off warm beer in Montana.  I’ve been drunk off cold beer in Austria.  I’ve been sloshed off viper venom in Tokyo, but never have I woken on the porch of a palace.  I’ve had too much wine in Paris, too much tequila in Rosarito, too much Jager in College, and the  calming cool of the green grass of a ditch is more my speed, followed by a headache and the  slight tickle of vomit to grace my Sunday.

An easy remedy for that last problem, always be drunk.  Thanks Baudelaire!  We went from a little hair o’ the dog in the morning, to fucking the dog, constantly.  Is that what it takes?  To endure the hardships of life, the curveballs this bitch of a pitching machine throws at us, is to be drunk?  Well, Bryan, the doesn’t sound very safe, and unless you want to walk around with a chip in your pocket the rest of your life, it’s not.  And before you criticize me for making light of AA, I’m not.  I don’t know Bill, but I know a lot of good people who do.

But do Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan have it all figured out like our friend Baudelaire here, or is there more to being drunk than we think?  I enjoy the process of getting drunk.  I love the way alcohol smells, I love its taste, its varieties.  I love that feeling you get right around the time you finish your appetizer; That lightheadedness, the space between your shoulder blades releasing tension, and with a sigh, your week goes with it.  Now it’s you, your booze, your friends and food.

Why is Monday so much harder than Friday?  Is it because it’s the longest period you’ll go, usually, before you’ll get drunk again?  Or is it the longest period you’ll go before your shoulder blades separate a little and you get to release that sigh again?  What if we remove booze from the equation?  “But Bryan, that’s what your post is about,” you say with a Icelandic accent.  Stay with me for a second, Bjork.  What if the the times in my life when I felt best, alcohol just happened to be there?  That’s true recently of holidays, birthdays, friday night dinners with friends, Vegas, but what about when I was a kid.

I specifically remember being drunk when I was younger.  Drunk, of course, in the sense that my cares melted away and, for the moment, I was stuck in this magical place.  I was with friends.  I was up late. The same lightheadedness and euphoria I experienced at the bar last week, I had when I was 10.  And even at 10 I had this small tinge of nostalgia, knowing somewhere deep down that the moment wasn’t going to last, and now, as an, “Adult,” that tinge has grown into a full fledged fact.

Have I replaced the innocence of my childhood with booze?  To be drunken?  I have relied on alcohol and the weekends to tell me when I can be happy.  I’ve allowed the terrible case of the Mondays go from a line in a movie to my life.  The good thing about it is I have a choice.  “Don’t be martyred slaves of Time,” don’t allow the cycle of the work week to toss you around like the washing machine.

Be drunk;  It’s incomplete.  Be drunk on what?  Baudelaire gave us some options; On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!  Be drunk on life.  Find what makes you happy and gives you that drunken high.  Find what gives you that perfect Friday night feeling and expand on it daily.

Write, draw, paint, listen to music…be drunk in it, and be happy.

(I’ve made a few adjustments)

Always be happy.
That’s it!
The great imperative!
In order not to feel
Time’s horrid fardel
bruise your shoulders,
grinding you into the earth,
Get happy and stay that way.
On what?
On  wine, poetry, virtue, whatever.
But get happy.
And if you sometimes happen to wake up
on the porches of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dismal loneliness of your own room,
your drunkenness gone or disappearing,
ask the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock,
ask everything that flees,
everything that groans
or rolls
or sings,
everything that speaks,
ask what time it is;
and the wind,
the wave,
the star,
the bird,
the clock
will answer you:
“Time to get happy!
Don’t be martyred slaves of Time,
Get happy!
Stay happy!
On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!

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