Two nights ago the Bible jumped off the book stand, and John of Patmos began ranting; it was impossible to go back to sleep with that sort of thing going on. Initially I had thought it was a redneck blowing up a propane tank, or maybe an example of those strange sounds people hear world-wide, where it sounds like God is rearranging deck furniture in heaven.
But nope, just John and he went on and on, and when I finally told him to shut the fuck up, or at least address me in a language I could understand, he got offended, said something about pearls before swine, and with a humph put himself back on the shelf, precariously perched once again, of course.
Max, our 3-legged, inherited farm dog, whose a real sweet heart and asset for the homestead, barks at the devil and the coyotes every night. In the dark, it’s hard to see exactly what has his focus. We try not to be annoyed, knowing in our rational minds he’s just doing his noble work, but still it annoys us. People can be quite short sighted and selfish, can’t they?
Sunday there was a kid’s B-day party scheduled, and a dinner party later that night, back in Des Moines. I had said my attending was unlikely, but then the force of socialization, and really a fear of my sweet lil brood traversing the lonely country roads forced me to go. I decided to cut the boredom and anxiety with booze. So I stopped by the grocery got a big bottle of Guinness extra-stout and a six pack of Voodoo Ranger. The cashier was in a death struggle with a maintenance guy about a non-working beer fridge, and I had to separate them with a crow bar to pay for my stuff; I should have noted the bad omen, and acted accordingly.
The birthday party was a new circle in Dante’s inferno. A small clubhouse had been overfilled, so the smell of hot ass and cheap pizza filled the place. Hungry, emotionally and physically, adults worked the place in an ugly frenzy. I joined other stragglers and black sheep outside or along the wall designated for the phone starers. Outside I found a likely ally, a wigger, with cheap “G” pendant, who was introduced as “Stoney”. I considered copping, but it didn’t seem appropriate, instead I tried to huff his second hand cigarette smoke, while he ranted about the facilities. “Oh shit, is that a water park? Bet that’s dope in the summer! Look at that fucking seagull!?”
The booze was calling me, and I can’t even remember knocking back the big Guinness when we arrived at the party. Alcohol digested, I was better able to play the social games, one person rants, gets off, then the other, back and forth, until a chunky social lather is acquired. The children took over the house eventually, playing some game filled with intermittent screams of terror and slamming doors. The host a world-class chef created an exceptional spread, and had plenty of interesting information to share (large parts were marked off record, and in the chaos I tried to explain that really wasn’t fair, as I’m a writer and a lowlife, so there is no off record, really) but ultimately the conversation went to a familiar debate of the problems of mankind, namely were people ignorant or evil. I of course am firmly stuck in the evil party, my friend the ignorant party, but really, subsurface we hold the opposite opinions. In any case, turned it over to my oldest, he of course usurped his Father and went to the other camp. I was proud, but sad, sad for revelations to come.
Britney made the most delicious Apple-Pie, I’d ever tasted. The innards became an appley caramel which was heaven. There was Champagne and delicious wine, all too expensive for a lowly dirt farmer and labeled in languages impossible to remember. I hate alcohol (a bold line delivered in a dramatic dream last night, that I don’t have the time or desire to relate) but can knock them back like the best when the mood calls. And calling it did…
Illuminate agents were posted up on the way out of town, subtle yet obvious to a Jedi, parked in an abandoned industrial area, reversed into a spot, lights on, too dark to see, yet there in subconscious force. Even the stable and grounded straight-man wife took notice. In the booze it didn’t bother me at all. It was like we were VIPs and they just wanted to make sure we got out of Dodge.
And luckily we’re mature enough to have a designated driver, Brit this time. So the drive was uneventful and beautiful, and in 15 glorious minutes we were in the hinterlands, and in the booze and darkness, it all seemed new, and I realized how far away from Babylon we really are, and that made me happy. Somehow, the boozy bravado had endeared the Wife, and she was eager for some love, but the demonic liquid had taken its toll, and so instead I just passed out, being scratched like the bear I am. Until like three in the morning when, my body decided it was time for me to pay the piper.
I’ll save the ugly details. It was a brutal, yet enlightening process. I sat there on the toilet head spinning. My mind jumped from non-sequitur to non-sequitur, dialogue from a soap opera I saw back in 1987, a philosophy text from college, recent tidbits and random minutiae. Cold sweats. Hot sweats. Shit. Vomit. A half an hour or so of biological torture. Then it was basically done, a mild hang over would annoy for most of Monday, but all in all, it was a great experience. A reminder, that booze is not for me. That despite all the television and ads, somehow maturity has set in, and I feel sobriety IS better! For someone from such dysfunctional origins the revelation is something like a personal achievement.
I’m beginning to realize, with every growing inch of beard, the way forward. I think it will begin this Spring, with a burning of the shoes, and then with a buckshot thru this IPhone, and then ultimately in a swearing off of all vestiges of Babylon, money, debit cards, petrochemicals, etc. Then it’s just me, cabbages, chicken shit, open air, and all that sounds like heaven to me.