I like alcohol. Some may even say I love alcohol. Beer and I have had a good relationship. I release it from the prison of its bottle and in return it gives me escapism and allows me to see the world in a vivid range of abstract colour through the black and white of my eyes. The bottle helps me function and holds my hand with its smooth glassy grip through hard times. In the UK, when I was living five lives at once, it proved to be the fuel that I recharged myself with at the end of the day. And I was productive. That’s the key. I am proactive and productive.
Not only does it provide this euphoric escapism, it also makes it easier to converse with people who have the collective personality of small rocks. Okay, perhaps that’s not fair. I find rocks rather interesting. At least they have things written in stone. Anyway, my point is that even in social circles, alcohol makes it easier to put up with the infectious arrogance, ignorance and boredom that some people exude as naturally as you or I exhale carbon dioxide.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an alcoholic. Well, I’m not that far gone that a boozy phantom hangs over my head in every dry moment I spend. All I’m saying is that I miss not being able to have a drink. Or five. And I miss the striping away of inhibitions. And I miss laughing about the insignificant things. Mostly I miss not thinking about being Atlas all the time. I miss the freedom it gives me from the pressure I place on myself. Oh, I have to be intelligent. Oh, I must succeed. Oh, I have to help the people who are unable to help themselves. Oh, I must make my loved ones proud. Oh, I must be socially acceptable. Oh, I have to worry about what you think of my writing. All these just fizzle away when I have a drink. And I like that, for small moments, I feel part of something instead of standing on the outside just watching. Alcohol is the lubrication I use to be part of your society. It’s the elixir I drink to get away from the Dr Jekyll of myself. It corrodes through the psychological walls that I’ve constructed in my brain. Again, don’t get me wrong. I can interact with people. I’m even good at it. Just that it’s more fun when I’m a little inebriated. I’ve not had a drink for a month now. Not a drop. And in this month I feel that thoughts are piling up and violently bashing into each other. I remain confused. Writing doesn’t seem to be the release it was. I know all this is just a psychological game but it’s my psychological game and that means that I have to endure it.
So it got me thinking, this whole business of wanting to enjoy life through the prism of alcohol. It got me thinking about artists and their afflictions and addictions. I wonder, is it simply coincidence that most of the great writers and artists were or are under some form of addiction? Now, I’m not equating myself to the great writers, all I’m saying is that I wonder, is it the drugs that release the creativity or the overwhelming nature of stifled creativity that necessitates the drugs? Throughout the ages, great artists have always battled addictions and suicidal thoughts. Poe, Bukowski, Hemmingway to name but a few.
I envision the old God of Art, possibly in the physical manifestation of a plastic-ish Oscar Wilde, sitting in the throne of our skulls, smoking a cigarette and sipping on red wine and adorned in a fine cut three-piece Italian suit, whispering soft, silver secrets as we do his bidding and create works of wonder. But at what cost? Does listening to this old God or materializing the visions he gives us open our eyes to something so devastatingly overwhelming that we turn to destroying our bodies and minds with drugs, alcohol and suicide? The blood sacrifice of the slave. I mean, what would make someone want to bake their head with noxious gasses in the cage of an oven? What would make someone use a shotgun to redecorate the wall of their living room with the red biology of their brains? Creativity purchased at the price of our lives. Buy one, get fun-free.
The truth is we’re all trapped. Our minds are trapped in the organic prisons of our bodies. And the sentence is life. We must succumb to the will of this husk paying it dearly for the accommodation of the skull.
In the lagoons of my temporal lobe, swims the seahorse of my hippocampus. It is the sentinel of my memory but in recent times it is failing to fulfil its obligations to my mind. I lose a night here, a couple of hours there. Words don’t appear as easily in neon lights on the screen of my mind dictionary anymore. I must delve through the synapses in search of them. I get sick easily. Sharp crystals of acid formulate in my joints and with the fulfilled promise of pain, they torture me into weary submission. Repeatedly. And recently, I’ve found that things don’t excite me as much anymore. And, more than anything, that’s a scary prospect.
And I sit here helpless in the knowledge that this is for life now, that I cannot seek escapism in the bottle because my masochistic body will punish me for it. And it fucking frustrates me. And frustration builds depression. And depression necessitates escapism. And escapism is not a tangible thing anymore. I mean I just want to have some fun for the short while I’m Sham. Because we’re all only here for a little while anyway. I want to experience life. I want to drink beer and do silly things and smile in silly ways and kiss silly girls with sloppy kisses. I want to travel, help people, build a life, break boundaries, eat fiery foreign foods, jump off bridges, swim with turtles. And I don’t want to worry about my health. I want to be able to do what I want to. I know that sounds incredibly juvenile but I’m as stubborn as those rocks I was talking about earlier.
All in all, I find that I’ve been betrayed by my bloody body and payback is just a farfetched theory in a practical world.