Friday, September 25, 2015

Why Work?

Afraid Of The Quarter
1 Day Sober
It is Friday morning and I stayed in last night and watched a bit of football with Howard, not drinking anything but coffee, making that first step of a thousand mile journey by passing my first 24 hours sober, in 13 days of what I wouldn't exactly call a "drinking binge."

But by the same token, it seemed to take less time to return to the point where all the familiar symptoms came back -such as loss of interest in busking on any given night at least an hour earlier than would normally occur, along with the desire to just knock off, then go home and binge on some ill advised choice of food, such as a whole hen, baked and consumed before passing out into a low quality sleep, replete with nightmares, which I would wake out of in the morning (which would be the late afternoon) in a depressed state of mind, feeling like it was already time to go out and do the whole thing over again, after what felt like a 15 minute break (where did the time go?).

But not before staring at the ceiling for a while, contemplating things such as how meaningless my life would have turned out to be, should my heart stop at just that moment.

And then feeling the pressure to come up with that first drink to "get started," knowing that with first sip, the clock would begin ticking down to the moment when I would quit, due to moodiness over lack of tips coming in, or the perceived sloppiness in my playing -the two going hand in hand- and the day would end with a feeling that unfinished business was piling up; books I want to read, songs I want to write and record, laundry and housecleaning, etc., until the point where it would become overwhelming and I would become paralyzed, for not knowing where to start, nor being able to discern what is most important.

Things Piling Up On My Plate

Two weeks has passed since I got the toothache, which I deemed at the time to be bad enough to warrant numbing it with the liquor that started me back drinking.

The pain has gone away (it may have just been from a piece of popcorn which got jammed into a cavity) but it will never entirely leave, and if I keep procrastinating, I might find myself in the emergency room with the whole side of my head swollen up, kicking myself for not having taken care of it by scheduling an appointment with the "dental care for the homeless" people, and then waiting the 2 or 3 months to be seen by them.

It took very little time, in this slow season in the Quarter, for my cash on hand to dwindle down to an amount that had me opting to walk the 2 miles home from the Lilly Pad, spending the trolley fare on one last beer for the night; one which did little to make me feel any happier; just more hungover in the morning.

And, of course other phenomena, which seem to only occur when I am drinking reared their heads.

For one, the universe seemed to be playing jokes on me, as I endured the series of slow nights when the choices between walking Canal Street at 1 AM, sipping whiskey, or riding back in the comfort (and safety) of the trolley were at odds with each other; and I chose the former, in the rebellious spirit of one who isn't going to let the universe or anyone else tell him that he can't afford another half pint of Heaven Hill.

And, my "favorite" music, rather than giving me pleasure, made me feel inadequate (could I ever harmonize like Prince?) and I couldn't relax and listen, because I was constantly analyzing it; and looking at my guitar more like a cross to bear, rather than a beautiful instrument that I had a unique ability with.

So, this is my take on things as I work on yet another "day 2 without drinking," and work off some of the energy that I am already feeling imbued with, after just skipping one night of intoxication.

And, yes, people have asked me if I have ever considered going to "meetings." One lady named Rose, who lives here asked me that Thursday night when I encountered her in the smoking area, after I had staggered home, stopping for a half pint at the Big Easy Market which depleted all but 44 cents of my money, but I don't remember much more of the conversation.

I do remember her asking me to play something and her seeming impressed by my rendition of "Daniel," by Elton John, despite the 2 or 3 times that I forgot the next chord and had to excuse myself for being so drunk.

You've just read: 802 words.

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