Permanent Sunshine

4 Feb

No thanks. I’ve given up. Well, I still smoke a little ganja here and there, depending on who can get it for me. Or who offers it. I don’t have a connection anymore and all my friends have now been married running on decades, on their third child and all that, so there’s no opportunity there. Oh and Vicodin. And Percocet. I’ll do pharmaceuticals. But I won’t grind them down and shoot them into the veins anymore. I’ll just take them with some gin. Again, no way to get them consistently. I’m healthy, you see. No one will prescribe anything for me. I’m healthy. Keep telling yourself that. But no thanks. I’ve quit the inhalants. And so it’s booze. It’s the booze. It’s hardcore. Every night will wither you down slowly. I have to tell you, I find a perverse sense of pride in being a full-fledged, functioning alcoholic. I don’t hurt anyone outside my four walls. I stay in and drink and read. Old cases and notes from when I had my own practice. Some Moliére here and there. Mann. Highbrow shit, I know.
A perverse sense of pride that I can ride this horrendous, slow freight train and still have province. Oh, I still function. I go to a job every day. First shift. Six a.m. Bloodshot eyes and achy muscles and all that jazz. It’s a long way down from two years ago, but still. I hold it like no one can. The job, I mean. It’s shit. I pack lighting fixtures into long, cardboard boxes. Before that, I worked at a doll factory. Oh, how men suffer for children. Don’t kid yourself mister. But they raided the place for illegal immigrants and shut it down. They found rats in the toilets.
And Senegalese women behind a false wall.
A perverse sense of pride that I can take myself down like this. Drinking heavily and consistently is hardcore. No one is willing to deal with the horrendous hangovers day after day. Years. Drugs are easy. I don’t care what you say or how hard you’ll try to convince me. Come do what I do every night, then get up and go to work and not miss a day, and we’ll talk. Ah don’t get me wrong, there’s no romance in that. But it certainly smooths over the shit that exists out there. And in here. I’m not kidding myself. I know there’s no gallantry in it. It’s an escape. I’m not kidding myself.
Last time I relapsed, I downed a bottle of Gilbey’s in twenty minutes. I bought it and drank it behind my garage, away from the kids and my wife. What pushed it was, some fourteen-year-old girl came into the office and described how her uncle sodomized her with a dirty beer bottle. After the offense, he licked the rim of the bottle in front of her and threatened to stab her if she told anyone.
And that’s how I relapsed.
I don’t know why.
I mean I’d heard horror stories before…from hookers, abused wives, husbands, uncles, incestuous brothers, sisters. Fuck. They’re all in my notes. Six years in private practice. Terrible things go on out there. People do awful things to one another. But it was the girl that pushed it all over. It was Tuesday and I closed the office and went behind my garage and drank. I never went back. My wife took the kids and moved to Idaho or…

“There’s days when I feel like I don’t want to be a mother. Like I never wanted to. There’s days when I feel like I just wanna step out of all this and walk away and be a waitress in a diner somewhere like in…I don’t know…Idaho.”

And so it goes. We go. I’m not out to hurt anyone. Myself. But that doesn’t matter. I don’t take your contempt anymore. I used to. People looked at me and became disinterested in seeing someone they loved pick apart every molecule with some…vice. Some controllable, lousy vice. I used to feel guilty about that. Like I was letting them down. Myself down. But I don’t anymore. I’m no better or worse than they are. They choose the blinders. I choose the Garotte. The inquisitional chairs. The Maiden of Nuremberg. It’s different every day. The hole will always be waiting for us. He who dies with the most toys…dies anyway.
The most faculties?
Dies anyway.
And so.
Oh no, it’s not nihilistic. Beliefs are never unfounded and existence is mostly useless and senseless. Mostly. I do reject the objective ground of truth, and especially moral truths, but that’s another conversation. Catch me with that one at some other time.
It’s been three years since I moved down here. Sunshine state. I came down originally because I thought I was suffering from seasonal affective disorder. SAD (great acronym, no?). “Winter depression.” But in the end, the homogeneous days have played as big a part in grinding down my marrow as the booze has. As people have.
How I feel is:
You pull aside the curtains to a perfect cerulean sky with perfect white altocumulus and billow clouds and just the right kind of breeze. You pull aside the curtains to seventy-six degree Fahrenheit temperature in February and the smell of salt in the air. You pull aside the curtains to another perfect wonderful day. To permanent sunshine. To Hell. You pull them because it’s like the accident with the triple Ducati fatalities. You have to see it. You have to see the futility of all of it.


7 Responses to “Permanent Sunshine”

  1. Cliff Burns 04/02/2008 at 8:32 PM #

    “A perverse sense of pride that I can ride this horrendous, slow freight train and still have province.”

    My favorite line–how many (barely) functioning alcoholics and dopers still manage to hang on by their fingernails, making it through another, yes, futile day and congratulating themselves for their cleverness and ingenuity? More than we would care to imagine…especially if some of them happen to fly an airplane or inspect carnival rides for safety or work in a level 5 bacteriological warfare lab…

    Good stuff…

  2. Slyboots 04/02/2008 at 8:32 PM #

    You pull aside the curtain, and ta da! The reality within hasn’t changed one molecule. Only the shell game remains, no?

    I like this one. For reasons I won’t elaborate on here- it demands more time, energy and a certain amount of potent potables for $100.

  3. Sera 05/02/2008 at 3:32 AM #

    I can relate. Bloodshot eyes, aching muscles, shit job, feeling lousy. Yep, you’re telling my life story.

  4. (S)wine 05/02/2008 at 5:53 PM #

    Cliff, thanks.
    Sly, how’s about a couple of fingers of single malt….served in a tall glass full of ice! ugh.
    Sera, we are all so redundant and predictable, aren’t we.

  5. Mike Camel 25/04/2009 at 12:20 PM #

    no medals for the heroism of everyday life

  6. Mike Camel 25/04/2009 at 12:21 PM #

    it’s true, by the way, any idiot can do heroin addiction. alcoholism is for the truly committed.

  7. (S)wine 25/04/2009 at 3:28 PM #


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