Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Do You Have Your Xanax?
There's a Raymond Carver story where a character proclaims something to the effect that it's the day after Christmas and he hopes he never sees another one. I can't say the same, although I understand the sentiment. Christmas is a mini-post-partum depression followed by the horror of New Year's Eve. Don't even get me started. One of the most interesting new year's celebrations I hosted ended with one of my exes in my clothing hamper basket that rested in the bathroom of my then-apartment. Why, my friends asked, are you in the hamper? Because I like it here, he said. I feel okay here. He was well into his cups by then and surrounded by my dirty clothes. So there was that. Also that was the night I found out one of my other exes hanged himself in his parents' house. Sometimes there is not enough booze in the world to make a difference. I don't remember my response, only that I was drying a fork at the time, a cheap tiny fork that I had bought after my break-up with Hamper Boy while I was out divorce shopping, replacing all the shit that I had lost because I didn't have the heart to demand it back. All I've ever mostly wanted in the division of the things are my clothes and my computer. So that fork remains in my memory, but I don't remember if I cried or if I said anything or if I pretended that I didn't hear. I do remember pouring myself another drink -- who says one shot of vodka in a glass of orange juice is enough? If a little is good, more is better -- three shots seemed about right.
There's always a time in gatherings and drinking when things switch to the dark side, as the movie Sideways posits it. Don't drink too much, Miles -- Do you have your xanax? I don't want you to switch to the dark side! I try not to do this, but I fear the holidays have a way of encouraging it. The man that died had been troubled and brilliant, and I had loved him deeply despite the fact that I didn't have to look for evidence of his chronic philandering; I had to ignore it. If there had been any room in the clothes hamper, I might have been there after a few more drinks. The holidays would soon be over -- the casualty list was long. Once a long-time mentor and friend that my friend Hank and I both adored killed himself on Christmas. I wondered why and Hank replied, You never know how much pain someone is feeling. In the case of our mentor, the pain had been physical. That's something everyone understands and forgives, I suppose. The rest of us are left to keep lifting our glasses until we collapse, only to start all over again.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
“After that first trout I was alone in there. But I didn't know it until later.” Richard Brautigan
Drinking movie suggestion: The Squid and the Whale
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone had a really lovely holiday!