Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Drunk By 10

I recently visited a Chinese restaurant to pick up some take-out. It was early afternoon, and I was surprised to see their bar full with customers drinking as though their lives depended on it. To me, drinking in the afternoon is something that goes far beyond recreation. It’s a sign of a problem.

I am not speaking as someone who is puritanical and as one who has never done it in the past. I have done it, and it always seemed to feel like I was descending down twelve steps into low life. No, I'm not nor ever have been in AA. I don't even like the organization and all their higher power bullshit. To me it just seems totally foreign to be in a bar during daylight hours.

My personal favorite event of my debauchery was when a friend who lived near me in New Jersey was building a house on a lake-front lot in the Adirondacks. I was going through the area on my way to Canada and he asked if I would go to the house and take some photographs for him. I had to find his brother who lived in town by the lake. His brother had the key and would let me in. The warning was that his brother never answered his phone, but I would be able to find him usually at 8am at this bar where he had breakfast every morning.

I arrived there the night before and stayed in a motel. I got up early and drove to the bar to get the key from Roland. I was expecting an up scale place that had a lounge that served breakfast and meals until an appropriate drinking hour came about. This is not what I found. It was instead what people of my parents’ generation would call a gin mill. It was one of those hard core bars with dark and dank lighting. Any lighting was covered by this colored plastic imitation glass. There were no windows, and one couldn‘t see daylight because of the way the inner and outer doors were situated. There was a film of cigarette smoke on everything.

When my eyes adjusted I saw six locals with bellies up to the bar drinking shots and beers at 8am. I thought to my self, “What a sheltered life I’ve been living.” I was just going to get the key and leave, but then I figured, maybe I’d stay for an Adirondack breakfast myself.

I had two or three beers before my breakfast order came out. I must admit the flavor of those eggs and bacon and toast were enhanced with a slight buzz. Then I had another and another, and by 10am I was too shit faced to do anything but to return to the motel. Yes, I was driving while impaired, but I made it and slept until 4pm. I spent another night, but the next morning I was able to go to the house, take the photos, and return the key to Roland at the bar on my way out of town. I was invited to stay for breakfast, but I told my new bar fly friends that I really had to get on my way. I’ve never been back.

I wonder how people who drink that early in the day ever get anything done. Maybe it’s the motivation one needs to never accomplish anything. For some doing nothing is a full-time occupation. I only flirted with that flame.


Blogger Zoe said...

I feel the same way. Drunk should not occur until well into the evening hours. Seems odd though that I never had issues with doing the wake and bake. I guess I didn't see a social stigma to being high in the morning, but drunk, Oh my god.

7:47 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

That was back in my immoral days ; )

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bars like that are a reflection of the people that hang out there dark, musty, cigarette smokey. No wonder they don't get anything done, it's a lot of work keeping up that lifestyle.

I tried AM drinking once in my youth. It was fun that once but I'd never do it again. Lunch on the other hand is fair game. A beer or a glass of wine with soup and bread and I'm napping like a baby by 3. Totally legit ;) The Europeans do it all the time.

11:06 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

So Trish will we be seeing a format change in your blog from one liquid to another?

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No no no...did I forget to mention the coffee at 7am and 4pm? That part will never change. I drink water too but I am not about to format my layout over a glass of water *yawn*. Although I could I guess. I could call it "over the drinking fountain" or "water cooler chatter".

Scratch that...the present format stays.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Boo7 said...

LOL Guy the early part of your post describes 3/4 of the clients I really IS a different world!!

You know I was just thinking it's funny how things from your immortal days can come back to kick you in the ass or slap you upside the head once you have crossed over into the mortal realm.....ahemmmmmm there were a few instances in my younger, foolish immortal years where the potential was there (or not very far away) to slip over that line into addictions.....and now I counsel them....a case of...there but for the grace of **something or other** go I.....

Now I just have a few "healthier" gadgets/electronics, pens....pretty much anything office supply store related....

1:51 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

I thought that you, Casper and I showed much restraint when we cut the beers off at 1 am, Guy! :-0
The way we were going we could have easily made it until 8 am.

5:13 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Boo, it's Christmas. You should take all your clients out for a drink. It'll give them something to talk about for the next year.

Gearhead, I'm laughing my ass off over Casper, great name and I wish I could share the story with the rest of the readers... His eyes were rolling and I needed him to be in top form the next day so I cut him some slack. You would have stayed up all night with my computerized microscope had I let you.

7:38 PM  

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