Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Drink Sabbatical

Every year for the past few years, on January 1st I stop drinking for a while. A while being a varying period of time usually lasting from January to April or May. This is not like a drinker's normally stopping drinking, i.e, I stopped drinking for the night when I switched from hard liquor to beer, cause beer is like soda, no, this is a complete stoppage of the imbibing of all fermented, aged, distilled and or mixed together in a bucket beverages until such time as it's spring. And oddly my nickname is Bartender. Go figure.

A few years ago I had an accident on New Years Day, around 2am. I woke up January 1 in the hospital. I woke up January 2nd in the Intensive Care Unit. My understanding is that I just missed dying. Just.

Shade (a new addition to dis blog) drove two hours and snuck into the hospital to visit me. She drove two hours, stayed I guess and hour and then drove two hours back. But that's a whole different story.

You might think this prompted my getting out, doing more, but in reality it made me think harder about slowing down a bit, about taking the time to stop gallivanting in the streets and see what else was out there. I was already out and about five nights a week, jeez! Maybe this is all a dream and I'm still lying in that bed in ICU. And if that's the case I need a pillow.

Not tipping for four or five months is probably as close to empty as I can get, but I'll usually have one drink during my dry months at some point, but only one...usually at the behest of a beautiful woman. Sporty and I went to La Grotta during this period once, so we split a bottle of wine. At a party this chick I had always liked in brought her own ingredients to make me a pomegranate martini, so I had one. But other than that, no beer, no wine, no drink of any kind. Not even rum cake.

You would not believe the difference a drink makes.

Sometimes it's psychological. One drink hardly has any effect at all, but the idea of one drink is powerful. At a party or social event I feel more comfortable with a drink in my hand, sometimes even if the glass has been empty for a hour. It makes me more social, more talkative. It's like a license to be a little off.

Sometimes alcohol really does make you ten feet tall and bulletproof. It's why I got a phone number or two, I can't lie. It's why I've walked into a party house at I'd never been to like I owned it, not knowing a soul, and meeting some fantastic folks. I mean, they didn't throw me out, how bad could they be?

And I'm more observant stone sober, less forgiving. I'm more apt to leave a boring function early, whereas a drink or two might have encouraged me to wait it out (and some of the most interesting things happen after a good wait).

One of my partners just celebrated 2 years off the sauce, not that he had a problem, he just decided to quit. I'm not sure if I could ever do that. Everything in moderation, including moderation. Usually he and I hang out a lot more during this time.

So how long this time? Don't know. So how many more times? Don't know that either. But it's all gravy baby...and I got the gig.

Barkeep, red koolaid. What do you mean Cherry or Tropical Punch? I said RED koolaid!

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