Monday, April 25, 2011

Tasting Notes: On the Wagon

Ever since the first time I woke up in a pool of my own vomit, I've known drinking was for me. I was to join the ranks of hardened men and women who sat at the ends of bars as dead as their lives, chain smoking Marlboro Reds and swilling Gilbey's Gin. This was my future ilk. Each one of my neighbor's mother's Coors Light I stole and chugged put me that much closer towards my destiny. Every shot of 151, another step on the path.

I've had some good times drinking. I've even had some bad times. I've had a lot of bad times the day after drinking. Heavily. All this being said, this April I took a break from the sauce, not knowing if I would find something, miss it, care, or anything really. Sometimes you just know you should take a break.

Now, don't let this lead you to believe that I'm a drunk or anything, or that I had to intervene on my own party. No way. More that I work in a bar, and it's good to know where you and your vices stand. Is it an amiable relationship, or is it destructive; Paul and Linda or Ike and Tina? I thought going into the month that I would really miss my shift beer at work. There is something about that first sip of a beer after you've busted your ass on the line that is truly special, much like a large belch after a fine meal, only more refreshing and lacking humidity.

What I found surprising was—it didn't really matter. I did, once, strictly out of habit, order a drink during brunch. A greyhound. I took a sip, the vodka lighting up my mouth up like Clark Griswold's house, and I remembered that I wasn't to do that. I passed the tasty beverage over to Blackberry Shortcake, and resumed my drinking of virgin grapefruit juice. It didn't matter.

May is back, and with it the alcohol. I have put some time in reflecting on this month of sobriety, and found that if I ever was to walk away from delicious libations, I would probably be okay. However, I do not generally believe in placing such longterm limitations on oneself, and would probably always allow for the enjoyment of Scotch or good beer and wine on a special occasion, like a wedding, a feast in my honor, or a Saturday.

I saved some money by not drinking, yet had to give that to the city for speeding on Lamar like a dumbass. I didn't lose any weight, nor did I drink soda to compensate or start huffing computer cleaner. I drank a billion Topo Chicos. I continue to swill them with abandon. All in all though, I felt good. Clear head, deep, dark dreams, a little more energy, and I ate more. I think I was replacing a good amount of my calorie intake with beer rather than food prior to the month off.

I do recommend this practice to you all, even if it is just once in a while. Just to remember that you can. To see that you don't have to drink when you go out to have a good time. In fact, if you're not drinking, and everyone else is, trust me, you'll have a great time. People are dumb when they're drunk and dumb people do funny things they won't remember, but you will. These are good odds.

As I sit here, drinking this fine IPA, I feel good knowing that at anytime I could close up shop, and move on. Chances are, however, that that won't happen and the bottle and I will live happily ever after in a castle on a hill surrounded by a magical forest of liquid delights. Cheers!

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