Saturday, February 9, 2008

The story of a drunk told through a couple of songs 2

(REM What's the Frequency Kenneth?)

If the walk to the car was bad, then the car itself was the last level of hell. All he could see in his mind was a glass of water and some nice pieces of ice. He could see his hand going to one of them fancy refrigerators with the stainless steel doors and that hole where ice and cold water are dispensed. His Honda accord would take a while before it would produce the nice cold air conditioning that his chest, back and head longed for. In fact it would punish him first with a blast of stale hot air accumulated all morning. It wasn't till this point that he noticed that he had walked out of the house in his sandals. As he looked down the sweat was beading up on his forehead. A whole bottle of vodka and all that beer before hand, now how had that happened? Just then the air conditioner started to give hints of crisp cold air. The radio starts up with the electric guitar and the voice of Michael Stipes asking Kenneth about the frequency.
The drive was that of a typical shitty day. Every red light between the apartment and the beer store was caught by our hurting subject. The only solace was that the AC was good, he could wait. Once at the store he remembered it was Saturday so obviously every fucker turning 21 on this day or having a get together at his house was buying his imports. Corona, Heineken, Dos Equis, Guinness. This just made the super-lifers existence, like Aramis, a real plump painful pimple on the ass. He was there to get what he needed, not what he needed to impress some guest. Of course he wasn't at the liquor store yet he was at his first red light out of 6, but already he was getting agitated. He wasn't really like this; all he needed was a nice cold vodka on the rocks to cool him down. Just thinking of the nice drink calmed down the agitation in his mind and butterflies started in his stomach. It was almost like falling in love for the first time. The fix would save him from the collections agency from last night that pretty soon would be knocking on his forehead in the form of a vengeful hangover.
His worst fears are true when he pulls into the parking lot. There seems to be a lot of cars, more than during the week. He hated going into the beer store like this. He knew how he looked. He looked like a boozer who needed a drink. He only imagined how he smelled to the people present. When liquor is consumed in vast quantities it sort of starts to become a part of your scent. Your pours start to recycle liquor.
-Fucking yuppies.
Aramis couldn't stand them. All of them look exactly the same or they try to look exactly the same. They try to look as if they are a typical beer commercial. All of them walking around with their fake bakes, with their Gucci sun glasses and gap shirts made for the weekend wear. It made him sick to his stomach and in the current condition he could not afford additional pain to his body that longed for the true, sweet, loving and sincere lies of alcohol. It would cure it all away and these yuppies would not be pissing him off so much, in fact they would not matter.
His moves and turns were automatic. Fourth isle on the right side second shelf was where they kept the vodka. Nice, clear and inviting. Then it was a short trip a couple of isles down to where the ice was. He usually didn't buy ice but he imagined that last night he used it all up. Of course with his luck he found himself waiting for a pair of yuppie chicks to make up their mind on how many bags of ice they would take. Geeze, they are fine as hell but this pisses him off. Aramis turns around and goes to where the tall boys are kept and picks up a six pack. He comes back and as if by art of magic the beautiful and stupid girls are gone. He grabs his ice and makes a dash for the counter.
Outside it's the same summer day with the sun beating down but now it's not so bad. Things are looking up. It was back to the apartment to think about what to do with this beautiful Saturday afternoon, alone or who to invite. Maybe he would invite some friends to entertain, just like the yuppies. Aramis was the son of a well off woman. So he couldn't hate the yuppies as much as he made out. His mom was a successful immigrant that wanted a better life for her son. She was as Christian as you can get; not the burn in hell godless heathen type, but the actual type, the ones that forgave to be forgiven. Aramis loved his mom, but loved his lifestyle more…
-Again! Why do you have to bring up old shit?
He knows what he was doing to his mom, and he couldn't stand to see her heart break, but he wanted to live on his own terms. His mom kept on giving him money after he had left home. After he quit calling she kept depositing money in his bank account. He drank more liquor to drown out that feeling of being an ungrateful bastard. At the last red light and he was already feeling sorry for himself and was thinking twice about drinking up a storm this afternoon and into the night. Thoughts of his mother always hurt him. There is a lot of love mixed in with resentments and hate. It's a subject that he has put off for so long that he is not about to sit down right now with pen and paper and try to sort it out. There was no question about it, of course some day he would have to face these problems, but for now he was going to have some drinks and forget everything. It would be a night alone. The thoughts of his mother have shot down his social ability for the night. He needed a shower and a nice tall boy to ease him in for the remainder of the afternoon. Last night would not be paid for in puke and head aches today, maybe the next morning. Maybe. That depended on if he would go and do the same ordeal as today.
-Mr. sandman …bring me a dream…make her the cutest I have ever seen …I don't know about that lots of wavy hair like Liberace line. Kinda gay, won't sing that part.
The song had returned in a different tone to his mind. Indeed the sandman had returned and there was a dream to pass out tonight. There would be a dream, alcohol induced.

The story of a drunk told through a couple of songs

(Mr. Sandman The Cordettes)

-The guy who is all serious and with his eyes closed, that's me. I always remembered that song from the fifties. The Cordettes. I must have heard it while flipping through the radio. I was into the Beatles, but only the Beatles. The song was catchy but it was not anything I would admit to listening to while my friends were around. Regardless of what I thought it was not a simple pine box that they would put me in. It was more than I expected. I finally got that dream that I asked the sandman for. This dream won't ever end. Just how I wanted it. No one crying, no one making a big drama of it. I look more pale than usual but that's ok. My cheeks are rosy and the nose looks like I could be the head reindeer on Santa's sled. Of course my nose is red. I was the conductor on the RED NOSE EXPRESS. You got to be a drunk to laugh at that one. One final dream with a catchy tune and few folks to say good bye. Im so at piece, I'm serene. This is all I really wanted. Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream.
The Paul bearers carry the casket to the display area. In the casket is the drunk who bought the farm. They gently stop and open the casket and people start to walk by and take a look. People are not so much there to pay respect; they are there to make sure this pest is really dead; to look at a dead body, to be a tourist. It is not so much a funeral as much as a meeting place. They meet to discuss the pain, not of the departed but of the ass hole that made their lives a little more miserable than it should have been. Somehow there is pain that there won't be anymore pain. In the back room of this funeral home the secretary of the business has her clock radio playing softly the jumpy and bubbly tune of the Cordettes. No one seems to hear it. No one alive, that is. People look at the cadaver sit and chit chat about the everyday business. The dead has already been talked about during his life. During his ever present dieing life. Never living, just little by little dying.
-Don't bring that shit up…
The Cordettes finish the song and the attention is placed by all in the room towards a clock radio that does not play anything else. The music has stopped and now it is time to wake up. The sandman dream is over, and the hang over starts here.
Aramis looks up. There are a lot of shadows in his room. It's probably around mid day. Yep it is one in the PM. Good thing his AC hasn't died on him. The summer can be horrible at this time of the day. Especially if the night before assorted amounts of rot gut were part of the intake. The other thing that summer was brutal with was the light that shined through his bedroom window. In the summer the sunlight came right through the window and hit him dead in the face. During the winter there wasn't so much light since it was mostly overcast. To counter the dreaded sunlight some heavy winter blankets that are not used during summer are carefully placed over the window. No light just a bunch of shadows.
-Dreaming. Stupid song.
Aramis doesn't try to remember the night before. Its better not to. People get their feelings hurt when they find out they acted like total dumb ass. Pride can be a difficult father. A difficult dictator. Its better not to ask, not your self not anyone else. If he had made a complete ass of himself he would get the memo soon enough. Friends are nice to have until they start making fun of you or trying to control your life. They are friends, so you gotta deal with them.
There was no moral hangover up to this point maybe it was a night at home. This was getting frequent now. More and more just staying home, cheaper boos, no getting your ass kicked by fuckers you didn't know. Aramis was comfortable with this. The less he spent on other people the cheaper drinking got with him. It was a bitch ending up the night half buzzed and not having enough to close in the proper way. Proper closing consisted of having cab fare, having at least half a bottle but preferably a full one of vodka. A pack of smokes is essential and a well maintained Zippo lighter.
Cab fare is needed so you won't have to drive. The worst thing you want to do is drive when you're drunk. Not cause some dip shit might get hurt but because you don't want to get pulled over and wake up the next day in the drunk tank with some ass holes puke all over you. Worst of all with out a bottle of vodka to calm the shakes down. That is pain.
A full bottle of vodka is necessary preferably with that pouring spout. Usually when you want to close properly you want to have enough of the stuff and that's because when you get hammered your coordination gets thrown off. It's a professional hazard you know. So you are prone to spill a lot. You have some to spill and you have the spout that will prevent too much spillage. It is obvious that you're not going to chug the whole bottle so you don't want to spill the rest once you pass out. The rest will come in handy the next morning. Cigarettes are a must. Even if you don't smoke when you're sober. Keeps you moving and helps you hang in a little longer. The Zippo is not a fancy detail. You loose coordination so you want to have something that will light on the first strike IE the "well maintained Zippo" line.
-If only all the aspects of drinking were this easy to plan. There are other things such as the next morning. The next morning and having to face your pathetic life that you thought you had shed after a few shots at the same fucking bar you always go to. You would think that you would know that your setting yourself up for another illusion. But that's not my problem now. My problem right now is that I don't feel a moral hangover and I don't feel the physical one either. Which means more than likely that I am still more drunk than hung over. Hangovers don't just stop coming. They always come. They always collect. I don't feel the lousy heavy stomach, I don't feel the hot burning sensation in my bones, I haven't started to shake, but make no mistake…last night wont be forgiven. My problem right now is to find that bottle and hope to God that I didn't leave it on the floor pouring itself out. If I did then that means I gotta get out in that sun and go buy my fix. That is an ordeal in itself. My problem at the moment is getting a drink in my belly and taking a shower.
-The worst is when you get delirious and start to hear things and get all fucking jumpy and paranoid. People confuse you with a crack head, but my crack is legal, it's commonly called rot gut. All I can hear is that bullshit song MR. Sandman. It's in my head. Stupid fucking dream. Stupid song. What the fuck?
Someday I'm going to quit. Not today though. Not today. I'll be fine. All I need is a drink and a shower.
Aramis must be becoming a pro because the bottle is neatly on the table with the cap on top. Closed tight. There is a spur of hope for the situation at hand in the mind of Aramis. Then his eyes move slightly down. Yes the bottle is standing neatly on the table, the cap on it tightly closed but the bottle is empty. Maybe a full bottle is not enough, you might need two to close the night properly.
-Damn. Just my fucking luck. Now I gotta get down to the store and buy another bottle to cure myself. I hate the fucking store. FUCK.
Aramis puts on a light shirt and his jeans. He checks for his wallet and the sweat is already building up at his neck soon it will spread. He checks his pockets for some loose cash. It must have been a night in; he had quite a few dollars. More than enough for his fix. He finds his sunglasses and his keys and out he goes. The sun beats down like only in the south. It's not helping his state.