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tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

February 23, 2008

drunks are friends with drunks and none of them will listen

photo by K. Hawkins

Glenn is a drinker. He is a great carpenter as well. His friend (we’ll call him Brad) came to town to DJ a party and decided it was time to dry out. I’m down with a bumb wing, so Brad showed up to work in my place but couldn’t even hold a shovel he was shaking so bad.

“Take me back to your place,” Brad said to Glenn. “And go up and hide all your booze.”

“No way,” Glenn said. “I’m not trying to quit. Lay down in the car till I’m done working.”

Later as Glenn told me the story he said, “Brad’s the kind of guy you’d find chugging the bottle of blueberry liqueur at 9 in the morning if that was all he could get. I have too much alcohol to hide anyway. So he stayed in the car.”

For most of my life I’ve hung around people who drank a lot more than I did so I could always point to them when people told me I drank too much. An interesting bit of psychology. One of the first people I knew who could drink more than anyone was Ken Hawkins. They say that’s an early sign of alcoholism. Ken sent me the photo above.

It tells a complex story. The Holy Sacrament of alcohol, a human ritual of bonding that is also bullet, part of the liturgy that will kill. Then there is the little plastic chip that is the Eucharist of a new church. The congregation at the bar on Friday night has always felt the oppression of the congregation that gathers in Church on Sunday. A black covered book that says we can’t control anything but demands we control ourselves. There’s a lot going on in that picture.

I don’t know what to say. I could have done a lot of things if I wasn’t drunk so much. But I enjoyed the hell out of being drunk so much. So there it is. We’re monsters.

art on the wall at California College of Art

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