Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Portrait of the artist as a young drunk.
Hoarding my energy like a miser, like an anal-rentive.
Ain't much left after the mammoth drunks, sexual excesses, and (dare one confess it?) a little slug of Listerine when the liquor runs out.
So it is small wonder that at the old liver seems shot, my left thigh is seized and I am like Leonard Cohen watching loons go insane in the middle of the lake. Three score and ten, and I keep scoring cigraretttes, with the sure knowledge that most people don"t smoke enough.
Jaysus. I have been living like a young gaffer all these years and here at the biblical age where it should all stop, I can't seem to stop anything. Friend once described me as a basically dull guy, but cranked up on these drugs, legal and illegal, one is like a balloon with the end undone. Whoosh. Excitement.
This, of course, can't go on.
There is a heaviness from the gin. A trembling of the hands unless a drink is forhcoming. Sitting in restaurants, drinking all alone, the staff wondering what the hell you're doing there. Never mind that you are waiting to meet sombody. He's lush too.
It all started in the Air Force where alcoholism is a high calling and you could whistle down a whole pint before even burping.
Spoiled we were in a co-ed setting where air controllers were apalled to find airmen and airwomen having sex atop the heigh-finder console and worse. Radar rooms were dark and all sorts of shenanigans would go on there.
I exaggerate. (Well, just a little). You could be charged for having sex atop the height-finder console. "Conduct unbecoming of an airman".--Well I guess so!
So it is small wonder that I refuse to mellow with age; youth had been too much fun and it's hard to slow down, even though
the old bones creak and there is now a drip to one's whisle and the liver a bit loggy. Peter Pan but in the worst way.
Airborne in a different way. And no stranger to Captain Hook (Women's Division).
There was a period of settling down, of marriage, children, mortgage.
Ah, poor Dagwood Bumstead.
I would chide my seven-year-old son: "You are so immature."
But it was the old man who never grew up and the practice of writing made one even more child-like to the point of childishness.
My own childhood was quite horrible (Oliver Twist scale) and this is probably why I had resfused to mature, but there comes a time when the excesses have to stop, your body tells you to stop and yout know for sure that you are in the cliche of "death is nature's way of telling you to slow down."
So when the old heart starts to palpitate, when the stomach is constantly upset and and the teeth start going awol one by one, it does signal a red light, red lights all over the place, telling you to slow down or else.
So now as the literary opportunities come up, I say "Well, there goes another opportunity", and when the drinking buddy calls you tell him or her that you are soggy and hard to light and could he take a rain check..
Oh how hard to keep up with Flaubert's motto: "Live quiet and bourgeois so you can write like a lion at night."
Well, I've been living "quiet and bourgeous" but writing is hard.
You ever try it? It's impossible.