What’s the difference between victory and defeat in the grand, ol’ game of life?
A good, strong drink.
Vesper Martini’s are my preference. Two shots of gin, maybe 2/3 of a shot of vodka (just enough to temper the Juniper in the gin), a tiny splash of Lillet Blanc (Churchill believed waving your martini in the direction of France was more than enough Vermouth), and the most delicate, tiny teardrop twist of lemon peel.
Liquid coping, let’s call it.
I had a personal revelation recently:
I hate people.
Except, that’s no revelation. For the vast majority of my adult life, I could have told you that. However, when you ask why I teach, it’d be the exact opposite.
No, instead you’d receive something dreamy and altruistic about people having so much potential and children are the future and I believe in making a difference and all that.
Do they have to be mutually exclusive?
My personal revelation was this: I HATE people so horrifyingly much because I do love people. I see potential, near infinite potential, in so many people. Even the shitbag ones who’ve given up. I just do.
I have very high standards for other people. I don’t know why. I think it’s that my folks almost always had high standards for me, and, when I worked toward meeting them, I usually wound up saying to myself, “That wasn’t so hard,” or, “Man, that didn’t hurt nearly as much as I expected.”
So why do so few, relatively speaking, bother to decent to each other? Why don’t they comport themselves like respectful grown-ups? Why can they not even be bothered to TRY, for gods’ sake?
That’s why I drink, I think. I mean, I DO like the taste and I do like the social component and it’s certainly given me something to do since I lack pretty much any other hobbies…
…but, yeah, the daily, relentless despair emanating from the bulk of humanity. That might be the number one reason, anyway.
Since becoming a teacher at an alternative high school, this urge to drink hasn’t really slacked off in any regard. May have intensified slightly.
In college, a student (and friend, although I didn’t know he did this) used to refer to me as a “sad clown.” Clown because, as I’ve been for the bulk of my life, I like to joke… a lot… like to an unhealthy degree. I detest people who take themselves too seriously and would never be caught being one. I enjoy making people laugh and making people happy. I was also very, very drunk in college. I suppose it must’ve shown in my eyes or the cynical remarks I’d often make while inebriated, but I became “sad clown” to this guy (MarTron, for anyone who knows me from those days).
I think I’m fated to be the sad clown for some time, although I’ve gotten much better at staying relatively sober in public and keeping my more depressing thoughts buried in my (admittedly, grotesque and awe-inspiring hellscape of an) inner psyche.
I hate to admit it, and maybe it speaks to my all-or-nothing habits, my bi-polar person, my hot and cold and intense and apathetic and terribly happy then utterly depressed self, but I observe:
-Humans being capable of inhuman goodness and unspeakable cruelty (and can keep straight that these are people, not angels and devils [literally]);
-Life is beautiful and life is shit;
-We should take every day so seriously and HAVE them to the utmost, yet it’s all a goofy, nonsensical farce;
-Life is pointless;
-Life is EVERYTHING;
-Life is a joke and a game and a bullshit deal and the greatest gift.
I don’t know where all of this is going, but I do follow a (beer-related) blog called This is Why I Drink and I finally felt like writing my own. Not over market conditions or trade practices or even, joy of joys, beer itself.
I drink because there world is beautiful and people are capable of amazing, wonderful things.
But it isn’t and they don’t, at least not nearly enough.
Why do you drink?
Don’t bullshit me now; sad clown can tell.