This seems to be this biggest source of contention with my readers on the blog these days – my drinking of my nightly sunset brews. I have received more well intentioned advice and concern on this subject than more than anything in years. I am trying to emulate the homeless Albert Vanderburg's nightly routine on Waikiki beach of this same ritual. If you’ve known me for long, then you know I love rituals and routines. I also tend to romanticize the homeless lifestyle, and this routine seems so masculine, worldly, and helplessly homelessly romantic to me. George will love reading about it in the blog posts I am mailing him each day. He will live vicariously through my words and I have him in mind many nights when I drink them. We both lived a pseudo homeless existence for the time we hung out down at the shopping center years ago every day.
I try to tell myself that at the height of my drinking career, I was drinking 24 beers a day and that my drinking now is entirely mild compared to then. I am not concerned at all. I would basically crack open a beer back then when I awoke and would go to bed with an open beer on my night stand. Maybe I am in denial, but two beers a night is a far cry from my olden days. I was a miserable human being then. Terribly disturbed mentally and emotionally. The only time I have been happy and a heavier drinker was when I was hanging out with George and the gang down at the Piggly Wiggly everyday. George could be a bad influence on me in those regards and most mornings would find us drinking ice beer as we talked, smoked cigars, and would shoot the shit as George like to say for hours. I was a happy social drinker then. Not the solitary “alcoholic” who sat at home drinking 24 beers a day in pain. Or that sad individual who was grasping in pain at absolution by drinking mouthwash when my father cut the money off and gained power of attorney over me. I realize now most of my drinking resulted from a experience of a supreme feeling of hurt, guilt, and despair. Now? I like to have a drink to feel good and enjoy myself. Not subdue all that distress I was experiencing.
Where will this lead me? Only time will tell. Some could say I am playing with fire. I feel I am just being a pretty average Joe drinking a few beers after a hard day’s work.
One thing I am learning lately, though, is to take chances and be aggressive with my life and behavior. This also means living with gusto and doing things that make me feel good. For years, I have sat quietly at home, cocooned in safety, bored to tears, and acquiescing to my parent’s biddings of how I should live my life. Now? I am taking risks by returning to work. By flirting with women at work when my social anxieties scream in retaliation. By starting my own business when the odds of success are stacked against me due to my disability and my anxiety issues. I feel as if I have awoken from some deep strange nightmare like some modern day Rip Van Winkle. Like I wrote the other day, I better get busy living instead of dying. And I was slowly dying emotionally and mentally in my previous life just a short few weeks ago and I was sober as a judge.
My thoughts often turn back to Kevin “The Homeless Guy” Barbieux and his life’s experiences he wrote about on his blog for years. He’s brilliantly smart, but he doesn’t take chances or risks. He won’t work a regular job saying it depresses him. I am finding work the exact opposite. It is invigorating. This “depression” has kept him homeless for most of his adult life – safely sleeping in rescue missions and using the Internet all day. He will claim it is a hard life being homeless always playing the victim, but it’s not that bad I learned from my own experiences. It was cold, but you have zero responsibility and your pretty much get to do what you want when you want to. How bad can spending all day on the Internet be and not having to work?
We were a lot alike until I decided I no longer wanted be that sick dependent victim. I had to assert myself and take chances. I had to think out of the box and it has been extremely uncomfortable for me to do in a way. I am pushing boundaries and testing limits. I was miserable, but I had everything to make life existential as far as the basics were concerned. A home. A car. Nutritious food. Dubious if adequate mental healthcare. All my financial affairs were handled by my father. My bills were paid for me. What was lacking is that I wasn’t living. I was just existing. I think Mr. Barbieux has fallen into this trap for most of his life. He’s just existing like he has done for most of his adult existence. I don’t want to seem overly harsh in my criticism of him, but I’ve often used him as my Atlas Marker for how not to live life. I’ve learned a lot from following him on the Internet over the years. You can play the sick victim and be the valiant sociopolitical and religious Internet critic, but it isn’t going to pay the bills and it certainly isn’t going to do much for your self esteem or emotional wellbeing when all is said and done. You just end up some lonely guy sitting in a McDonald’s with a laptop railing against society, government, and Christianity.
Well, it is 2am and I am writing yet another long blog post having driven over to get my six diet Cokes and they invigorated me. I often like to write the most early in the morning as I smoke and drink my nightly Cokes mom puts out for me. I better get on the couch, get some sleep, and get ready for work in the morning. I am excited about starting a new week. I keep telling myself that if I can make it through working for 30 days then I will have made a healthy habit out of it. Please wish me luck! I need your help and encouragement. I know I’ve written a positive blog this past week, but it’s been a hard row to hoe for me. I am really pushing the envelope as far as my abilities are concerned. My life has taken on a complete upheaval in just two weeks time. And it feels good despite all the discomfort and pain caused by changing my life so drastically so suddenly. Good night.