Purchasing beer at 11am on a workday can easily be seen as an obvious sign of functioning alcoholism. But I'm fortunate enough to work with a bunch of wily unwashed rascals who like myself aren't interested in such self critical introspection.
Damn sure not in the middle of a Sunday lunch rush anyhow.
Slinging sandwiches, Gatorade, and iced tea to the hungover unshackled beasts of Chicago was nothing glamorous, but it was an honest trade. At least there was that. I walked down the line of fellow slingers distributing a can to each of them. I didn't bother to ask if anyone wanted a beer. I've never been a fan of redundancy. There's something inherently sweet about cracking open a can. Something all the sweeter cracking it open before noon.
It was a killer crew for a Sunday. There must be a special kind of crazy that brings people such as these
together. While none of us exactly make sense- we acknowledge and accept the
chaos in each other. There was Stevie-Shirt-Sleeve who was jacked to 11 about the release of the new Stereo-Noggin album. In an act of unbridled generosity, he refrained from playing it until I'd left for the day. KC Mary, a beautiful young musician from midwestern parts unknown. She was a 10-Time Cow Tipping State Champion, but claimed to have lost her passion for the sport. Samuri Kahn, an albino ninja renegade whose dwarfing height and gentle spirit have saved him from more bloodshed than his skill with the blade. The Metal Pedal Kid and Papa Billy Goatee- two brothers from Mexico who had to flee across the border when their 2-car garage meth operation attracted unwanted attention from local authorities. Nobody made a better tray of banana chocolate chip cookies. And of course Birdie McSuds, an Irish dishwashing queen who drank her scotch cut with vodka and liked her 90s jams cranked as high as the speakers would allow. It's a Wild Bunch to be sure, but I like to think we look out for each other. It wasn't 30 minutes later Stevie-Shirt-Sleeve stepped out to grab another cold-6 for the crew. He was sure to pop one for me without question or comment. A classy fuckin move if I do say so myself.
This is how day-drunk happens.
Few luxuries are as relaxing as enjoying a cold beer while taking a hot shower. I learned this 11 years ago and still continue the practice to this day. In all that time I've never dropped a bottle, knocked one off the shelf, or let it slip out of my fingers. Stands to reason I was long overdue. I saw the bottle drop just in time to smoothly exit the shower, stepping to the right and over the side of the tub negotiating the shower curtain without slipping or stumbling- this all occured in a fraction of a second. The half sigh of relief was cut by the sound of the beer bottle shattering in the empty tub and scattering bits of brown glass all over as the water continued to run. I hadn't even had time to soap up and immediately began toweling off thinking how much worse this could have been. I knew I had to clean this up, AND I knew I had to do it before my girlfriend woke up from her nap.
This was a college style dumbass white-boy-wasted move right here.
She hadn't woken up (THANK FUCK) she can sleep through anything- but she COULD still wake up and walk in any minute to find me naked, half soaked, sweeping shards of glass into a neat pile in the middle of the tub. While I needed to avoid this at all costs- I still went to the fridge, opened another beer and took a long pull before I began any cleaning. I reasoned that if I didn't immediately do this before cleaning up the mess...it would mean that the shower had won. The whole stupid embarrassing mess had taken about 10 minutes but was still a lousy interruption into a pleasant afternoon drunk.
After what did end up being a very relaxing shower, I remembered that it was Mother's Day and I should give Mom a ring. Nobody personified high functioning alcoholism quite like my mother, and if anyone would get a giggle out of the story- it'd be her. The one lesson I suppose I took away from the ordeal was that it may be time to switch to cans. -JN