Ten Things I Learned From Not Drinking for Ten Days
A greater understanding of the often incomprehensible surliness most bartenders express.
I have used drinking as an excuse to eat like shit. I am perfectly capable of eating tacos and/or pizza rolls in sobriety (or when not drinking, more accurately) in bed or in a parking lot at 3 am.
People are annoying as fuck. This cannot be understated.
As long as I get a cold drink of any kind imma be good.
Austin revolves around drinking…which I guess is not really a huge revelation.
More of my anxiety reduction in social settings comes from alcohol.
Dancing is still fucking awesome when y’aint drunk. If the music is good.
It’s made me feel a lot classier and more together than i’d have imagined or imagined giving a shit about.
I probably have a substance abuse problem! Again with the ‘where is the revelation.’
what it is
I so meant to be the kind of person that manages to throw together an end-of-the-year wrap up of sorts, trying to contextualize what I’ve learned and what I’m putting behind me. But it just didn’t happen. Possibly because my birthday rolled into generalized holiday debauchery, followed by a merry kegmas followed by a happy drugmas and an out-of-hand new year’s eve at my house.
And just when you thought it was safe to roll into some kind of new-year-resolute sobriety, every single venue of any repute wants to get in on Free Week, which started on January 1st. Of all the frickin nerve.
I don’t quite know what it is, but 28 and 2010 feel terribly auspicious. The year ended on a very high, if very sloppy note. Is my car, life or body fixed? Um yeah, not quite yet. But I have at last moved past the dispute with my best friend that so thoroughly discolored the majority of this year. Oops, make that last year. I am still tempted to let the despair of everything in my life feeling so not okay overwhelm me. But then I remember! That’s last year’s tiredass story.
Also keeping me way up in the clouds is an anonymous angel I have come to refer to as ‘The Black Envelopist.’ I just nerdily searched through my December tweets to try and get a nail on exactly these mysteries started dropping into my lap. Sometime in December shall we say, I got a small black envelope with no return address. Inside was a card, with a sort of collaged cover and the phrase “I do not think that they will sing to me,” followed by an inside page with several clues to certain words and lines. A little iinternet research revealed that the line was from TS Eliot’s ‘Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,’ so I put together the corresponding lines/words and voila! A question! And an email address!
The answer was clear. Whoever this was and whatever their motivation for asking me to play this game, OF COURSE I wanted to play it. There have since been several emails, one other black envelope, two trips to obscure yet familiar locales for clue-chasing and an incalculable collection of moments of complete, giggly wonder. Knowing who this person IS is secondary to the delight the game is bringing me. And the second layer of the game is obviously reading VOLUMES into the smirkful denials of my lead suspects. Hey, it’s not like I can divorce myself from my inherent and cat-like curiosity.
Anyway. That’s the jam that’s taking my life over right now and seems by far the likeliest thing that’s gonna muse me into a new phase of inspiration and motivation. If you’re reading this, my Black Envelopist, YOU RULE.
this brings me back
Link-jumping and the powers of visually associative memory are things I take for granted in my day to day life, most certainly. What would a day be without them any more? But having link-hopped (from to the blog of awesomely talented Athertonlin) to Wild Combination director Matt Wolf I discovered on the second page a hauntingly familiar image - actor and editor Jim Lyons.
Background…I feel so lucky to have had expanded satellite in my house as a young queer youth (bear with me, I know TV is evil!). MAINLY for the fact that in the month of June, the first month of summer vacation, was pride month on Sundance and they would show a several queer films every day. Not seminal stuff (disclosure: I hated Beautiful Thing as a teen, dunno if I still would now though), WEIRD STUFF. I saw a lot of badass movies on the Sundance Channel…and I seriously hope it exists because it is a grate indie film gateway experience. Some of the weirdest/disturbingest/most titillating starred Jim Lyons. I speak in particular of Poison and Postcards from America.
I love that he was actually queer and not just an actor…you can here about his life and death and rememberances of people who worked with him here many of whom are mad respected in the queer/indie cinema worlds (yes, they do come together!).
What intrigues most about Post Cards from America (besides the narrative fragmentation and detached beauty) is that it’s based on the biographical writings of David Wojnarowicz, who is probably the most influential queer creator next to Tom Spanbauer in my life. But I didn’t learn anything about DW until a few years after I moved to Austin and the Radical New York show came to AMOA. I was on fire with all the amazing art and my non-stop-love-affair with New York in the 70s. But something about Wojnarowicz’s work struck a powerful cord in me. Beyond photography, beyond his use of Rimbaud’s face; something about it made me feel what great art makes you feel. That adrenal tingle. The interconnectivity of the universe.
I really look forward to discovering some thing Wojnarowicz’s writing one of these days. But for now, I’m going to see if somewhere somehow I still have Post Cards from America, taped on VHS from Sundance during my high school years.