Despite what you might surmise from the content on this website, I’m not an alcoholic. Thankfully, I don’t possess an addictive personality. But I have, at various times in the past, used booze to substitute for happiness, companionship, success, love, and acceptance, and at other times used it to alleviate feelings of boredom, despair, rage, and self-loathing. So while not an addict, I have in the clinical sense “abused” booze (aboozing for short, copyright BKK7) from time to time. Oddly enough, I never pursued said vice in the traditional way—namely, in dive bars. LA is chock full of such establishments, and provide many a romantic setting for a writer/drinker to wax dramatic while under the influence. Your Bukowskis, your Burroughs’s, your Hunter Thompsons. I’d’ve been well within my rights to have made a stool in the local bar (it was called The Blarney Stone) my second home. But I never darkened the doors of a place like that—ever. Instead, I chose to drink in the most unassuming places. Denny’s was a favorite. Also the open road. It was easy to tuck oneself into the winding roads of Malibu Canyon and Mulholland with a Cuban cigar trailing ash out the window and a bottle of Bordeaux between my legs. It’s the same today. Though I no longer drive anywhere, I still avoid regular bars. Now, however, I do so because gogo bars are much more entertaining. But I digress. Here’s this week’s frowback, another chapter from the disintegration of my last Western relationship and the copious accompanying (accopioning for short, copyright BKK7) amounts of wine.
“Tuesday, December 19, 2006 Current mood: ambivalent
Be careful what you wish for
I’ve just poured a bottle of Saintsbury Pinot Noir down the sink. It wasn’t spoiled. It tasted just as it should. And that’s the problem.
The last few months I’ve been able to afford Viader. Showket. Caymus. Which basically means, I’m screwed. The average wine snob knows what these names mean. My tastes have graduated from $25 dollar bottles of wine to $90 dollar bottles of wine, and on my salary, that’s enough to reduce me to tears. Sweet, delicious tears.
It’s true what they say. Be careful what you wish for. The have-nots don’t know just how fucking good they have it—not. To be without means there is something to hope for. When I was young and without the touch of a beautiful woman, all I wanted was. . .you guessed it—the touch of a beautiful woman. Now that I have it, I’m trapped by a tidal wave of curses that go hand-in-hand with the package. When someone begins to matter, it means everything she does or doesn’t do has the potential to cause harm. It means that her absence is a greater void, a deeper crater than the desert that was there before she arrived. When I was broke, all I wanted was a better wine. Now that I have it, I’m unable to settle for anything less than the best wine. I long for the days when I was pleased by a pinot under twenty bucks. Damn my palate, and the divine intoxicants that now pile up in my cellar. And the crème de la crème, the cherry on the sundae, the thing that brings it all crashing down: I have discovered a website that will publish my unseen work at no charge. All I’ve wanted to do before I die, for the last decade, is to make my work available to the public. Well, in one afternoon I was able to upload, typeset, and publish my first novel and put it up for sale. So at this moment, there is an overwhelming question before me—what exactly am I living for now?
I’ve spent the last eight months in the company of the most beautiful woman I’ve ever touched with my cursed hands. I’ve felt her body beneath me, felt original sin, stared into the supernova created by her embrace, tasted a bliss I thought I would never know (and know I don’t deserve, even as I write it down). I have felt the period at the end of the last sentence of a work of art from my own hand. Have heard the crescendo of fruition in my soul as a story is laid to rest. Have known the reckoning of it revealed to the world. So now I must ask. What else is there?
There’s nowhere to go but down. Nothing to be but disappointed. I place no value in wealth or fame. Such things would wither me like a parched sunflower. Nothing left for the girl to do but break me like water against a beach. Nothing left for my readers to do but be nonplussed. Yet there is a glimmer. A jewel in the mud. And that is the wine.
There is always Petrus. Screaming Eagle. Could it be as simple as that? As my life, my goals, my purpose whittled down to a single pursuit? The best bottle of wine? And should I be depressed at that thought? I’m ambivalent. Certainly there are other beautiful women to be wooed. There are even more words to write (and I suppose I’m proving that right now) but it pales, it fades, it dulls like a drunken memory. But the wine, the imbibing is itself a reason. . .why did that make me think of vampires?
I feel as though I’m sinking. Beneath a surface, beneath a weight. Beneath a truth that refuses to make itself known. The credit card bill keeps growing, under the tremulous fingers of a—dare I say it—hopeful being. Hope. The word makes me shudder. I hate it, as I hate myself, as I hate every sunrise and sunset that I soak up like a masochistic torture victim. I am writhing in a self-imposed purgatory. I have no one to blame but myself. And the girl. And the goddam wine.
This too shall pass, though, isn’t that right? There will be something else to take the place of the image of the thing that will fill the void, now that the void is filled. There must be. There must be a new horizon, an unfulfilled dream, a craving longing to be satiated. Because if there isn’t, I just might lose my mind. The wine coats the senses like a heavy blanket. Pulling a shroud over this dusk. Calling forth a new dream, a dream unconceived. A cynic unconvinced. I cork another bottle. A hundred dollars down the gullet. It’s better than a prescription. It’s self-diagnosed, this neurosis. Doctor, give me the news. A cure for what ails. A balm for this affliction. To get what I’ve asked for.”
Two crushing truths were driven home to me at the time of writing the lamentation above. First, I got the girl. Despite the flaws in the relationship, the cracks in the veneer, the dark truth of destruction behind the afterglow of her naked flesh, I had her. She was mine, if only sporadically. At the same time, I completed my only true life goal—finishing my first (and so far only) novel. I should have felt complete. Instead, I was overcome with dread. The fact that I could no longer enjoy cheap wine because life had gotten too good only punctuated the inevitable fall to come. And come it did, and my life would’ve ended there except that I found a little-known escape hatch labeled “Thailand” and bailed out completely. Now I live in a dream world where my past is just a re-posted blog on my website. Thank Buddha for that. Swing by on Sunday for the weekly, and cheers to another week above ground in Paradise. Peace out.