We head to a different bar, with an island theme. A bartender with a yellow lay collaring his neck says aloha and asks us what we’re drinking. My father says Johnnie Walker Black double. When my father asks me what I want to drink, I hear myself saying Stoli and soda. He doesn’t seemed surprised or fazed by my order, nor do I. It seems normal, like something I’ve been doing all along, or would inevitably start doing at some point.
And just like that, after almost three years, I am drinking again.
I had forgotten the false yet exquisite sense of ease that came with alcohol. All the noise in my head began to fade into a dim background. I was no longer walled in with the rabble, I was now on the fringes. There came a leveling that was akin to peace, even if it was a peace fretted with worry about losing that peace. It was a peace whose thorny bedfellow was anxiety.
People have called it the glow, the click, the hum, and for every abnormal drinker, for every addict, you are willing to trade in everything for what amounts to a rigged facsimile of eternity. It is the sort of false eternity that swindles and seduces and you are happy to be swindled and seduced, to yield to the Salome of promises, to indulge the fatal basking which harbors a tunnel at the end of the light. And so, yes, Jung was right when he said, “Addicts are frustrated mystics,” because the innate desire, the heartcave hunger is to commune with God, to connect with something bigger and purer and truer and deeper than what you know or what you have experienced, to connect with Other and live deeply warm and worry-free inside a dream, to cover impossible distances in the shortest, quickest, easiest manner possible. Addicts have a hard time taking the slow road to heaven. And busying oneself with the impossible is one way of protesting reality.
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