I need to stop drinking and I can’t. I get drunk every night, usually alone. Most nights it’s pretty harmless; I just play Xbox. Last night I walked down to the Cinco de Mayo DUI checkpoint on Sunset and started loudly fucking with cops. Eventually they circled up around me like a wall of beatdown and told me they were gonna book me for public intoxication. At the time I had courage, I was screaming a bunch of slogans I heard in youtube videos about Constitutional rights and am I being detained. In reality I was a loud asshole fucking with people trying to do their jobs, and was in fact publicly intoxicated, and probably in danger of running into traffic. Still. I did get one guy to not say shit and not blow into the breathalyzer and I got his wife to call a lawyer instead. He got a ticket, not a DUI, and they let him go. I saved him ten grand. Probably half of what he makes in a year. He will probably kill a child driving drunk now.
I couldn’t help myself, I was just infuriated. Drunk driving is bad but .08 is not fucking drunk. I could build a ship in a bottle while walking a tightrope at .08. Drunk driving is bad but drunk driving enforcement is about money, squeezing half of what a guy makes in a year out of him for crooked tow trucks and crooked impound lots and overtime for the 20 cops milling around on the sidewalk. Ten grand for having three beers on a Saturday night. More money to hire more cops who can go get more money; leverage the overblown terror that MADD put into everyone so the machine gets paid. These are the things I was yelling at huge angry police officers who were annoyed but tolerant, because I am white. “It’s all a scam the city just wants to take the citizens’ money!” “Okay dude but can you just move up a little on the sidewalk?” “THIS IS A PUBLIC SPACE, AM I BEING DETAINED? YOU THERE, DON’T SAY SHIT TO THE COPS. BUDDY, HOW DO I TELL HIM THAT IN SPANISH.”
At some point I went to the liquor store because the bottle of wine and pint of hobo brandy I’d put down weren’t enough. Got another pint, and went back to my house to drink it. I had planned on staying home quietly but I became consumed with moral outrage and went back to the checkpoint to yell some more. I ran into a bunch of Mexican teenagers and told them my plan. They laughed and said they couldn’t get away with that. Well like a shark told me once, I said, it is Great to be White. They laughed. How do I not get my ass kicked.
The cops had had enough and they circled up and I was about to yell some more so I’d get booked, because fuck the pigs and etc., but I just kind of deflated and walked home. My neighbor was out walking his dogs. The nicest guy you will ever meet. I started asking him if he was gay. He seemed deeply offended. In his eyes I could see his drunk father beating him. He will probably never speak to me again.
I got home and fired up Oblivion on the Xbox. It takes place in a fantastical world where armored Imperial Guardsmen enforce the law. I walked past one on my way to the blacksmith, and he called out his standard dialogue. “Greetings, citizen!” Fuck you pig, I said to the television. I woke up with my dick stuck in the couch.
They were praying for me but the one girl was fifteen and pretty and her toes were curling. Her eyes were closed and her lips moved as she spoke to the Lord and she was wearing sandals and her toes were clenching and unclenching like they do when you cum. I couldn’t stop looking at her. I see you in an airport, she said. You know how they have those walkways that move? And if you run on one of those walkways you just go so fast? God is that walkway for you. Amen, said her co-parishioners, and she passed the mic.
You go and sit in a chair and four people are facing you and they have a little tape recorder. They send you the prayers later via email so you can contemplate them. They are bobbing and murmuring and when an idea comes to one of them they reach for the tape recorder, but someone has to be talking constantly, and they’ve been doing this all night, and they are clearly out of material. When an image occurs to them, it is a guiding metaphor from the Lord. Sometimes it’s a word or a specific Bible verse. But you can see when one of them finishes and reaches out with the mic, the other three kind of flinch back. The Lord has provided them with nothing, and they’re gonna have to wing it. Brother, I know the feeling. You sit at the keyboard for three hours and your mind is empty. Then the muse catches you on the toilet.
You are a storyteller, one of them said. I was waiting for that on the nose moment. If only you knew, I thought, glad to get it out of my system. You are pregnant with something and God is going to help bring it out of you, and the thing you are pregnant with is God. I am seeing this verse from the book of Habbakuk. I am seeing you as Abraham. Just like God gave him a son, God will give you your reward, but the even greater reward is God.
The girl who is staying with me signed us up for this. Prophetic Session at the International House of Prayer in Pasadena. We are atheists so the idea was we would go in and shit on it like we were superior. Secretly, though, I wanted to really believe in it and have God speak to me. That didn’t happen. But it was amazing anyway. Just having people focus on you, pay attention to you. That’s all therapy is, that’s all Scientology is, that’s all religion is. And it fucking works. Just a way to not feel alone.
After the first session with the pretty fifteen year old I had a second session with a smoking hot nineteen year old. God was really coming through. Plus a guy who looked like David Boreanaz who I bet cleans up. He tried really hard, but was not good with metaphors. I see you at a rodeo, but you are not lassoing steer. You are lassoing a post, which is a thing that will keep you stable. I see a car, a car with huge wheels but a really small engine. Then another car with tiny wheels and huge engine. You are the person who knows which car to choose. I feel bad mocking him even slightly; the prophetic pray-ers are good people who really believe and want to help. The hot girl said you are like a rock star, there is energy around you, you have an audience who listens to you. If only you knew.
Next door to the prophetic prayer sessions a service was happening, on a Saturday night; just a band playing the same song for hours. People swaying ecstatically. This too was filled with beautiful young women. They were smiling; they had purpose and meaning and were in fellowship with other believers. They would be wonderful friends and wives and mothers. When I forced myself to look away I saw other people, a pimply boy who looked like he had a rough time in high school, a girl touching his back while he bobbed to the music. Not alone. Old people who knew they would go to heaven.
We left and ate at a Louisiana Fried Chicken. I dumped the girl at some Karaoke bar in Glendale and went home to drink alone and jerk off. I was pregnant with something. I had a story to tell. People listen to me and I have an opportunity to help. You don’t have to suffer alone. There is a place where you can find meaning, where you can belong. I poured three shots in a coffee mug and pounded it so I could forget.