So as long as I don’t need sex, sleep or human contact, not drinking is gonna go fine. As long as my nights are just: couch. Tubes running fluids in and out of my mouth, dick and ass. Endless loop of Mythbusters on Netflix. As long as I can handle days pacing my apartment alone muttering half sentences, snarling in the mirror… sitting down to write but the words move too fast. This, and one hour a night sitting in a church basement. Me and the other weirdos glaring at two big vinyl posters of platitudes. Everything will be fine.
Went to my second meeting last night. Had a date after. Her house. She made burritos. We fucked. She was on top. There is a tapestry hanging over her bed, with an Aztec theme. My mind left. Journeyed in between the threads making up a slope-headed peasant carrying a water jar. I traveled through irregularities in the textured plaster ceiling. They were mountains on Mars, or some snow planet. Does this not feel good to you honey, she asked. Well yeah, it feels good on my penis. But the rest of me– my entire soul feels like you ripped off a scab too soon. There was not newly formed skin underneath but raw bloody twitching flesh. My whole being is made up of raw skinless meat and a cold wind is blowing over it. Except for my dick. My dick feels great.
I left. I felt bad. She brought up Valentine’s Day. She was a good sport about it. I will spend the night of Valentine’s Day in a church basement with weirdos.
The AA people told me it was a good idea to not be around liquor. I left my date and went to the liquor store to buy cigarettes. Imagined AA people spying on me. Watching me walk past the “LOTTERY, ATM” sign and the cutout of a leering Captain Morgan. Sadly shaking their heads. I made a show of walking out not holding a bag. The liquor store had fine deals on all my favorites, as is its wont. But I managed. I bought cigarettes and looked at the covers of old Hustlers. Law and Order Star Nude! Huh, I wonder which one– nah, I better get out of here.
Went home. Before I could fire up Adam Savage and Jamie “Cuntcrusher” Hyneman I got a text from the other girl. The one with the body. I saw you coming out of the liquor store, she said. Ha. I was just buying cigarettes, I promise. She was eating a truck taco by the Goodwill drop box on Sunset. Asked if I wanted to join her. I can’t, I can’t. I can’t join anybody for anything anymore. Either give me some fucking booze or go away and die.
I’m going to a date after this, I told the kind eyed AA woman. But don’t worry. There won’t be any booze. I showed up and the girl had a half empty bottle of wine sitting out and a half full cup poured. I was disappointed it did not come to life and speak to me. You ought to get yourself a sponsor early, the woman said. The guy who took me to my first meeting should be my sponsor. He was perfect. A soothing presence. But it’s too weird to ask. I don’t want to impose. Call me, he said, if you’re feeling squirrelly.
Well fuck, I’m feeling squirrelly. But part of feeling squirrelly is you can’t call people. Ain’t that a bitch. My sponsor is this document I am typing into. White page: I feel motherfucking squirrelly.
Daytime went OK yesterday. Woke up not hung over. Weird feeling, but good. Long commute. Instead of NPR I listened to music. It was Threefer Thursday. David Bowie was winding down. Next up in just a second, folks, we got some AC/DC coming. FUCK YES I screamed at the instrument panel, and accelerated.
The ads started. I haven’t heard a full string of radio ads in five years. But with AC/DC you don’t want to miss the first riff. How bad can ads be. Skit after skit about Valentine’s Day. Awful actors, awful writers, awful production… people fucking get paid for this shit. I languish in obscurity. Take your valentine to Pachonga Casino and Spa. She will delight in 2800 different slots. Buy your special lady a Hyundai at Glendale Auto Mall. Pay only 279 a month. Take out an auto loan for your fucking girlfriend, a failed weatherman was telling me. Has no one ever seen Judge Judy.
Fifteen more ads. Finally the guitar kicks in. DUH NUH NUH– fuck yeah! It’s Highway to Hell, my personal soundtrack for daily living. No Brian Johnson era Adam Sandler soundtrack shit. This was Bon Scott, the realest of the real. Fuck yeah, I told the speedometer. Right then I hit that mountain pass on the 10 East. Lost all reception out of L.A. Had to switch to Inland Empire NPR. A journalist talking to two other journalists. They discuss how other journalists discuss Gay Rights in Russia. Gay journalist says: Western journalists don’t discuss Gay Rights in Russia enough. Ivy League woman who owned multiple horses in her youth says: well Larry, the reality on the ground in Sochi is more nuanced .
If I’d been hung over I’d have broken something in the car when Highway to Hell cut out. But I listened patiently. Did you know you can buy an NPR membership for your pet, a jovial man told me. You’ll receive a stylish pet bandana. I did not daydream about lining up every person who had purchased an NPR membership for their pet. Their stylish bandana-clad pets with them. Taking a Vietnam era napalm thrower to the group. Highway to Hell plays loud enough to mask their screams. This is what it felt like to not be hung over. The day was OK. Then the night. Like someone slowly peeled back my entire skin and hosed me down with ice water. And again today.
Deep breath. Jerk off. Everything will be fine.