Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I guess I should have qualified my remark yesterday that every morning could be like yesterday morning if I chose because it's blowing like stink this morning. I guess my Co-Writer wants to show who is in charge. Last night I attended a monthly fundraiser for the kids in the next pueblo. There was alcohol served but I refrained. It was pretty easy since drinking is not the primary motive of this get together and it is one of the few events down here that is not held in a bar.

Like the song "I love this bar", there are very few bars I don't like. Maybe because I've spent so much time in them, they hold a feeling of home for me. Your friends are always there to welcome you and hell if they're not you'll make a few new ones before the night is over. I find acceptance in bars. A sort of comaraderie among reprobates. But I really don't want Barfly etched on my tombstone. I don't want my bar life to define me. A week after we got down here one of our local bar regulars died. You know him/her. The guy or gal that has their personal barstool and even if they're not there hunched over their drink nobody sits in their seat out of respect. And the sure knowlege that they'll be back to claim it pretty soon. This lady left the bar one afternoon to go home. Her husband followed an hour later. He found her dead. She had bled to death from ruptured esophageal varices. In case you don't know, esophageal varices are usually found in alcoholics. Of course, we held her wake at her favorite bar and only when her son gave her eulogy did I get a glimpse of the "other" person she was. I missed out. Of course, all of us down here sat around the bar after the wake and swore we were all going to turn that infernal leaf over and drink less amid cries of "Hey, who's turn is it to buy the next round?"

The problem down here is that everything takes place in bars. I haven't had a drink in a week but I've been to the bar three times and today is another birthday party at another bar. You can't avoid going to a bar unless you lock yourself in your casa. Even in the states, when you walk into most restaurants the first thing you see is the bar. The problem with that, one recovered alcoholic told me, is that going to the bar when you are trying to stop drinking is like going to a barbershop, eventually you're going to get a haircut. Of course, we were sitting in a bar when he delivered this somewhat confusing analogy to me. So the bars aren't going to go away and I'm going to keep walking into them. I've just got to channel the "other" me and make sure I don't stumble out.

So I'm out there today doing my best to find my "other" me. Now where did I leave her. I'll let you know how I fare at the birthday party. I've kind of hedged my bet by offering to take my housekeeper/girl Friday with me. She doesn't drive and I told her I wouldn't be drinking so she'd have a safe ride home. She probably has fond memories of the last birthday party she attended with me when she had to pour me into the car and then help the cap'n drag me into the casa. God, you better be riding shotgun with me today. I better start practicing saying "Coca Light, por favor."

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