I decided to walk to the library yesterday instead of driving. It was cold outside or at least I thought it was . I decided to wear a pair of old Adidas soccer gloves that I had purchased in a different part of my life. I enjoy walking but the convenience of driving has trumped my urges to walk. My main motivation was driven by an introduction I was reading to the book Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes. I didn’t get to the actual book because the introduction was a fucking novel in itself. It said during the three year period in which Hobbes was writing Leviathan he had a very strict routine. He would wake up every morning at 7:00 am, he would eat his bread and butter. Then he would walk through the streets of Paris for three hours and write down his notes in the afternoon. I can’t speak to the inspirational qualities of 17th century Paris compared to present day West Hollywood. I’m sure he had more to work with. Even though my walk was motivated by meditation it was manifested by the need to get somewhere. I tried to concentrate and be mindful during my walk but I just found myself rushing through the cold. I walked down Gardner towards Melrose as the sun fell beyond the horizon creating a pale blue in the sky. I stopped at a juice bar on the corner of Melrose and Gardner to get a shot of ginger and lemon juice. When I continued my walk down Gardner the hue of the blue sky had changed into a midnight-ish feel. I petted a curious dog on the corner of Beverly and Gardner and smiled at his owner. He was nice, I don’t know about the owner. I got to the library as the sky turned from blue to black. The library was just as cold on the inside as it was outside. It could be the reason why there was no one in there, or it could be because no one goes to the fucking library anymore. After skimming through the atrocious selection of literature I decided to check out a Fitzgerald book that I had previously read. I left and walked west on Beverly towards Fairfax because I knew there was a mailbox on the corner there and I had to drop off some letters. Right now you’re probably thinking “Library? Letters? Who the fuck is this old lame ass thinking that hes cool because he writes letter and goes to the library? I think he’s an asshole.” Honestly you’d be right. Anyways I saw my friend Franco on the corner of Beverly and Fairfax. He was riding a fixie and he told me that he was heading home from reading at Barnes and Noble (another asshole). I dropped off the letter and walked north up Fairfax. I had a slice of pie that burned the roof of my mouth even though it was slathered in ranch. Afterwards I went to The Dime for a Jameson with Ice. The bartender gave me a heavy pour probably because I was the only poor bastard drinking by myself. I found my reflection in the mirror behind the bar and said “cheers shithead” as I took a gulp. The cold Jameson felt good on the roof of my mouth. I watched the first quarter of the Laker game but left because I figured I wasn’t missing anything. North up Fairfax then East on Willoughby and I was walking back into my apartment with a buzzed smile. I didn’t get any meditating done and I didn’t have my gloves on anymore.
It sat on the table droll and beckoning them like any other empty bowl. It was white and round with three notches spaced equidistant around it to place a still burning stogie. There was only one small burn in the middle of it. The ash tray was emptied out routinely without thought, a reflex, like when the doctor hits your patella with that small rubber hammer. The way it was filled up was more enigmatic
Large deposits are made on nights when they arrived home late, and still from nightly festivities. Other times they would sit and inebriate themselves with neat whiskey and no intention of departure from the home or the table at which they sat with the ash tray. These nights were also similar to reflexes, just reactions from stress at work and being in their twenties. But on certain nights there was a different kind of ash filling the little bowl. An experience, a palpable memory of the departed. There were times when they needed to use it, even if it was only once.
The Cigarette rested between his middle finger and index as smoke idly rose to the ceiling. A puff, an inhale, a release, and then a flick which broke off the ash and with it sadness and longing. Heartache followed and eventually anger and despair. The emotions in the ash tray weren’t always spoken and were far from disingenuous. A moment of introspection. The ash in the tray made it heavier with no change in weight, made it deeper with no change in dimension.
It was drunken nights with others or sometimes it was the dark nights alone. It was always filled with some sort of emotion. If you looked in the ash tray on one of the days before they emptied the contents, you wouldn’t see them, you would see the ones who had abandoned them.
The main inspiration that produced this story was actually letting my emotions and feelings get the best of me until I felt the urge to smoke. The cigarettes were temporary but the ash tray was always there. So i felt like rather than focusing on the cigarettes themselves I would focus on the place where I deposited them. The funny thing is I don’t normally smoke but I do use it as a scapegoat sometimes. Sometimes when I feel longing for a particular someone be it female or family I tend to get down and to get stressed and to think negatively. I’m not saying that smoking is the most positive outlet for these stresses but sometimes I find myself saying “man I could use a smoke”
Sober October has come to an end tonight with a shot of patron chased with grapefruit juice. I toasted to the things that i have learned through my experience. It really was easy to be honest there were times when my self control was tested but it was easy. I just didn’t want to taste disappointment in myself. The past few days I have felt very clear like I haven’t in a long time. It was quite enjoyable to know that my body was cleansed from the alcohol. Now as I have had a few sips of patron i’m feelin right in the zone and I remember why I liked to drink so much. The release of inhibitions when you’re drinking is incomparable to anything else I have experienced this month. I mean I have a little bit of confidence enough to dance in the club by myself under no influence except for the beat. Ordering waters from the bartender has never been more fun to be honest. Just tearing up the dance floor, that no one is on, then walking straight to the bar “yo let me get a water”. This feeling of elation may seem novel and nothing special but I like the shit so fuck you.
But honestly it felt good not drinking too and being able to say no. It feels as people in my current generation which i classify as the 20-30 year olds are big partiers. It seems to be an integral part of life. Drinking is the cool thing to do. There has been many times when I have felt obligated to drink more than I actually wanted to. So against my better judgement I used to get blacked the fuck out drunk when I wasn’t even planning on having a sip of the juice. I don’t regret it. That shit was probably the funnest times i’ve ever had. But why is there this obligation for us to drink our faces off and do drugs and stay up until the sun comes up. Why is it necessary to have beer for breakfast and subsequently remain inebriated for an entire day. I stress to you readers how I remain entirely unhypocritical by saying this because I thoroughly enjoy all of these things. I am merely posing the question. What is this infatuation with partying and going out? Has it always been this way? I was pretty happy this month when I wasn’t drinking. I read like four fuckin books and I hit the gym like everyday. I mean it was cool but I felt like it was all just an ends to the mean of getting drunk as shit. But I noticed a lot during my sobriety, I had a lot of meaningful conversations and made a lot of memories that are forever memorable. I spent money on a concert and was able to remember it and I am willing to admit that it was exceptionally mediocre but that is another conversation. I grew mentally and improved physically and have reaped the benefits so far. But now I am on vacation and that calls for a couple drinks bruh.
Nineteen days sober. My one vice during this sober period has been weed, so my soberness has really been augmented by smoking bowls and eating too much. Perhaps the last ten days of the month I will phase out the weed as well. Then I can truly use the word sober. Last night was a test of my self control and a lesson in futility trying to stay leveled with my inebriated brother. The club was a much different experience this way. I was watching people around the whole club because hey I wasn’t drinking. I couldn’t help but feel like I didn’t belong even though I knew half of the people there. It just felt pointless to be out there in the back of some club. I was starting to get the feeling that it was pointless to be in the club when I was drunk too. I still kind of feel that way. The pros and cons to the situation seem to teeter on a small point with a variety of variables. I enjoy going out and drinking with my friends. It is fun to throw inhibitions to the wind and got lost in a night. Ride the wave into the morning. It is a release to stresses and a means of conversation and creates some sort of purpose within us. I still believe in that philosophy of partying but if twenty days sober has taught me anything it definitely has added a perspective to partying and drinking in the club. It is a waste of time really. I was satisfied hanging out with my brother for a few hours going to different bars and conversing about women and sports. Joking rather crudely because we are men reunited and thats what men do. I was even satisfied with dancing to a couple songs in the club, even though the drink in my hand was water and ice. As I began to lose steam around eleven o’clock, my brother was just getting started. He began binge drinking, somehow, he had told me he had no money. The inquisitive mind of a partier is always able to find more alcohol under adverse situations. He flourished in his roll, knocking back drinks while I lingered on the sideline, watching and talking with old friends. “LET’S GO.” I hear yelled and then reinforced by multiple males. At a certain point you are just wasting money on drinks and having meaningless conversations that you won’t remember. With a chance of you making a decision that you will regret the next day. Drunk in the club seems like a nowhere road most of the time. Unless your desired destination is gorging yourself with a burrito and falling asleep in all your clothes with the light on. Thats on a good night too. There is a wide spectrum of possibilities that can occur in these situations. The ability to control your behavior is something you take for granted when you are drunk. But the club, a perfect synergy of drunk people where all this eccentric behavior is acceptable because everyone is in an obliterated state. I have nothing against this because I have had some of my funnest nights in the club. The club builds camaraderie between men and women alike and dependent on the outcome of the night can help in building trust in one another. Comparatively there are benefits in avoiding the club entirely. Maybe this advice only benefits binge drinkers who have woken up naked not knowing where they are. Or maybe it can benefit anyone. The club is fun and will always be there. I will most likely end up drunk in the club again soon. At least now I will approach the night with awareness of the drunken journey I am about to embark on. Resting your head on your pillow is a long way away from throwing up in an alley.