That’s one of my 30 questions. Readers’ shots of wisdom:
Only if you’re already intoxicated by life.
Yes but it’s temporary and it comes at a cost.
Depends on the intoxicant, set, and setting
No. (I thought last night of the San Fran warehouse rave CO documented with a rollcall of the dead at heartiste, and Hillary’s nuclear war, and it occurred to me they were a sort of holocaust).
There is definitely “transcendence” in toxic casing… It is called “liberationist theology.” It is ideological self-annihilation. The logical idea to General Entropy, ie., total degeneration.
No, you just think there is.
Yes. A drunk mouth speaks a sober mind.
I met two friends at a tavern that’s not far from my house by way of wooded roads. They had to leave as my second beer remained barely touched. I was nursing the beers as we talked, despite knowing that they had to cut out early. The bill was already paid so as we got up from our table and they left, I walked with my drink over to the bar to finish it there.
The atmosphere became transcendent. Did I mention that everyone there was White? On the redneck side, in their mid-twenties for the most part plus a few middle-aged folks. A hot chick in a short skirt and with beautiful silky skin sat to my left, engaged in a giggly convo with her boyfriend and another woman. There was an empty seat to my right. A youngish man asks me if anyone’s sitting there. I looked up from my phone (I was reading the comments on this blog) and absently told him “nah, go ahead.” He looked intelligent and had long, dyed-blond hair.
The music. There were problems in the past with the jukebox, with fat Millennial women putting on extended stretches of hip-hop, but that hasn’t been a problem lately. The music, as I sat at the bar, was sublime. A long-unheard tune can have an effect that’s similar to olfactory recall of a buried memory. Allman Brothers’ Midnight Rider was playing. Personal associations with songs don’t translate well in print, so I’ll just say that for those several minutes I was in ’95, rural Tennessee. A younger me. The roadside, the sun, the wildflowers.
“Would you like another beer?”
“No, thank you.”
I had already decided that I’m not having any more at the bar. It was tempting, though. The music made for a perfect mood. The conversations filling the air like butterflies elicited in me profound good will for the people around me. The dude with dyed-blond hair was warming up to talk with me. But the two drinks is my limit under the circumstances and it was time to go. I finished the beer and left the bar.
We’re all to one degree or another foreigners in a strange land but that tavern, that night, felt like home and that’s a different kind of clarity. Happy weekend, gentlemen. Open thread.