A friend once asked me why I drink. I replied with some line about doing it to fit in before jumping up to wail through a set of Eraserheads songs until I passed out. I didn’t plan on doing that. It wasn’t my fault half the guests in the bar we were mooching drinks off of were in a band and brought their instruments.
I came to hours later safe in my bed. Another friend had been nice enough to bring me home without raping me* and in those few seconds of artificial alertness when my body was too confused to go back to sleep and the hangover was still lurking in what shadows are left at 7 a.m., I felt better than I had in weeks.
There is something to that, I guess, to passing out and not having to deal with the self doubts and second guessing that come when you are alone at night save for a little dog who only really cares about keeping you awake with ill-timed playfulness. No terrible slow-mo replay of some minor faux pas that, by the end of the night, I am convinced has damned me in the eyes of my peers. No belated remorse at things I can no longer unsay, undo, or fix. No spirits of the staircase to haunt my fitful sleep.
I drink because I seek oblivion. Not death, understand. I love life most days. But sometimes you just have to take a break from words and ideas and the panic at not having words or ideas. Just to turn it off for a few hours and sleep the sleep of the innocent.
*Rape is no laughing matter. I am glad I wasn’t raped is what I’m saying.