05 December 2012

After Cloud Atlas

I've never been one to drink alone. Sipping wine while cooking?  Yes. But "drinking" -- as in "I need a drink"-type drinking? All by myself at home? No, thank you. All alone, with my mind on some kind of  rampage already, alcohol has to be one of the least helpful additions I could make to the situation.

When I'm upset enough to feel or say that I "need" a drink, what I really mean is that my mood needs altering via the distraction and commiseration that drink with others provides. Alone with a bottle of Jack Daniels, there's no distraction -- just digging deeper into whatever Hell I'm in already.

I'm living on a notch of the Bible Belt and I'm new in town. Where and with whom am I gonna drink? 

A couple of drinkers in the community have identified themselves:  a minister friend shared a funny story about his strategy for discouraging gifts of cheap liquor at the holidays; the couple down the street stopped by one night and invited me to join them for "a couple drinks" at JB's (I declined because I had house guests...people from the Midwestern end of the Belt). But it feels yet too soon for showing up on either of those doorsteps on a Wednesday night with a bottle in my hand.

And after what I've observed of the social culture here over the past week, I'm not tempted even a little to wander into a bar alone.

Not surprisingly, the watering holes here are all "shady"-looking. Fundamentalists culture shrouds alcohol in denial and shaming so the places where you buy it or consume it often look and feel like "bad" places. 

But i was visited by a mad mad fantasy earlier tonight. I imagined myself drunk and disorderly in Holly Springs; ranting, eyes wild, arm-flailing and finger-pointing. "Wake up! The Civil War is over and the myths of God and White Supremacy have been debunked! Give it up..."

The Emperor's New Clothes was one of my favorite stories as a child. My heartbeat quickened every time; that exhilarating moment when finally, from within the throng of ingratiating villagers, stooped beneath the weight of Denial, a voice of candor rings out: "But the emperor has no clothes!"

But I'm not drinking with friendly acquaintances or friends.

And I'm not ranting in the streets.

And I don't have a piano in the house.

So I'm a little bit nuts now. Just a lee-tul bit currr-aaaaa-zeee.

I've just joined a non-theist social network online. They might not become drinking buddies but right now I need a reassuring distraction, some clear and tangible connection to what my first contact at the site calls a "world of rationality and peace".

Yeah. Rationality. Peace. Sounds good.  Sign me up.