Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wasteland, R.F.D.

I have been reminded on an annoying number of occasions over the course of the past few days how my decision to remove vodka as the #1 food group in my day-to-day likely saved not only my own life but the lives of others. No, not because of the inherent evils of drinking and driving, although as Dave Diehl of the New York Giants reminded us this past weekend doing too much of the former immediately prior to attempting the latter is a less than bright and potentially very dangerous thing to do. Consider that Diehl is a human being tipping the scales in the neighborhood of 300 pounds (at least according to nfl.com) and then consider that when his blood alcohol content was measured (after he drove his vehicle into and then off of at least four or five parked vehicles) it tipped the scales at .182, which is approximately two times the legal limit in New York. Just how much booze did he consume to achieve that level?

I was reminded that my decision two decades ago to essentially unwrap my hand and lips from around the vodka bottle removed the lubricant from my brain that had to that point kept my filter in the permanent "off" position. You know the filter of which I speak right? We all have one. It is the thing located between where thoughts form in our brain and where they escape us through our mouths that acts as a speed bump. It slows down the flow of information in an effort to keep everything that we might want to say at a particular moment in time from actually being shared with the rest of the world. Once upon a lifetime ago, before I transformed from a fully functional drunk into the sober prick of misery I am presently, my filter was never on. And being my father's son, once I was sufficiently fueled up being in my presence was akin to being at George Costanza's house at the beginning of Festivus. Grievances were aired. If I was out with friends at a bar on a Friday or Saturday night, then people seemed less offended. However, given that I had a job at which I worked noon to nine p.m. four nights a week and spent my dinner break every night consuming as many Absolut screwdrivers as I could in one hour, the people who shared the office space with me those nights were significantly more so. I cared about their concerns not at all.

I am still not overly concerned with the concerns and opinions of those with whom I share my day-to-day at work. Most days my position has little impact on those around me because their doings and my doings are separate and apart from one another. However this week that has not proven to be the case. And because it has not, I have been reminded that for all of the things we do extraordinarily well, being a space occupied by well-intentioned human beings there are certain things at which we do not excel, which failings tend to serve as an irritant for certain of us (OK, one of us at the very least).

Fortunately for me these "failings" (that seems to be a safe word to use to describe them) pop up infrequently and grind on me now far less than they would have back in the "day", which would be any day of my life that was lived prior to me having transitioned to granola bars and fruit salad for lunch from vodka and orange juice. But for the "new" me being the version of me who walks the halls of the office day in and day out, this week - which has been chock full of incredibly fucking annoying moments - would have likely proceeded on a far uglier trajectory. And that would not have been good for anyone. Including of course me....

Well I hadn't intended to bend the rules
But whiskey don't make liars, it just makes fools.
So I didn't mean to say it,
But I meant what I said.


-AK

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