Too High or Too Low, There is No In-Between.

Hidden Stone Wall Behind Chesterfield School

“O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! that we should, with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!” ~ William Shakespeare, Othello.

Thanks ever so to the weather, I have Billy Joel’s “I Go to Extremes” stuck in my head.  It’s about 90 degrees today.  Oh yeah.  Remember how it was snowing the other day?  Not so much anymore.

Holy cow.  I just looked up “I Go to Extremes” on YouTube so I could put up the link to the video for people unfamiliar with the song, and sha-zam!  The video I found is from a concert four years ago.  Can I just say, Billy Joel is still amazing.  Him, him I’d go see in concert.  I’m not a concert person, but if it’s not a crazy moshing rock concert, I’d be fun.  I’d like to see him.  There was a tour last year-ish with him and Elton John- now that would have been an amazing show!

I’m listening to my Billy Joel station now on Pandora and it makes me happy.  The first song that came up is a song called “Captain Jack”.  I don’t know why, maybe it’s the chorus, but this song reminds me of Captain Morgan, the rum.  I think it may be the chorus:  “Captain Jack will get you high tonight/and take you to your special island/Captain Jack will get ya by tonight/just a little push and you’ll be smilin’.”  (I was just told it was Jack Daniels.  I knew it was booze.)  At any rate, it inspires me to talk about a friend of mine, and it sort of explains why I am so violently against alcohol.  Violently was a bad word.  But I am adamantly against it.

I’ve seen a lot of bad things happen because of alcohol.  Both my parents had alcohol affect their childhoods because alcoholism runs in my family- both sides.  My high school best friend is still haunted by her mother’s alcoholism.  Another high school friend lost her father in a drunk driving accident.  Same story with one of my students, except in her case it was her brother.  My boyfriend has severe alcoholism on his mother’s side of the family.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  But what’s really sealed it for me, is Andy.

I’ve known Andy well since we were both in sixth grade.  He’s a good kid, bright, funny, got a great tenor voice, talented in music and electronics like crazy.  Never had a lesson in his life.  Builds computers, could be a one man band.  I think everyone knows somebody a little bit like him.  I don’t know when it started.  We had poor contact in high school.  He got into marijuana and was dating this girl, who died, and he ended up with a drama llama chick.  President of the Drama Club, Lil Miss Perfect.  She screwed him up, too.  Somewhere in that four years, he started drinking.  He was still doing drugs, too.  Became an insomniac.  My most vivid high school memory of him and the one that pisses me off the most was the day he told me his father got a restraining order against him.  I never asked why, but that was the climax of his and his father’s many disagreements.  His life was anything but perfect.

I try really hard not to condemn people for using alcohol.  It’s a hot topic- believe me, I’m well aware.  My boyfriend totally loves it.  He’s not an alcoholic, and he’s respectful of me in that he makes an effort not to drink around me.  We disagree about it all the time.  As far as I’m concerned, there’s no good in alcohol.  It’s not healthy, it tastes no better than soda or juice or any other beverage option.  It’s addictive.  He argues that red wine is good for you in small doses.  And that alcohol can be used so that it’s not destructive.  Yes.  I know.  I also know that my roommate lost eher virginity to a guy who she doesn’t even really like because of alcohol recently, and I have a friend who drowns his sorrows in it, instead of healing.  And her, instead of falling in love.  It’s no more emotionally healthy than it is physically healthy.  I say all this because I don’t want to sound like the closed-minded person who’s going to preach anti-alcohol.  This is just my experience with it.

Andy turned twenty-one last February.  Let me tell you about his drinking habits on January 31, 2010, the day before his twenty-first birthday.  He usually drank a bottle of Captain Morgan in three days.  Tops.  Sometimes sooner.  In January, it was usually not mixed with anything.  Just straight up Captain.  In December, November, before that, he was a little better.  Captain and Coke.  Orange Bacardi and Mountain Dew (which is, by the way, the closest I get to enjoying alcohol.  But it’s still not very good).  Since he’s turned twenty-one, his drinking habits have not improved.  If anything, they’ve gotten worse.  He just recently got back from Spain and he says he remembers only about half of his trip.  He was there a month.  He doesn’t intend to live until he’s thirty-five.  He doesn’t want help.  He doesn’t care.  He has, at least, stopped doing cocaine and everything more harmful than marijuana…  but… I still get to stand back and watch him waste away.

Do you know why it hurts so much?  It hurts, because I remember chasing him around fields, wearing his Sergei Samsonov jersey, listening to him in chorus, and all the other days of innocence.  It hurts because I’ve seen how much muchness he has inside of him, but he locks it away and swims in booze instead.  He could be a million things, but he’s not, because he’d rather die slowly in a haze.  He knows he needs rehab.  He doesn’t care.  He’d just rather die.

So.  Pardon me if I see you drinking and I seem a little distant.  Chances are I’m thinking about my old friend and wondering what to wear to his imminent funeral.  Hoping that someday he’ll understand that he’s the only person who thinks it’s a good idea he dies.  That believe or not, people care about it, and if he’d stop thinking about swallowing a bottle for just a minute, if he’d listen to us instead of pushing away harder and harder… maybe we could beat this monster.  …  But the first step to recovery is recognition and desire to heal.  He has no desire.  So if you’re sitting there at that counter, swirling an olive around in your martini, don’t mind me if I ask you, do you really need that?  It’s because I refuse to watch any more of my friends die.  Just for alcohol.

I turn twenty-one in October.  You won’t see me in a bar.


Weather ReportWeather Report:  It’s supposed to be crazy hot like this again tomorrow, but I hear it’s supposed to cool down for Tuesday.  That’s good.  Sean and I are hanging out and walking around Tuesday and it would be a bummer if I was miserable the whole time.  Either way, I’m bringing a bottle of water.  It looks and feels like a thunderstorm outside.  Not the brink of a thunderstorm, but definitely a thunderstorm soon.  Not today.  Tomorrow or Tuesday would be nice.  Tuesday.  So I can enjoy it.


Health ReportHealth Report: Bryan bought me Taco Bell today and I couldn’t finish it.  Crazy unhealthy, yes, I know, but my body is starting to help me limit my portions.  I think that’s going to help loads.  I probably sweat off a few ounces today, too!



Social LifeSocial Life: I got over myself and invited Bryan over last night, because I knew he wanted to come.  Sat down and made him watch Hidalgo, which he liked.  He wanted to snuggle, though, which wasn’t really on my agenda.  Meef.  Tuesday with Sean, Friday again with Bryan.  Something with Sammy may get squeezed in somewhere, but nothing definite this week, since it’s a busy week for her.


3 Responses to “Too High or Too Low, There is No In-Between.”

  1. 1 dapleHydaYsep May 17, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Christian, watch south park online

  1. 1 Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee. « Gaoth Gaelach Trackback on May 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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