The Scotch Mist

Drunken Photo History 

At the beginning of August I had a revelation, but it was significantly influenced by alcohol, so I had to give myself some time for it to really process and know for sure if it was ACTUALLY a revelation, or just another drunken musing.  Ladies and gentlemen, I do a lot of silly things so that I can entertain myself, and all of you.  And this experiment that I'm about to divulge is less than novel, but it taught me a lot through providing me a moment that, on a scale of my least proud moments of life, contends for Top 3 position.

I've never ever cried while drinking, because I've always associated drinking with having lots, and lots of fun.  I've always been whimsically entertaining when I drink and get my party game face on, and proud of the fact that I can lift peoples spirits and add to the ambiance of merriment.  I never understood why some people just always breakdown and sob over their miscellaneous drama. I've always found it kind of a buzz kill, and tend to stay away from those sorts of people.  And always tell them that they should not drink.

Using a CamelBak as a Drinking Device

Since I have an outstanding reputation with drinking, I've never thought to put myself into this category of persons, that should be cautious of drinking due to their emotional state; I always feel strong and able enough to handle myself and all of my emotions.  Really, it's weird how well I can compartmentalize and rationalize, justify, repress or ignore any feeling I have at any given time.  Things are willed away, out of my conscious zone so I no longer have to deal with them.  Giving me an illusion of super-strength.

Don't get me wrong, it's not all an illusion.  I am strong, but having that kind of reputation comes with the disadvantage of constantly feeling like you have to live up to a version of yourself that is really too good to be true.

So the experiment was that I was going to get in touch with my inner deadbeat (I call it Charles, or in this case, "Charlene", Bukowski) and write a drunken poem while roaming the streets of Toronto.  I really don't know why I expected anything brilliant to result from this idea, but I figured I had the materials and time available to me, so I might as well see what happened.  Well, three beers and a bottle of wine later, I discovered that not only was writing much harder while drunk (unlike doing everything else while drunk), but it was also getting significantly difficult to stand and actually roam the streets of Toronto.  Having found this out after I accidentally propositioned a prostitute to be my seeing eye dog and take me to the club district, I propped myself up against a streetlight, vaguely wondered about what my friends - who I'd abandoned in favour of this mission - were doing, and scribbled some words on a hotel notepad I stole from the front desk before the night got really wild.

Falling off the stage at 19th Birthday

 Fan Favourite for All-Time Drunk Dial History

Yes.  I drank alone.  And somehow thought that writing poetry wouldn't make me depressed.  Really?  Poetry and alcohol? I thought that would be a good idea. 

Wow.  Anyways, after one of my friends found me sprawled underneath this light writing what could only be described as a curious combination of half-doodles and half-legible words, with a few vulture-like individuals closing in on me, I was guided back to the hotel.  Then I managed to escape again.  In the hotel restroom, I forced myself to throw up so that I wouldn't wake my friend up in the most unfortunate way later on. See, I'm so considerate even inebriated. 

Against all the odds I found my way back to the room, stripped to my underwear, and apparently decided that I was too out of it to put on my pyjamas, so just passed out next to my poor friend.  On the bright side, I am not the worst sight to be seen the nakeder I get, so it could have been way worse.

The moral of the story is that drinking is something that people take for granted and do without much thought.  If we are being totally honest, the kinds of feelings I was having from the beginning of summer till the beginning of September should not have been supplemented with any else mind altering. 

Sometimes you think that things that give you joy in the past can continue to give you joy in the present, when nothing else seems to be quite the same.  Please note that alcohol is always the same, its us that changes; it's not inherently evil or wrong, but it is dangerous when we consciously or unconsciously change and use it to feel unchanged - in other words, to not move forward, to stay the same, or to regress.

 New Years Eve Drunk, The Classiest Drunk.

Despite the night gone askew, I did manage to scribble down a sentence or two that I feel was vaguely poignant.  The Scotch Mist is a fog in Scotland that locals named and use as a metaphor when something isn't quite clear.  I wrote this:

Scotch Mist

Am I surrounded

by its cloudy circumstance,

or am I too blind

to see

that its mist

is me?

That night I didn't cry, but I did feel what it's like to feel dependent and slip into a lull of sadness.  I'm fortunate enough to have a good head on my shoulders, and the unique ability to psychoanalyze my own actions before they become serious problems.  I've always felt that we are here on earth for varying reasons; that I'm here to figure myself out before I eventually die.  I think that depending on alcohol to regress or stay static ultimately achieves the reverse of what I really want - it thickens the mist around and inside of me making it harder for me, and anyone else who is changing, to get to where they want and need to be.  I'm not saying I'm never drinking again because that is a blatant lie. 

Sometimes I'll be a blast to drink with, but now I've recognized that its in our best interests to err on the side of caution and not drink for the sake of it.  I'll end before I get too preachy - after all, I do sill want to be the life of the party.

Arianne TongComment