Sunday, January 07, 2007

I CAN AND I CAN'T TAKE MYSELF ANYWHERE

Let's talk about being Under The Influence, okay? I spent most of my high school and college years completely sober. I abstained from alcohol and drugs out of an innate disinterest in them, and found it impossible to participate in inebriated socializing the way so many of my peers did. It wasn't really until I was a senior in college that I loosened up a bit, and this was AFTER my stint abroad in Brighton, England, a sixth-month period spent--that's right--completely sober. Even in a country where I could legally drink, even in the UK's youngest, most party-centric city by the shore, I abstained. Completely. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

I now realize my inability to lose control was that I didn't really feel in control enough, I guess, to let go. I just didn't trust myself or my surroundings, and I was scared of embarrassing myself or, more importantly, getting into potentially dangerous situations. I credit the head-over-heels love I had for my senior year college sweety for allowing me to feel safe enough to occasionally smoke pot with him, which, honestly, I didn't enjoy. It made me anti-social and catatonic. But: at least I was trying something outside my comfort zone. Something which made me more uncomfortable.

My next boyfriend introduced me to drinking. Well, he shouldn't get all the credit; a year and a half of unemployment helped, too. Our first date together we both got so drunk on Grey Goose martinis that we told each other deeply personal secrets, held hands across a table in a W hotel bar, got respectively weepy, and then made out on some steps in the East Village for the rest of the night. The first few months of our relationship we spent thousands of dollars on five-course dinners, getting drunk, and cabs back to Brooklyn. I would sleep late, go home, shower, and get ready for another night out so we could do it all over again. It was Bananas.

And now I am me, under the influence of only me. And, sometimes, alcohol. And, very occasionally, a pot cookie...even though it still makes me a little anti-social and catatonic. It is so strange to see myself inebriated, and stranger that I even want to be! For so long, I couldn't fathom it; losing control terrified me. Now, it's just a weekend night. Or weekend. Whatever!

I will say that I think I am a lovely drunk; as far as I know I am not really sloppy or obnoxious or overly emotional. When the wave of alcohol washes over me, I let go. What that means is I no longer worry about controlling things; in fact, My Big Problem, the way I constantly and anxiously project myself into the future, goes away. Under the influence, I am in the moment.

Ah, The Moment: you are one elusive beast! I just want to be inside you all the time!

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