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Friday, 7 April 2017

Would You Just... Not Cry Over Spilt Milk?

I'm shattered. Only from working a long day on the bar -- could have been hosing down victims of chemical weapons attacks in Syria, or marching for freedom with oppressed masses, or supporting family working three jobs in drug-ravished neighbourhood soon to be demolished to make way for gentrified coffee shops -- and yet I'm shattered only from serving a lot of drinks, being on my feet longer than I wanted, having to be engaged and courteous and in twenty seconds greet a human and find out how they want me to act, polite? laid back? and remember their eight drinks and make them perfect while masses of hungry eyes bore into me, wanting me, I'm next, pick me -- and, yes, it was a tough Friday shift, as they tend to be, but it's fine. I'm genuinely lucky that these are my problems, this fatigue is my suffering. I do know that. I do feel it.

I'm privileged, and I'm content, snuggled under blanket in this bedroom with curtains closed and only noise the clacking of laptop keys and the distant shush of traffic away somewhere in the night.

But, yes, I'm one tired boy.

I'm also hungover. Really hungover.

I've had the odd bottle of beer over the past few weeks, but last night was the first time I fully broke down and did what I said I wouldn't, went boozing.

Day with ma Pops watching film and catching up, then rattled off a blog post from a booth in work with my headphones in, writing like the wind, then after posting and feeling another important step taken, wanted evening relaxing seeing my friend's band at the Washington, having few relaxed beers.

(Listen to Syrupp by the way. They're cool and lovely.)

But then sampled Gamma Ray on keg at ours before walking up, then cans of Red Stripe at the gig, then only half an hour till the guys on the close finished (deja vu, I know, but this is really pattern of all our nights), and so whisky chasers with Straw and Zoe at Dev Cat, others arrive, then West Street Live not letting in (thank the Lord), so Harley and kids on mandy too hip to be human, some ruined white girl skank sitting at our table and yelling at the girls, wanting a fight, then her mates fighting on the dancefloor and kicked out by doormen, us on double rums and vodka sodas in plastic glasses, then lights up and room emptying, but no one wants this done so back to Baby D's, Mystery Jets and drinking games and easy nothing, then check phone and, no, it's, fuck, it's 7am, and we taxi home along empty streets in morning haze and I fall into bed and my alarm is set five hours then up for work, and already the worst skunking hangover piercing in, and I've done it again.

But, hey, it's OK. It is really OK.

We are human. We stumble. I think the path to change is easier trod by accepting our falls and wry smiling at them, shrugging, remembering all only big no-meaning game, and get up and go again.

Old me would self-excoriate, build guilt, feel weak, keep whole pattern repeating. But there's no use crying over spilt milk.

Which, for sure, is the biggest cliche, but David Foster Wallace (I know, like I ever quote from anyone else) has this great thing in Infinite Jest about corny cliches. It's in this drug/alcohol recovery centre, and the old timers who have a chance at making it, who've reached their bottom and are honestly willing to fight to change, get to learn this deep truth about cliches like "one day at a time" and "keep coming back", that they are easy to say, but way harder, infinitely harder, to actually do.

I had a good night last night. I'm paying now (oh how I've been paying today). I plan on not boozing like that again for a very long time. That's stuff I can affect now. My state of mind. What I want going forward.

You just clean up the spilt milk and get on with things. That's all.

See you tomorrow.

P.S. You might as well read that whole IJ bit about cliches exerted on the New Yorker. It's so good. It's here.

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