Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Drink Alone

The month of February 1991 was an especially cruel one for me in Ohtawara-shi, Toichigi-ken, Japan.
Not for anything that happened in Japan, mind you, but because of events going on in Toronto, I helped support the local distilleries and those across the globe.

While I was of course having relationship problems with my on-again/off-again girlfriend Ashley--which depressed me to no end, back in Toronto, I received news that a friend of mine had died in a car accident, my cat died and my grandfather had passed away.

Combine with the fact that it was bitterly cold and February, I was homesick. Toronto is downright nasty in February.

I wasn't already feeling homesick because I'd been in Japan for over six months without family or old friends, I also missed hockey and my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs, and baseball for my Toronto Blue Jays (though I also have a fondness for the now perennial sad sack Pittsburgh Pirates).

With naught else to do, I did what any fine and upstanding young man away from the home for the first time would do - I got stinking drunk. For about one month straight.

Every night I'd head over to the 4C or pick up some booze at a nearby liquor shop (never the one downstairs - you don't want the neighbours to think you have a problem), and I would get so drunk I couldn't even think straight.

I never got sick and I never got a hang-over. This meant I was able to more or less function coherently at work the next day - being happy and peppy and bursting with love in front of my students. If the they only knew the pain I felt - obviously not while I was drinking, because I felt no pain then.

It's true - Matthew has seen me as a crying wailing drunk, but in all honesty, I've never had a hangover. Not once.

At the 4C, in order to honour my grandfather, I wanted to have a whiskey and soda - but sorry folks, I don't care for whiskey. Instead, I tried some bourbon. Bourbon and soda was my drink of choice when at the 4C for that month. I recall sitting at the bar, staring at the tall glass, picking it up and lifting it high while looking skyward and toasting my grandfather with a very loud 'cheers' that had the other patrons turn to stare at the gaijin (foreigner). No biggie. If you are a foreigner in Japan, you better get used to some people staring at you or you'll drive yourself to drink. Okay, poor example.

I'm not sure what caused me to stop drinking when I did, except maybe a MASH episode I saw that was sent over by my mother in a weird happen-stance.

In it, a somewhat alcoholic Hawkeye Pearce is about to drink an alcoholic beverage, and he says (paraphrasing here): "I really need a drink" He then pushes it away and say: "But I'll have it when I really want one."

Somewhere thanking a television show,
Andrew Joseph
Today's title is sung by George Thorogood & the Delaware Destroyers. BUUDY WEISER

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...