Final Lush Years pg165
Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic
By 1993 my drinking had increased with no good excuse for it. Breaks between binges grew shorter. One night at the Union Hotel a band was playing a favorite song and people were dancing. I had always loved to dance at every opportunity, but something had shifted. A boozy fog thought suggested it was better to sit on the stool with my wine. I had a much worse thought, “I may never dance again. Oh well.” And my life shrunk even smaller. Then I stumbled across the street, polished off the brandy bottle in the kitchen and make it upstairs to pass out.
Heavy drinkers come up with hare-brained rules to create an illusion that things are manageable. One of my rules was tequila only in the summer and whiskey in the winter. I screed up and went on a Jose Cuervo bender one afternoon that December, so that was why I hit the couch face down early in the evening. It didn’t occur to me that quantity and not flavor was the likely reason. — From Chapter 8
What a coincidence this passage pops up the day after a mob of delusional crazies allowed themselves to be fomented to a frenzy of violence by a equally delusional mad man who has been spewing lies his entire life. Yesterday’s attack on the Capital to overthrow the democratic process (an admittedly flawed system but the best we have — like life itself) just revealed itself to be a metaphor for the person I was in December, 1993. To my horror, I have just experienced a feeling of empathy with that mob. 27 years ago I was that mob, and I was that deluded.
A person who drinks responsibly will stop at the point when to continue will bring negative consequences… anything from sloppiness and a hangover to a DUI and jail time, to a possible manslaughter charge. A person who cannot stop is an extremist. Or an alcoholic. If I was that mob, then trump was alcohol, and I believed what it said. I believed I had the right to follow my desires, and consequences be damned. I could blame everyone except myself. I believed the lies, and I almost destroy my life. Even worse, I negatively impacted my community by putting my needs before anyone else’s, and threw tantrums when I didn’t get my way.
In the next chapter I clean up my act by examining the delusions that consumed me. Many generous people helped me recover from an addiction to alcohol. That’s it! What we need now are 12-step support groups for recovering trump addicts. Unfortunately I can’t start one because the far right is a cult I never fell victim to. But I do feel the same compassion as for a drunk who drives a car into a building. Thing is, an addict has to want to recover and seek help. That only happens with remorse, which doesn’t look like something the maga crowd experiences. Maybe prison would help with that? Hmm, maybe not as compassionate as I imagined myself to be.
A signed copy of Mernie’s memoir is available at www.etsy.com/listing/839838936
Unsigned copies can be ordered wherever books are sold.