22 May 2006

34. Alcohol

Dear alcohol,

I think I love you. Not just because you come in many forms which are delicious, but that doesn't hurt. No, I love you because I have learned to coexist delightfully with your effects as a drug, by which I mean your mood-amplifying qualities. I wish I could call them mood-enhancing qualities, but the phrase "mood-enhancing" has come to describe substances whose effects are generally positive, which in your case isn't necessarily true. You see, I've managed to figure out that you take whatever mood I'm in and make it more so. Which means I don't get to use you when I'm in a crappy mood, or even when I'm in a so-so mood, but you're fine when I'm happy, or even (like today) when I'm tired but otherwise okay, because you make me even better. And that's just groovy, baby.

I like that being aware of your effects makes me feel like a super-genius, because I can avoid being a total asshole simply by avoiding you when I'm in a lousy mood. Now if only I could spread my genius to the entire world and furthermore instill everybody with the wisdom needed to prevent themselves from using you as an excuse to be the assholes they secretly are all the time... but I digress. I like how you lower my inhibitions, although to be fair I was already in a silly talkative saying whatever's on my mind kind of mood today, so perhaps your effects were even more entertaining than usual. Or maybe I'm only funny to me. Whatever.

I also like how you make me feel good about riding my bike everywhere. Tonight, for instance, I would not have been safe to drive a motor vehicle home after a long shift at work and delicious grilled tempeh sandwich and a quart of beer over the course of dinner at the pub (and note how it sounds much scarier to say "a quart of beer" instead of "two pints" — what's up with that? I digress. Again.) However, because I was riding my bike, I felt fine. Who was I going to hurt, really? No one, that's who, except maybe myself, and the latter probably not so severely as to adversely affect the lives of the people I love, which is of course the point at which self-injury becomes unacceptable, and yet again I digress. Back to my recent bike ride — as an added bonus, you made it feel like I was going really, really fast at a piddling 13 miles an hour according to my nifty bike computer/odometer toy. That was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

I thought I had more to say to you, alcohol, but I seem to have forgotten them in my glee at riding home safely tonight. That's cool. I'm going to sit around drinking lots of water to stop you from giving me a hangover, and perhaps meditate on how incredibly easy you are to consume in the form of Anderson Valley's summer solstice ale. It's like cream soda with a beer aftertaste, I tell you what — but I'm sure you already knew.

Much love,

Published 22 May 2006, title abridged 1 December 2011, last updated 6 June 2014.