Thursday, May 21, 2009

Captain Schnockered Hoists Anchor & The Tail-End Of A Peculiar Dream

So I had this weird dream...

Tuesday morning I got up early to finish my print; I started work around six and finished at around ten. Put up a post on the subject, then did a little housework and made lunch for the missus.

At that point I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, and I decided to be irresponsible and take the afternoon off, drink some beer and watch a movie from Netflix (Dust Devil, an incomprehensibly arty horror movie).

Partway through the film the missus suggested that we take a trip to the grocery store; I picked up another beer.

By the time I was done, she left for her Cactus and Succulent society meeting. I decided to go out and get some more booze.

Hoo, boy.

Here's my guess at what happened. I opened a can of chili and put it on the stove and then passed out, only to be awakened by firemen in the house. They came when a neighbor called about the streams of smoke pouring out of our windows. It also seems that I was talking to another neighbor out in the street. And I can't find my distance glasses. Guess I'll be wearing my bifocals a lot more in the near future.

The missus is pissed at me, of course. Right now she's got some things going on in her life that make it important for me to be able to give her support and I fucking well blew it. So I spent yesterday in a state of helpless guilt-ridden misery which ain't gonna dissipate any time soon.

Interestingly, when I was on the way hope from the print lab yesterday (they were out of glossy photo paper so I printed onto a art-quality matte stock -- it came out gorgeous) I ran across my sister and explained things to her.

"I've been working on a new concept," she said. "Not getting totally fucked up until my big old Irish face turns bright red. Just having a couple of drinks and then stopping when I hit the sweet spot. It's hard but it's the kind of thing you can train yourself to do."

"The thing is," I said, "when we were kids we learned that life is an unremitting hell that can only be transcended through intoxication. I have no idea how to drink but I'm pretty fucking good at getting drunk."


"Part of the problem is that when I feel like doing something nice for myself, booze is pretty much all I've got... I really need to work on that. And I should fucking well never drink by myself. If I'm around other people at least I can pace myself."

"Nah," she said. "You just need to stop drinking until you're plastered."

I dunno. It's been a while since I pulled a spectacular asshole move like that but frankly I can do without this kind of shit. I am just not the kind of person who can get away with not having control over his actions.

I hate having done that to the missus; I hate the idea that I'm only a bucket of booze away from destroying my life. I feel like a self-destructive chump right now. Oh well.

As regards the picture up top. I had a fairly involved dream last night and when I woke up the last part of it was wedged firmly in my noggin...

I'm in the back of a station wagon speeding down the highway, addressing a group that looks like it was assembled from casting calls for Watchmen, Pogo, and Toy Story. I am enraged, flecks of spittle flying from my mouth as I scream at them.

"Yeah, well, while you were off having your fucking science fiction adventure I've been elfed, ghosted, and funny-animaled up to my fucking ass. Jesus! You know Mr. Hoot, the wise old owl? Well, his fucking mother was staggering around on her wing knuckles -- she looked like a goddamned pterodactyl with rabies -- just non-stop mumbling all kinds of crazy shit and you know what Mr. fucking Hoot says to me? 'You should keep out of her way. Mom's been suing a lot of people lately.' So while you were taking your trip to the fucking moon I was dodging a senile owl so she couldn't fuck me over with some kind of trivial lawsuit."

I have no idea what to make of this. Every time I stick my hand into my subconscious I pull back a stump.

"And then I woke up."


Glendon Mellow said...

Glad you are okay!

Not being a drinker, I have no idea how hard it could be to stop. When I took a managing job in the company, a colleague recommended I start drinking, or play video games to blow off stress.

Destroying droids after a hard day still works for me.

You're a strong guy, you can do this.

Sean Craven said...

I appreciate the support, dude. Another friend of mine who reads the blog was over last night and she expressed considerable concern.

What makes this situation tricky is that my binges sneak up on me -- usually alcohol doesn't represent a problem for me, and it does have a lot of positive effects in my life so I'm reluctant to give it up entirely.

But when it does go wrong, it goes wrong in ways that leave me feeling awful for quite some time afterward. And the fact that I passed out while the stove was on really gives me pause. While this wasn't a really dangerous situation, it made me aware that I could get myself into real trouble this way. And, as always, I know that trouble would also affect the people closest to me in ways I can't support. So now I'm wondering if having some stupid incident happen once or twice a year is still too often to justify the habit.

I just cut out a bunch of pissing and moaning. Let's just say that my situation isn't as clear-cut as I wish it was -- the main difficulty I deal with is my mental illness. From what I've read, the current treatment involves sedation during crises, which is how I've wound up using booze in recent years. So curtailing my drinking means dealing with more of my crazy.

For now, I'm giving up drinking alone and I'll be more moderate in my social drinking.

Life is tricky and complicated. Frankly, I wish it would just shut up and do as it was told... But as much of a pain in the ass as this stuff is, at least I'm getting a novel out of it.