Photo: Donnell Culver
I used to say and think and do the craziest shit!
I said this, many times, and I fully meant it and it made perfect sense to me:
“I’m too wasted to walk. I better drive.”
Now this would be because me and my friends had finished the booze, and although we’d all taken numerous pills and still had ounces of weed to smoke, we wanted to decamp to another place where there was more booze or beer to drink.
Maybe half a mile away to another house. Or just a few streets over.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t imagine walking that far in the condition I was in. I’d surely stagger into a tree or an oncoming car or just take a bad faceplant.
Therefore, my only choice was to drive. Quicker, therefore safer, thought I. Genius.
Of course, the idea of packing it in and crashing where I was never occurred to me. Or trying to convince my friends that we should stay put.
Nope. The call of more alcohol was primary. For me, alcohol was in charge. It ran the game, made the decisions.
It makes me sad to see how it was, and to realize that I lived many years in grave danger from the decisions that alcohol made for me.
Of course, from the perspective of being clean and sober for a few decades, this thinking is obviously that of a very sick and out-of-control person. No one in their right mind would consider getting behind the wheel of a car because they were too impaired to walk.
How did I survive? Why did my friend smash his motorcycle into a telephone pole, drunk, and die in the arms of a friend, right beside the road, but not me?
I know we all feel, at various times, that life isn’t fair. Fair. There should be some kind of deal that makes things work out, right?
What I can say is that if life had been fair to me, I would have been dead, in a wheelchair, incarcerated, locked up as a wetbrain in a state hospital, or become a shell of a human, alive only in the barest sense. Not out of any moral judgment on me, but simply as the scale of risk would be too heavily tilted to one side, and was bound to tip over.
But life isn’t fair. In my case, it’s been far far greater than fair. I’ve had a second life, and I’ve set right many of the wrongs from before. I escaped without much damage, thank God. And I’ve had a grand ol’ life since putting down the drink and drugs!
My insane alcoholic logic has been replaced by sound judgement. Not being wasted, ever, is the biggest blessing I could ever imagine.