Not exactly Foreshadowing my eventual downfall from my Substance Use Disorder, "The Pub" is still worth some kind of personal commemoration if for no other reason than I stumbled upon it again (sober) recently.
Not my best piece of writing, but being 21 (the legal drinking age in Pennsylvania at the time) made me legal. I was still getting my feet wet (not drowning in a sea of alcohol as I would soon enough).
Being somewhat self-critical, I will admit it's a little on the too long side (42 lines).
Alcohol had not yet taken over my life. Curiously, I was tripping on acid (LSD) when I wrote this, never knowing a few short years later I would become an Advertising Copywriter and write my first book, All Drinking Aside.
Remember as you read it, that alcohol had not yet broken me and that today, 50 years later, I am still Becoming Unbroken (the title of my forthcoming book).
Without further ado, here is...
In its tables waxed and burnt with cigarette marks,
In its peanut shells and its glasses, endless piles of glasses,
In its cold-eyed stares and the smell of stale beer,
In its wine, in its whiskey and in its smell of people cramped into a crowd of loneliness,
I see life struggling to come to terms with itself.
In the laughter and the sadness of the Pub
And in the people's faces
I see a dizzy happiness reeling away and toppling over in the morning
And I see the hope that morning will not come
And I see the fear that each man's suffering will be felt
And I see that the suffering is felt but cannot be reckoned with.
In the thighs of thick-legged girls wanting to be themselves
Yet knowing they cannot be (as cold hands run up their stubbled legs,
Searching for what? They are not quite sure.),
In the groins of men beyond the point of excitation
And in the hands of men reaching for someone
And in the terror they feel if someone says they understand
When they themselves are afraid to understand
And in the fear and in the ransacking of each other's eyes
I see the tears of human suffering streaming back to creation
In a repetitious dance of blackness
And I see myself and I see you
And I see life resolving itself.
In this Pub that I see,
And in the life I see therein,
I see people swallowing life,
Guzzling it down,
In the wine, in the beer, in the conversation
And I see people choking on the first breath of this overwhelming thing called life.
In the silence and the sadness of the Pub
I see the suffering of its people
And I feel compassion
And I feel my tears
(I can hold them back no longer)
And I sense that I alone am in the Universe
And I reach out to touch the hands of its people
And I see its people running away from me,
Hiding behind their drunken eyes
And I see that love is all I can give
And I see that love is not enough to give
And I see that love cannot be accepted by the people of the Pub
And I see that I drink my beer in silence and however occasional smiles.
I guess I'll end this post with the appropriate title of one 50 Years more recent:
"I Thirst for Life, Not What Took That Thirst Away."
Please #Enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal
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