I was more than a social drinker, but I was not a problem drinker, so I would probably be best described as a habitual drinker. I never considered myself to be an alcoholic, as I only drank heavy on weekends, but I did not refrain completely during the week. I drank beer and I did not suffer many hangovers, but I did have some mornings where I did not want to get out of bed after a prolonged night of drinking. I ran a tab at a local bar, which made it easy for me to get drinks and since at this time in my life, I did not have a checking account, I went to the bar to cash my paycheck and pay off my tab. I was a regular and I knew all the bartenders and most of the patrons.
There’s nothing like drinking a cold, frosty beer after a day of work. Although beer can taste incredibly refreshing, technically it dehydrates you, forcing your kidneys to expel much more water than they would normally do without alcohol in your system. All of my friends drank and I was actually good at drinking. There are all kinds of drunks, some are loud and boisterous, some are argumentative, sometimes they can be quiet and contemplative, sometimes sad and depressed, along with almost every shade and combination in between these and other emotions. Drinking always gave me an ego boost, making me feel better about myself.
I drank to excess indulging to the point of intoxication, never really passing out, but I do remember feeling shame for falling down a few times, as that was awkward. We were not allowed to drink till we were 21 in my State, so we drove to the next State where they served you at the age of 18. The tavern that we went to did not actually abide by the rules, as they never checked anyone’s ID, as I guess that they were just happy to get business. We usually went to this tavern in two different carloads of guys (six guys in each car) and we sat at different tables, challenging ourselves to see which table could drink more beer than the other table and the losing table would have to pay for all of the beer.
We paired off and each group had to stay within one pitcher of beer with the other group and once a table got a whole pitcher ahead, that ended the contest, so there was a lot of chugging going on to stay in contention. This Irish guy named Munley could drink a lot and I was always trying to keep up with him and hoping that the others at my table would hold their weight. I guess that I developed a reputation because we won more times than we lost, but either way this always made for an interesting ride back home, especially when someone started passing around the bones. Most of the time I was the driver, as I had a station wagon which made it easier to fit everyone in. One night I had trouble navigating this bend and I ended up running down a stop sign.
Eventually my State changed the drinking age law and we did not have to drive a long distance to get our beer. From my drinking escapades in the other State I had build an identity as someone who could hold my liquor, a skein of persuasion that let people know that I was able to drink others under the table. One night my friends challenged me that I would not be able to drink a four ounce glass of beer every minute for a whole hour. I felt pretty good about drinking large amounts of alcohol, and I had no problem with it having to be consumed rapidly. They told all the other people in the bar what I was going to do, and they came up with a $30 pot as encouragement me to drink. I accepted the dare to drink all the beer which had to be done within the first 15 seconds of each minute. This meant a lot of chugging, but it also gave me 45 seconds of rest between each glass. The beer was ordered in pitchers and my friends paid for all of it.
A 4-ounce glass of beer was nothing to me, but 60 of them adds up to 240 ounces or 1.875 gallons of beer. Putting this in another perspective, this is like drinking 20 12-ounce bottles of beer in an hour. With the time restriction, there was no chance for me to make a trip to the bathroom and that is a lot of fluid to have to hold in. I drank all 60 glasses of beer and rushed to the bathroom to relieve myself, feeling proud of my consumption. I don’t remember much after that and I hoped that any damage that I did to my kidneys and liver would be reversible, but sadly this was not the end of my drinking.
I went out to a club in Brazil one night where they had this great group that was playing some real old rock and roll like Steppenwolf ‘Born To Be Wild’, Frankie Ford ‘Sea Cruise’ and other goodies like the Rolling Stones. The beer in Brazil comes in these gigantic bottles, which I shared with my friends and we drank out of small glasses. The waitress would mark your ticket everytime you purchased a round of drinks and the odd thing was that you kept the ticket in your pocket. The part of Brazil that I was in was called gaucho country, which is like a North American cowboy, but they dressed more like Pancho Villa. The Brazilian girls all wore skin tight leather pants, that were so thin that it allowed your mind to detect everything. Many of these girls had red hair, but most of them were probably wearing a wig. I am not much of a dancer, but my table was very close to the stage and all the girls were rocking it out next to the band, so I got a real good look at what was shaking. Watching them dance made me feel like my heartstrings were made out of a ball of twine. I drank a lot of beer that night as my tab said that I owed for 18 bottles and when I left I was plastered and there was no way that I would have been able to say any kind of tongue twister about anyone selling shells at the seashore. Eventually I toned down my drinking.
Written for Daily Addictions prompt Week #31 – Detect, for FOWC with Fandango – Ego, for August Writing Prompts – Pancho Villa, for Sheryl’s A New Daily Post Word Prompt – Reversible, for Ragtag Community – Abide, for Scotts Daily Prompt – Thin, for the Sunday Whirl Wordle 363 prompts – Skein Bones Refrain Twine Shade Weight Wig Sea Shells Bend Shame Stones and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Awkward.