February 09, 2003 | Category:

This Is Drunk

“It’s a long way down,” you think, “if only my legs were working.”

That, however, would be far too easy. Navigating rough terrain is tricky at the best of times but just now when you can’t… You know that thing you do with your brain. Bloody kebab shop! Why does it have to be so far away? It’s neon sign is mocking you from across the mighty gap often referred to as the road. Before that though, there are the stairs to contend with. You might as well get on your kness now because, with the same certainty that you will throw up over someone you know, you will fall trying to take this mammoth hurdle. This is drunk.

The thing is: it doesn’t happen like that at all when you’re experiencing it. Movement is dictated more by dampened reactions than cognitive choices: sure, you know that you’re on a collision course with the lamp post, but getting everything out of the way in time will depend on how early you noticed the problem. Depth perception soon becomes difficult. To paraphrase the immortal Father Ted, is the bouncer small or just far away? Really, are we moving apart or shrinking? How much have I had now?. No idea. All I know is that this is drunk.

Time also starts to bend in ways that it shouldn’t be able. This is what travelling at the speed of light is really all about: changing time, or the perception thereof. But you can’t be moving any faster than a few feet an hour, so why are you wiping the dirt of your trousers one minute and then eating dead animal the next? Why does it taste so great now but when you tried it on Thursday night it was bland? And just why are you in the middle of the road claiming (INSERT ROCK GOD HERE) is a (INSERT RANDOM INSULT HERE) to (INSERT INVISIBLE FRIENDS NAME HERE)? You might find that it’s because this is drunk.

Of course, none of it will matter in a few hours. You won’t remember much (at first). Slowly small details will come popping back. Yes, you were enjoying the conversation at the start and things steadily got more cosy as time passed. After that, it’s more difficult to recall what happened in order. You know you had some more alcohol, ate a kebab, went to a club and spoke to some people. But what order did it happen in? Was the kebab dinner or a late snack? And just whos vomit is that anyway? You know by now that this is drunk, and you are it.

You’ll never remember it all; not every last faded detail. You have the vague outline of a night in your head and some of the pieces that make it up. Your friends have some of the others. The question is: will you ever figure out exactly what happened?

Perhaps the question should be: do you want to? Or, maybe, like a tree falling with no-one around, if nobody can remember it did it even happen? You’d like to think “No”, but the bouncers insist on “Yes”.

With that, you’re thinking, “It’s a long way down, if only my legs were working.” Just get on your knees now, because you won’t remember tomorrow. Why? This is drunk.