Monday, August 02, 2004

31,536,000 seconds

Well it's hotter 'n blazes and all the long faces
there'll be no oasis for a dry local grazier
there'll be no refreshment for a thirsty jackaroo…
There's nothing sadder than a town with no cheer…
no Bourbon, no Branchwater
there'll be no stopping here…
all ya can be is thirsty in a town with no cheer
Tom Waits- Town with no cheer (SwordfishTrombones)


August 2, 2003- A day that will live in infamy-
12 months or 365 days or 8,760 hours or 525,600 minutes or 31,536,000 seconds. It all means the same- my last drink. It was a Guinness and a shot of Tullamore Dew at The Black Watch in Los Gatos.

Tom Waits wrote the words above in or around 1982. His wife and longtime writing partner, Kathleen Brennan, said to him that the song was so beautifully sad and lonely he must have loved “her”, whoever it wrote it about, very much. His reply? This ain’t a love song- it’s a song about when you can’t get a drink.

Last August I set a goal- 1 month, no drinking. See how it goes. That month came and went. Then someone told me that when most people decide to stop drinking, they usually mean alcohol. I was really glad to hear that, so I drank a bucket of Kool-Aid and peed for an hour. OK, 6 months. Came, went. OK, 1 year. Came, went.

The world is not a better place. Politics is still politics, prices are still high, people still die, and my dog still stinks. But on the bright side, instead of sleeping the sleep of a guy with a beer or 2 or 3 or 4 in his head to float him off to dream land, I get to toss and turn at night with every ache and pain and mattress lump clearly defined.

Yay.

People say that the economy is on the rise, but several east and south bay bars were forced to close their doors. I blame the economy in general, but I get nasty looks on the street anyway.

I’m thirsty. I think I’ll make some Kool-Aid.

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