Thursday, November 4th, 2010

There Is A Light That Always Goes Out

The lady at my liquor store is a delightful woman in her mid-fifties who always beams brightly and is never particularly concerned about whether or not you've got exact change.

I was down there just now and it was pretty crowded for the middle of a Thursday afternoon. (The fact that I know the retail patterns of liquor stores in the middle of a Thursday afternoon is an entirely different matter.)

"You're busy," I said to her.

She nodded her head.

"The last three days," she smiled. "Maybe the weather."

That's as good an answer as any, I guess. We all have our reasons for why we drink: We're depressed. We feel as if we haven't succeeded in even the modest goals we've set for ourselves. We're nervous. We over-analyze the most rudimentary aspects of life, imbuing each detail with imagined tragedy when the sheer facts of living are tragic enough. We feel awkward. We are sad and alone. We like the taste. Reasons, we have plenty.

But in weather like this, yes, we drink. Have you noticed how dark it is in the mornings now? You lay there in bed, coaxing yourself to give it another shot while totaling up the happinesses and disappointments in your time on this earth thus far. The disappointments never come up short, and the ledger is always balanced in the favor of sorrow. You sigh, you pull yourself up, you turn on the light, and it starts over again. It's all gray and the dusk comes early. Some days it rains. It's hard to even try.

Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend. I can't ever figure out whether we lose an hour or gain an hour, but this is the one where you turn time back. In the end it doesn't make a difference: That hour will catch up with you one way or another. So will the darkness. That's how life is. That's why we drink. Anyway, don't forget about the clocks.

Photo by blastobutter, from Flickr.

63 Comments / Post A Comment

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

Oh shit I have been going around all week thinking that Daylight Savings already happened.*

*May or may not be directly related to the "alcohol" part of this equation.

BadUncle (#153)

I drink for the whiskey dick.

saythatscool (#101)

I wish you would stop calling my rig that.

BadUncle (#153)

Great mudflaps, though.

Bettytron (#575)

Any mention of whiskey dick immediately warrents linking to this.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Alex Balk is the voice of America.

deepomega (#1,720)

Oh good god. Where's the whiskey.

jrb (#3,020)

From there on known as: The Post That Started a Thousand Rainy Day Benders.

Maybe you lay there in bed.

I choose to lie there, in grammatical fashion. (The end result is much the same.)

I'm so sad in the mornings right now.

Just thought I'd leave that here.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

There's nothing worse than getting up in the dark, going to work in a windowless building, and then going home… in the dark.
Just something to add.

Bittersweet (#765)

Worse than staring out the window at the grey skies, incessant rain and bare-naked trees?

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

My bedroom has no windows. So when I wake up, it's always just as dark as it was when I went to sleep. I also live in a state of paralyzing existential terror.

Kevin Patterson (#5,933)

When did you move to Arizona?

katiebakes (#32)

They know not if it's dark outside or light.

Miles Klee (#3,657)

"No light; but rather darkness visible"

Bettytron (#575)

Or, yes, staring out the window and seeing the sun break through the clouds, making the whole office golden for a few moments, and knowing you won't be able to go outside until hours after the sun's set anyway.

pufflehuff (#1,850)

Oh, lovely.

Dan (#8,413)

i live in LA. it's 98 degrees with blazing sunshine out right now.

Matt (#26)

So you're still drinking clear liquor, then?

deepomega (#1,720)


Matt, Vodka and lemonade. It's depressing and refreshing at the same time.

Christ, I think this post just made Morrissey depressed.

And thirsty.

Matt (#26)

Reasons. Have them.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

Can you do a spoken-word MP3 of this, that I can make into an alarm? Thanks.

Neopythia (#353)

Only if Balk sounds like Tom Waits as that is the voice I hear in my head.

mathnet (#27)


paperbackwriter (#2,844)

I can't read "happinesses" without hearing a Dickens character voicing it the same was as "ha'penny," which means I'm thinking about half penises, which makes no sense. Time for a drink.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

I gave my shrink more or less the same list of reasons why I drink today. He listened patiently to my glorification of all things alcohol and said "you should move closer on the spectrum to teetotaler."

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Also, everyone should remember to change the batteries in their smoke alarms/carbon monoxide detectors this weekend!

mathnet (#27)

That's totally what I'm going to spend my extra hour doing. Fun! In the middle of the night! 3:00-4:00 AM is the one I'm having twice.

Aatom (#74)

My Pakistani bodega guy always asks me if I need a bottle of gin. The answer is usually yes.

Elle (#7,022)

They sell gin at your bodega? Christ I need to move.

dado (#102)

I think watching the sun come up and realizing that you've run through all the Parliaments and cooking sherry is worse then waking up in the dark.

Mar (#2,357)


Smitros (#5,315)

This post is quite lyrical. I wish it had been longer.

A Denby week, is it?

badthings (#1,903)


KenWheaton (#401)

"The last three days," she smiled. "Maybe the weather."

Hmmmm. What happened on Tuesday that may have started driving New Yorkers to drinking more than usual?

flossy (#1,402)

"You lay there in bed, coaxing yourself to give it another shot…"

Read that as "take another shot." Which, like I need encouragement? Is there any other way to start the day?

[slides under desk]

Bonnie (#1,782)

From a conversation with Gary, of Gary's Wine and Liquors on Flatbush Ave:

"Times are not so good. People aren't buying new boots; no, they fix their old boots. They don't buy new computer, they fix old computer. But you can't fix your old wine, right? Have to buy more wine. See?"

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

Gary's ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to his newsletter.

Bonnie (#1,782)

His newsletter comes in liquid form.

roboloki (#1,724)

i like to drink when i'm sober.

Clov gets down, takes a few steps towards window left, goes back for ladder, carries it over and sets it down under window left, gets up on it, turns the telescope on the without, looks at length. He starts, lowers the telescope, examines it, turns it again on the without.

Although I am pictured with a cat <–, I had the good fortune to get a dog. And when the mornings are dark and cold and rainy, he doesnotgiveashit and youbettergetup. This turns out to be a wonderful tonic. The drinking can be held off until lunch that way.

City_Dater (#2,500)

This doesn't always work. When the alarm goes off in the dark, my dog gently shifts so her chin is resting on my ankle, and then she moves a paw forward to hold the rest of my leg down.

And she's right. There's just no reason to get up in the cold dark morning.

Craig Brownson (#4,257)

@city_dater: Thank god our pets are also willing to give up. Depression loyalty.

brent_cox (#40)

Yes but: when my little dog gets down to the sidewalk and sees the rain, she turns and pulls me back inside, to the apartment where just five minutes ago I was sleeping.

kneetoe (#1,881)

You lose the hour. You always lose the hour. Because when you gain the hour you fill it with much drinking and then forget what you did with it.

Joey Camire (#6,325)

This site has an impostor complex.

Rodger Psczny (#3,912)

Spring Forward,
Fall Back!

I like getting up in the dark. It feels like I'm pulling myself up by my bootstraps. I have nothing good to say about leaving work in the dark.

Baboleen (#1,430)

Stop feeling so sorry for yourself!! Drag your ass out from where ever it is and do something constructive for yourself! You are going to be dead for a long time! Do not make me use another exclamation point!!

garge (#736)

I may be misremembering, but I feel like the other edge of this time zone is not so very very so very bad.

A.R. Chrisman (#2,964)

Tolstoi does public service announcements.

Heather Carr (#4,543)

Word, Mr Balk. Just fetched two bottles of red, some Johnnie Walker black and some tres olives vodka. its a long weekend in the chem house.

Heather Carr (#4,543)

and what i meant to say is that this site and my life are dovetailing badly.

On the way to work today we had a rare kind of ice-rain called graupel. I've never wished more for a flask in my desk.

maebefunke (#154)

Is this the year I switch from boxed wine to scotch? It just might be!

MythReindeer (#5,553)

They aren't mutually exclusive. Just don't mix them and everything should work out fine (note: it won't).

carpetblogger (#306)

I lost the hour last weekend. A week in, things do not improve.

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