...After 8 years of just being dapperly drunk all the time writer David Von Behren endeavors to go 40 days without slurping an alcoholic libation, living to tell the tale by blogging about his daily snorkel into sobriety one day at a time, airing out his liver like fresh spring linen, forgoing the substance that has been his creative rod and staff in order to chronicle the dreams of all mankind...
Friday, May 17, 2013
Day 18: Perspicuity (c)
Status: You find yourself trussed and strapped on a
gurney in the back of an ambulance
Physiology: after nearly 40 beers. Somehow this is
the life you have chosen for yourself.
The EMT’ers are doing standard protocol by asking
rote questions. They ask you what your middle name is. They ask if you can
recite the digits to your phone number and address. When they ask if you can
tell them who the current president of the United States is you snap back and
say you can do one better, you can name every president of the United States in
order backwards. By the time you get to Harry S. Truman at number thirty-three
they are looking at you like you have lost it.
“Hold on there buddy this isn’t Jeopardy, now.” One
of the EMT’ers with short hair who you can tell frequents a tanning bed says.
You are fine. You don’t need to be going anywhere. This is your daily routine.
Drinking in front of your monitor, trying not to look at her visage,
flagellating alphabetical emblems onto the blank slate in front of you and then
passing out after a twelve pack and heading to work five hours later.
One of the EMT’ers is talking into his collar about
a male, early 30’s, possible toxic levels of alcohol mixed with some yet to be
determined substance. Your ears can register the anal shrill of the siren. Somehow
the vehicle feels like it is paddling in slow motion as it speeds down Main
street. It seems hard to believe that
people are pulling over on the side of the street to make room for the perseverance of your
“That and the male kept saying that everything was ‘pessimistic.’”
The tanned short haired fuck says into his collar. You feel like correcting
him. You feel like telling him that the word is perspicuous, only you refrain.
When you look straight up you see your entire body strapped down
in the reflection of the ceiling of the ambulance completley helpless. Like Christ tied to a crucifix only without the horizontal
“Just stay tight Pessimistic, we’re almost there.”
Tanning bed says.
You close your eyes and try to disappear.
There is something about the word Fuck. Something
about the way your bottom lip envelopes inside the back of your mouth so that
it dissipates completely under the bridge of your front teeth as the first syllable
foams plosive sockets of air before sputtering the vulgarity out in an eruptive
bark. Something about the way it feels like a caged ornithological creature hatching
out from the front of your face in a single-syllabic peck. Something about the way
your facial muscles tighten and then release and then give birth to the ‘pock’ sound. Something about the way
it frees your entire physiology.
It is like you are trying to gnaw on the oxygen
bartered to produce such an insult against solitude.
You sit inside the Gazebo on Western avenue across
from where you have just seen your godmother at McDonald’s and shove tasteless mass
marketed vittles into the orifice above your chin in a futile effort to sop up
all the booze. Since you were in fifth grade you always remove your hamburger
bun and slap fries down in the middle of the sandwich and then place the bun
back on andinhale in chomps. You have
drained between 25-30 beers. You are exhausted. Your plan is to amble back to
Heading avenue to your second bedroom and sleep for six hours and then go to
work. It is three o’clock in the afternoon. You have been drinking since 8 am.
Inked inside the gazebo the word Fuck is scrawled in
five different places, adorned like paleolithic cave paintings of cattle at Lascaux. You take out your writing pen and
begin to scrape into the marrow of chipped paint. Writing the word fuck is like
playing a game of hangman, lynching the sixth letter of the alphabet in three off
kiltered slashes before etching two disperse cul-de-sac shaped you’s punctuating
the expletive with a thick kay.
As you are cracking the fifth vowel you think about
the red headed girl in the tunnel at Bradley park two springs ago. You think about when you showed her the tunnel
and how you told her that in Shamanism there is a ritual where in a deeply
meditative state, the shaman pictures himself entering the earth, following a
tenebrous plume of darkness, of nothingness, incubating for hours before
sprouting up being reborn.
You tell her that Jesus was like this. Being planted
into the earth. Dying to who he was, to transubstantiate into the deity he was ordained to be-- death to the infantile ego, birth to the
You tell her that the metaphor is that part of you
needs to die in order to be reborn. To be that person you are ineluctably
destined to become.
She looked at you and then turned the other direction as
you find a tree to relieve yourself.
Back in the Gazebo you realize that you meant to
write the word FUCK but instead you have involuntarily grafiti’d her name five times.
You are finished eating. You scrunch up the
McDonalds bag into the size of a human liver punting it with your right foot, littering it in the yard behind
Maybe you should have one more beer before you pass
out and die.
The nurse in the emergency room has panty lines
visible under the blithe sway of her Kleenex- colored scrubs
and she is chewing gum and has her hair bowed up like a pineapple cosigning
hospitality. The last time you were in the emergency room was when you had a
nervous breakdown after the red headed girl sent you a letter informing you
that she will never be with you. You think about how her filmmaker beau can’t
drink worth shit and how his liver is so anemic it could be used as a book mark
to one of your novels someday.
The doctor comes in and tell you that your blood
alcohol level is 2.9 and that it was probably higher since it has been two
hours since your last drink.
“You’re lucky, some people pass out and die when
they drink that much.”
She tells you that quite a few do actually.
She tells you there was no sign of anything other
than alcohol and cholesterol in your system.
You choose not to use the word perspicuous. There is
an IV that looks like a dated Star Wars droid plugged into your right arm.
The doctor tells you that you seem like a bright
young man and that you need to take it easy. You think about bending the pixie-headed
nurse with the visible panty lines over the helm of the med cart and fucing her
brains out, fucking her so deep that you can somehow penetrate the hymen of her
airhead heart until it plops open into skittles of light.
You want to leave.
You endeavor to stand up.
“I need to go home. I work in a couple of hours.”
Both the doctor and the nurse are telling you that
you need to remain sedated for at least another forty minutes until the IV drips
out. The doctor tells you that you should probably just call in sick to work even though you have never called in sick to work in your life.
“You can’t just go home. You need to call someone to
pick you up.” The nurse says, sounding like she just beat you in the gradeschool spelling