On the Island-2

Last week when we went to the ball game I had an "interesting" moment, kind of a flashback to one of my favorite alcoholic fantasies: drinking endless amounts of beer while watching an endless baseball game on an endless summer evening when the sun is setting but never quite set. What happened? We were walking along the new 'boardwalk' that wraps around the outfield. The bar style seats facing the field look most inviting. Lots of people drinking beer. Damn, wouldn't I like to join them! An understatement: for a second I'm thinking I'd do anything, give anything to join them. It was just a moment or two, but for that brief instant I was seeing one of my great fantasies right before me: perfect summer evening, starched white uniforms against a backdrop of deep, lush green grass. Balls being tossed. And the beer stand not ten steps away. Perfect! 9, 18, 27 innings, play on! One beer, two beer, sixty thousand beers! I don't care if I ever get back! Unfortunately for my addiction, reality intruded in two ways. First, I recalled that my attempts back in the nineties to actually live this fantasy right there at City Island were doomed to failure and ended up filling me with dissatisfaction, anxiety, and a handful of nasty hangovers. Here's how it would go: drive to the game (alone! God forbid some reasonable person interfere with my meditations), drink, enjoy, drink, drink, drink. WAIT: I've got to drive home and they're going to close the beer stand anyway. One more! Or two... Then drink coffee! Make many trips to restroom. Pray that my blood/alcohol level has returned to a level that isn't too far above the legal limit. Walk to parking lot slowly. No hurry. Drive carefully, take back route home. Nuts!
Get home, celebrate successful return with a few more beers! Go to bed. There'd be fleeting moments when it was just right, but it always ended in frustration. Back to the present and the second intrusion, the clincher: I had promised myself in the morning that I wasn't going to drink that day. (Blessed routine, indeed!) It would have to wait, so there went that fantasy. Briefly, very briefly, I'm feeling the weight of a grand, cosmic injustice. No fair! For about thirty seconds I felt resentful of my own stupid promise, but that too passed quite quickly. But, oh those thirty seconds, really like being on an island, a miserable, stinking little pisshole of solitude. Luckily for me there are millions upon millions of swim instructors and it's easy, and essential, to get off. Fast. In a flash it's all gone, the notion of injustice turns out to be hysterically funny. So I want to join them? Be my guest, step right up. I think about it. Nope. Maybe another day, for another ball game. Experiences of this kind are quite infrequent for me, but it does happen every once in a while.

I write this entry in memory of Dr. Rodney Hough, who died last week at age 65. Rod recovered from hardship and addiction with great determination, usually with good cheer, and always with an unbeatable sense of humor. Rod, baby, you did good! Oh man, will we miss ya!