Waking up in a park on a Saturday afternoon with literally no idea of where you are or how you got there is not as glamorous as it sounds. It’s not even grungy-glamorous, like your life is the next poppy production of the National Lampoon.
And it’s not because it’s trashy, or because it’s dangerous, or because it’s immoral – even though it is all those things – the reason that waking up in a park with no memory is not all it’s cracked up to be is that you don’t remember anything. It might have been fun, it might have been awful, but you have no idea.
Then you have to try to gauge the time of day and the directions from where the sun is in the sky, and then try to hail a cab while you remember bits and pieces of where you’d been and what you’d done in the last 24 hours since the party started. Images of a bouncer telling you that you can’t come into a bar, of hiding a full bottle of vodka in the tank of a tavern toilet.
I suppose that this is what alcoholics are referring to when they say rock-bottom – the strange feeling that you don’t even know who you are any more, that you can’t even tell whether you’re awake or dreaming. It’s not glamorous, it’s not romantic, it’s not nice.
Three weeks ago tonight, I was sitting on my back porch with my younger brother Ed after a softball game, drinking beers and shooting the shit until about three in the morning, when we decided to go to Nashville. So we left, got into South Bend around 6AM, stayed to eat with our cousin Jack, and then left heading South. I called in sick to work that day and the next, and we wandered up and down Broadway in the rain in Music City, USA. We saw the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Grand Ole Opry, and we saw Second Avenue and Jack’s BBQ and the famous Wildhorse Saloon.
When I got back home on Sunday, I had an email waiting from my boss. I was being transferred to another department. So I’ve been a little busy since then, which is too bad. But I’m tired of talking about it, so don’t ask. I’ll be right back.