Monday, June 21, 2010

The Belly

"It's a funny thing, but have you ever noticed that you can always find someone to buy you a drink, but there is never anyone who will pay for something to eat?" Emile Zola- "The Belly of Paris"

Looks good doesn't it all nice and tasty. Read that sentence again, and think about it for a few seconds. Ever had a really shitty day, and are telling one of your pals about it? What do they do? Do they say "shit, that sucks, come on I'll buy you a drink." Sure they do, because bad days or bad news is handled best with booze, and that's what pals are for, to buy you drinks when the world is clearly not on your side. Does that pal ever say "shit, that sucks come on I will buy you a quart of Chunky Monkey ice cream.?" I would sort of hope not, and it has never happened to me, and I have had a few shit days in my time. Of course, some of us do medicate ourselves with the ambrosia of the gods pictured above. Chocolate, the Lifetime Movie Channel, and a box of tissues have been the answer to many of life's problems. Zola wasn't talking about solving life's little bad days, but about life itself. Hunger can be pretty well disguised by a couple of drinks, and besides booze makes us feel better than food right? I have a buddy going through a bit of a rough patch, but they are always trying to avoid booze. How hard is that? What do I tell them, "come on, I will buy us a Frosty?" It is a puzzler to try and sort out how to be a good friend to them, but not buy them a drink. After all a drink will make it all better right? One little drink couldn't hurt, could it? Of course, one drink is so very rarely one drink. The first tastes so damn good, and hits the spot just perfectly why not have another. Besides, we are just getting to chatting about the problem(s) you are facing, so you can't leave now, we haven't sorted anything out. Two drinks won't hurt will it? Boy does that second one taste even better than the first, and now dusk is falling, people are beginning to come into the joint, and maybe if you have one more things might perk up. After all, you don't have anywhere to be, but some lonely, dark apartment. Why not sit here with your buddy that cares enough to listen to you have a good moan, and drink on his dime? Three drinks, and you realize that all you have been doing is discussing your life or problems, and haven't even asked your pal about his day, or about how his life is progressing. That is just rude isn't it? Might as well let him get what is troubling him out as well, after all, he was kind of enough to suggest this idea in the first place. Four drinks, and by now maybe a couple of other regulars have wandered into the bar, you can't just up and leave now can you? Besides with all the interruptions of people coming in and you greeting them, or people leaving, and you saying bye to them, you haven't really got too deep into your little heart to heart with you pal. Been an age since you've seen the bugger, and even longer since you were able to talk for more than two consecutive minutes. Five drinks, and man these things are just sliding down into, what you now realize is your empty belly, because after all your buddy offered to buy you a drink, not to take you to dinner. Six drinks, and you and your buddy are finding all sort of personal tidbits out about each other, maybe some that you didn't want to hear, but after all he is your pal right? He is the one that suggested this idea in the first place, and it would be rude to say "sorry lad, but your desire to murder your spouse for the insurance money is a bit too weird for me." By now your in for a penny, in for a pound. What is one more? You've been afflicted with the "one more disease" and it has claimed a lot of other people besides you. It is an insidious disease, and very, very difficult to resist. Even if you had the willpower to resist, which you don't because you've already had six, or was it seven, drinks. Sure you will feel like warmed over ass tomorrow, and you will curse your buddy for keeping you out till 1 a.m. drinking, but at least you got some things off your chest. And after all, there are somethings that chocolate just can not fix.

P.S. Dedicated to three people, two alive, and one dead. One a inspiration, one a source, and one a source of inspiration. You know who you are (at least the live ones do).

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