I had a totally different topic that I was going to write about today…but something else is bothering me, so ….
The son of a friend of ours-really my SO’s- came to stay with us. From the UK. The parents are very old friends of my SO and he has spent a lot of time with them where they live in the country. They go back “donkey’s years” as they say…Anyway, they have a son-32 years old- who still lives at home and is around whenever we’re there. But the interaction is fairly minimal as he’s doing stuff-whatever that is. Doesn’t really work. He was in a band for a time and traveled around a bit with that in Europe-but nothing ever came of it. So he really doesn’t work other than doing things around the property for money. Kind of like when I was a kid and I had to earn my allowance. Which stopped when I was about 15 and got a part time job after school..Which this guy has never done. And just to be clear-and set the picture, his parents are not wealthy, landed gentry. Well, they do have some land-but they are not wealthy. He is not a “trust fund” child.
Anyway, when he called or e-mailed my SO to say he was going to be here in Austin for a week and would like to stay with us-we said fine. Almost immediately, I suggested to my SO that it might be an nice idea to treat him to a hotel one night in the downtown, music part of town. When we realized that the second night he would be here we were committed to “Ashram sitting,” which is another blog post, and would be out of town ourselves, we thought that the perfect night. So we arranged it. We also offered him my old, beat up van to use while he was here as well as asking questions about what he would like to do. To be honest, my thought was that he really wouldn’t want to be with us at all and would love the freedom a vehicle would give him, etc. But, no he said. He didn’t want to use the van. So, my SO left me in Brenham, Texas at the Temple of Compassion taking care of the 2 sacred Brahma Cows and came back to Austin to pick him up from the airport and spend the night. The next morning, he took him on a tour of Austin and checked him into the hotel that we’d booked. My SO then returned to me and the cows.
So, to make a long story not so long, the guy wasn’t at home when we came back. My SO went and picked him up and brought him back-where he ate some leftover pizza he had and then crashed out. I’m not sure exactly what happened that night, but I can guess that a ton of alcohol was involved… Fine. Now my SO and I are not into going out-driving downtown, etc. Trust me, I have done that a zillion times and I just can’t be bothered.. The most we ever do is take people to a place called The Continental Club-which is iconic-for the 6:00 show..Anyway, earlier in the day on Saturday, he said he wasn’t going to go out. Was just going to sit by the pool or hang in the back yard. Which he did. Drank 8 beers and smoked a ton of cigarettes. All before 6. Then he decided he would go out. My SO said he’d run him where he wanted to go and he could get an Uber back. Sunday morning around 11, I was just trying to figure out how to check the previous evening’s arrest records when he called and said he was on the way back-some guy he’d met the night before was bringing him.. While he didn’t say so, I’m sure he was hungover..the shaking gave it away.. He had some toast and juice to hold him over til we had our usual Sunday lunch. Then he took a nap…passed out is what I would say.
We didn’t see much of him that evening and he didn’t want to go out the following evenings. Just sat outside and drank and smoked. On Tuesday, he decided to sit by the pool in the morning and had 7 beers by 2:00 p.m. Then took a “power nap” as he called it. I call it passing out.
He’s gone now. Left yesterday to drive to El Paso (God knows why!) before going on to California for a couple of weeks and then back to the UK. The thing is though, I have had some major buttons pushed and am not exactly sure which ones. I never once wished I was drinking. And I don’t give a flying f*** if someone else does. And, as I watched him sitting on the patio, drinking, smoking and listening to music, I couldn’t help but think about how I did that every night for, well, donkey’s years. So what’s bothering me? I will say, that his interaction with us was very minimal. He never seemed drunk. He was always polite. Said “thank you” and “that was lovely”. But I couldn’t help but feel that those were canned responses-the kind he uses to appease his mother. Of course when I was drinking a bottle of wine on the balcony every night-it was after working a full day. Being productive. After having gone to the gym and working out. Walking the dog.
Which brings me to the question of, is there really any difference? Is there any difference between someone who’s pretty lazy and spoiled and abuses alcohol and God knows what else-and someone who puts in their shift and more. Someone who still gets the laundry done, the shopping done, dinner on the table, earns a paycheck? Does that make that person a “better” abuser of alcohol? More deserving? There’s a part of me that feels that he is lost. He’s in some kind of pain-on a “soul-u-lar” level. As is everyone that abuses. I don’t know-I wanted to put a list in his suitcase that went something like: 1)Move out of your parents house 2)Move out of that podunk town 3)get a job-any job-earn your own money 4)interact with different people… Shit like that. Although as I’m going over this list here, it occurs to me that I never thought about telling him to quit drinking. Huh! I don’t know.
Don’t know why I can’t just say to myself, “he’s gone..” and just forget about it. Something about his energy-or was it the energy of a person in that state that is upsetting to me? I will say my SO even picked up on it.. I thought I smelled something burning yesterday and when I mentioned it, my SO said he’d lit some incense to cleanse the energy-smudge the space!!! Of course after that, he’s just moved on-and I can guarantee you he hasn’t spent any time analyzing the whole thing. My SO I mean. But in my case, this feeling of dis-ease is lingering. I know in time, it will pass. As I write this, what has occurred to me are the words “what a waste”. And, maybe that’s it. You know, I try to not be a would’ve, should’ve, could’ve kind of person. I also try not to dwell too much on the cringeworthy things in my past. I don’t like to think about the drugs I took or the moments I was extremely drunk in a public place. I also don’t lay a guilt trip on myself about it all. But seeing it play out in front of my eyes-and I want to be clear-this guy wasn’t acting like this because “he was on vacation”. No. This is his life. He’s 32. I’ll be 62 in a few weeks. Less time in front of me than behind me. And while I had a long drinking career, I’ve also lived a life. Had a career. Traveled. Met a ton of people. Grew in many ways. Could I have grown more and maybe been more successful if I had been sober the whole time? Maybe..Probably.. Who knows? I’m not going to beat myself up with those questions. I also came into this world with some drive. Some desire to accomplish.. I’m a worker. Just am. It’s in me. I realize it’s not in everyone. But being a witness to this guy’s behavior was very upsetting to me. Because, as far as I can see, it’s a waste. It’s sad. Don’t let that be you.