If you could get anyone drunk, who would it be and what would you do?
I always have scotch. My cough demands it, my throat and lungs. And my mind too is soothed, quieted, focused. It has become as a friend, always reliable and to hand with no delicate manoeuvrings. I drink to comfort myself.
I offer scotch to others, as hospitality sometimes. Or sometimes it is to ease their own agitation or to fill their need to simply drink. Mostly it is habit and politeness.
My friends are different. When I am with someone who I care for, who intrigues me, who lets a smile for them rise through me, I offer them my scotch for both of us. It is like a gift then - to me, yes - but also a gift between us. Communion. A small ritual of offering, and of being accepted, touching glasses, acknowledging that we are there together in space and time. L'Chaim, I say now. And, as I have said before, an answer means that we choose Life, at least for that moment while we are drinking. It is an action, a little rite, that makes it a fact, and that choice is a truce of sorts. That one, for the sake of the time with one's friend, is setting oneself apart from the darkness of one's inner struggle. To be present with another. But the scotch... it gives us something in common, a shared internal mental pattern of warmth, of mutual openness, so we can be together, so we can talk, listen, learn, feel maybe.
I can drink a great deal, and the more I drink, the steadier I become. Without it, I can barely - no, I cannot
get up in the mornings. I have an unfair advantage, when getting people drunk. Maybe I would do it for vengeance, but for my friends... no. If what I want is to see them purely, cleanly and truly that I may love them; if what I want is to be known and still... wanted, then making them drunk will never give me that, no matter how I yearn to see, to share. To get someone I cared for drunk, so that they could abide my presence, my gifts, my darkness - that would be hard to bear and more pain than solace. For touch... it is tempting, but it would be a lie for touch is just speech without words. More pain than solace.
No one need worry.
John is inclined to bow his head, wrap his arms about himself protectively, but he is dignified and shows nothing. Loneliness is nothing. It is nothing. Nothing. The steady words sound softly, though they are imagined, and he is comforted for imagining he is known.Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 448
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Nulli Virtute Secundus