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The Reason Why I Drink: Saturday | An I-Land Special

The Reason Why I Drink: A Confession In Seven Parts by Xavier Wayson, One For Every Day Of The Week (Spring 2015 edition)

Saturday . . .

‘What we do, we do for the sake of those who govern our lives. We are upmarket slaves, riding the low plains on our high horse, patting each other on the back and feeling damn good about ourselves because there is security in them-thar frills. Meanwhile, the faults creep up on us ever so slowly.’

What is the ‘true potential’ of life, or anything, for that matter?

What is the ‘miracle’ of being alive?

Is it a hocus-pocus term?

Is it the New Age way of talking religious crapalooza?

Ribbons and confetti? Smoke and mirrors?

Is it a harmless feelgood statement that should be taken at face value?

Or is there something more substantial to it?

Let’s examine our past to find out. True potential, the miracle of life, the high we’re all suffering from when chasing after it, languishing in its withdrawal and seeking out more, it exists. It’s real, waiting to be reclaimed and re-created.

Just look back on those precious moments in our lives when things were utterly perfect: a party where everyone laughed their heads off from start to end; a project where everyone came together to the point of excellence; a perfect night at home with a lover; a perfect day out with the family.

Those amazing days with the kids during Christmas.

The time we nailed that game with our on-fire performance, impossible to forget, and the vacation that will always stand out.

The speech we delivered without a hitch, leaving everyone speechless.

All of the above, terrific! The stuff of life. Identify these events and phenomena, relive them, reproduce them and make them last, giving them presence, depth, and we know what realized potential feels like. We have tasted it. It’s ours to replenish. It’s out there, fleeting and rare, waiting to be attained one more time.

A sublime occasion, we have all experienced something like this at least once in our lives, and, now hooked for life, we’re chasing the high, unwilling to submit to the possibility that living is a long, grimy trek through droll, shitty prairies, relying on the occasional jolt to spice up our way ahead. We want more jolts, plentiful highs and highlights. We want to connect with other people, get things happening, rolling, shaking with enthusiasm. We need to make things beautiful and perfect again, keep them lofty and build on them, the way we know we can, if only everyone stopped drifting apart so readily.

At least I do — want them to go on. I crave these highs and highlights, I need them, seek them out and depend on them. I don’t want to reminisce and talk about the past all the time. Nostalgia is good, but only in small quantities. Action is better. I want to live out new highs, fresh experiences, constructing fresh highlights with the time given to me. I want to let it rip so wantonly and with such spirit that the world will shake at every step of the way, not fizzle out like a tired joke on the tail end of another reminiscence.

Others don’t share my purpose. They’re content with what they have and where they are, happy to seek out only the distant memories.

My name is Xavier Wayson and I drink a lot. I drink with impunity and make merry for as long as my mind can stand it to fill in the void left by those who can’t remember what it was like to be high on life.

I drink to light up the house again. Hocus pocus or not, it makes a difference.

Well worth the sleepless nights.

Watch this space for Sunday . . .