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SUBCULTURE by wendythirteen

So I was asked this month to comment on all things booze. BeatRoute wanted my experiences about drinking at shows, whether booze makes the gig experience and the music seem better. From my perspective this has been the hardest nine months of my life. Being newly sober and working in a bar.

I find myself easily annoyed. So much so, that in the first few months after I quit the sauce, I'd turn into a pumpkin at midnight. I'd pay the bands and I was out the door.

My apologies to those headlining bands but it was about keeping my sanity at that point. Midnight is around the time that most boozy bar people turn into blathering aliens that repeat the same stories over and over. I still bolt most nights, as the conversation does get strained. It's more of a voluntary reaction now, rather than mandatory for my psyche.

I miss imbibing with friends as a loud band is tickling my brain. In some sense it does make the music better it seems, especially punk rock. A lot of punk is drinking anthems and party music. I suppose drinking is also associated with memories of good times in my case. I've spent the past 15 years with a job in live music. It was killer to be immersed in both music and booze for a career path.

But alas, then we have the phenomenon of alcoholic Alzheimer's, as I like to call it. There are a lot of things I don't remember or I remember differently. On the other hand, I'm sure some of the other parties involved in the tales of yore, have the same skewed recall of details. When I first started booking bands, I could remember what date a band played, how many people showed, along with the total amount the band got paid. That knowledge gradually drifted away as the memory zapping toll of working in a bar set in. So much alcohol.

I really don't have that much in common with most other sober alcoholics. I'm a cold turkey girl. I don't rely on twelve steps or group hugs to stay off the sauce. I didn't quit to stay off drugs. I hadn't touched drugs in twenty years. My pickled liver was the culprit that demanded sobriety. You can't binge drink hard bar and expect to carry on forever. A decade of copious double Jagers, let alone the shots I did. Whoa!

I'm trying to grasp onto anything and have filled my life with a zillion hobbies that I don't know if I can keep up with. Baking got shot down with the summer heat wave but will be back this fall and winter. I got a scooter. That has been a blessing just getting out of the house, although I think riding aimlessly is something I'm going to have to train myself to do. The Virgo in me always needs a plan, a destination.

I've been organizing my cave. That was also something that was backburnered because I was so busy drinking or recovering from drinking. It's amazing how much time I have on my hands now that I'm sober. I still suffer sugar hangovers as my taste for sweets has gained momentum as a replacement for all the sugar missing from the lack of booze in my system. I thank everyone that has noticed how much more alive I look. You just don't realize the toll alcohol can take on you when you're in the clutches of the booze demon.  I still say “cheers” as I raise my glass of soda water with a splash of lime in solidarity.