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Bottles on the Wall

Submitted by Pierce Nahigyan on October 20, 2010 – 7:05 pmComments

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I have an old friend who almost never drops a call. Living in California, it is not unusual to have correspondence drag over the course of an evening, or several weeks. So this prompt old friend of mine is a good guy.

But the two of us diverged in one very special aspect when I left California for Chicago. And while the two of us drank and had our share of youthful indiscretions, our means, though similar, trailed off to dissimilar ends. Now when the two of us share an occasion for shenanigans there is something amiss that no polite conversation ever satisfies. It is lost amidst the wailing of fraternal strangers calling for shot after shot with no room to breathe, an offer of a pill, or distillations straight from the source, or a ready suggestion to call someone who’s really having a good time. Even the cigarettes are offered twice, three times, and again.

I have nothing against cigarettes. I just don’t smoke anymore. And I could say that about a lot of things. But suddenly – so suddenly that I am often unaware of the change until the next time I see my old friend – my limits are limitations. Now that I am paying my own rent and buying groceries every week, and argue regularly with the gas company, I’ve realized I don’t like waking up with acid in my stomach and nothing but the insistent urge to apologize rattling in my head. The clarity which allows me to push myself forward neither despises nor disapproves of illicit fun. I consider sin as good a friend as any.

Here’s where we come to the “choice” part of the article: my old friend and I disagree on what fun means. And I would like to say that we disagree because we sought the same experiences but failed to consider why. I wanted to know about the nightlife of an ordinary man because I wanted to be one, not because I couldn’t think of anything else to do with myself. I would like to say, despite being broke, I honestly enjoy remembering who I am at 2 AM. I would like to say, not that my old friend is wrong, but that if he keeps up the life his nerves will be fried and there will be holes in his brain you can see clear through an MRI. I would like to say I am not boring but at a point that asks me quietly to consider what I want, and where I’ve come from. I would like to say that choice is free. Except I have to say that I don’t know who lost a friend three years ago, or which of us will make it back.

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  • Sandy

     You have grown up and your friend is still living in the past - has not shed the irresponsibility of living in the fast lane as a single-minded, self-centered boring person. There is more to life than a bottle. It will hit him one day, that life is short and you need to make the best of it. Hope it is soon.
    You only get one go-around and hopefully he won't kill all his brain cells in partying.

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