Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On getting blitzed

It's occurred to me that beer no longer does anything for me. I get, in the words of Chris Boehner, "pensive" after taking too many shots of it (ganbei, as the Chinese are fond of doing), and I never reach the point where I decide it's definitely a good idea to continue the night. To, say, pick a fight at Sanlitun. To put my inhibitors to bed and see where the strings take me. To swing on the spiral -- to quote Tool -- feel what makes us human. And that's too bad.

Baijiu, on the other hand, will take me to that beatific edge and force my upper torso across the railing to stare down at the spiraling abyss and wonder what extrasensory discernments come to us in free-fall. What hidden yearnings. What ridiculous gestures. What earth-moving things said against what tumult, what forgetfulness, unconsciousness. The expression is fuller, more primitive, more atavistic: the bonds of the human race contained within, the glue dripping into death's cauldron.

The speed of the fall has your arms a-flail. You imitate people you know, create energy that way: a professional wrestler, an artist, a songwriter. You flap like a duck but can't seem to get off the ground.

You sing.

You dance.

You pull the hand of those close to you and express expressionless feelings, emotions, unheard of before and not to be heard ever again.

The wind tries to hold you up but the effort is futile, you cut through it all, the support system, the well wishes of friends, the concern of family, that little voice in your head pointing mutely at a moss-infested righteous path, and fall, fall, fall, glimpsing at unrealized futures and repressed pasts. Eventually the weight of it falls upon itself and you go faster, breaking the terminal velocity until your fate lies in the hands of God.

The pressure of it all makes you lightheaded, carefree and boundlessly happy. It's the moment you've been released from a crush and the truth, unfiltered, hits you like the icy breeze of AC on a humid day: everything revealed, patterns, things which have happened and will happen again, things which will be no more -- anxiety, no more; jealousy, that green-eyed monster, no more; desire, that unhinged, unsophisticated knave, no more. Your perceptions are no longer filtered behind red, your purview no longer constricted to what may be. What isn't comes into sight. This is the dominion of unrequited love, what is not: the thing not said, the look not received, the lion not kissed. Yes, the lion not kissed.

Wet and confused we sit, I sit, wondering about the meaning of beer. The significance of it. Why 11 to 9 -- that table's finished bottles versus ours -- is not just a tally but a confirmation of something more important. "But we have bigger balls," Boehner said. The proof, however, lies where? It is something difficult to find, realized perhaps in the layout on field turf, body horizontal, eyes on the disc spinning by...

This post will have to be continued. I've hit a wall.

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