Dé Céadaoin, Bealtaine 02, 2007

Whiteclay part 23

The liquor store was on the other side of downtown from the hotel. Me, Dan, and Paul walking as a human wall along the sidewalk. I could see living room lights and TV's flickering through people's houses. That's always made me feel a bit guilty. I don't have too look into their houses to have some idea of what they're doing. Dan said it was a shame that Becky wasn't twenty one so we could all go to the bar together. Maybe, I'm thinking probably not. We would have met some cool locals I'm sure, people who came here for the scenery, people who had had kids right out of high school and were becoming shells but still had their sense of fun and dance and were great conversationalists at the half-drunk stage where everyone is a great conversationalist. People like my old friends in North Platte.

But you can meet people like that at any bar anywhere, it gets maddening. It reminds me of when I go home for some holiday and see my friends at the bar, exactly as they were when they were eighteen.

At any rate, the beer selection at village pubs is terrible; Bud Light and maybe Bud.
And the place in Rushville closes at ten, what a cocktease. And we would get the same questions of where we were from and what we were doing here and honestly I had had my fill of this place.

We walked into the liquor store and bought seven or eight. The variety of malt liquors was quite impressive, and of course the Slurricane was prominent. We got seven or eight, a mixture of high gravities and regulars. Than we walked home.

The sheriff's office here is most impressive. I saw two deputies watching TV inside. I believe I saw a swimming pool as well.

We got back to the hotel and divvied up the cans. I treated myself too a high-gravity and drank it in twenty minutes. Than I grabbed another.

I was at a family gathering at my grandmother's house two years ago. Two of my cousins both slightly more than a year old, were playing in the living room. They both knew how to walk, but one of them, Kylie, was still afraid too. The other one, Katrina, my uncle's girl, kept telling her "get up, get up."

I spent my youth in western Nebraska surrounded by people who live life crawling on their knees. To justify it, they build up their own mythologies and subcultures. Elaborate romance and naked, unapologetic bullshit blended together so well that one has to look very hard to make out the component parts.

It would be much better, I know, if I allowed myself to break down without alcohol. Even when I am drunk, I still usually manage to keep my disaffected face on.

I drank until I fell into a sleep of red, like I was napping in the summer sun. I tried to write on the wall a few times, said some things that may or may not have been profound, touched on personal problems that I had no right to bother my friends with.

I wanted to vomit at the first sight of Pine Ridge. But no. When I am alone in my apartment, I can barely bring myself to say "God Damn it all" to the suffering, servility, and fatalism I see around me. Every pair of eyes I see show pain that wouldn't dare reveal itself to one's brother, one's lover, one's self.

I dream of a society that accepts it's neccesity without making any attempt to justify itself and I know it won't happen. I see the race between my dreams and my vices and know that I am losing.

But don't worry about me; that is, if you ever had any mind to. I owe something to the people who have resigned themselves to marginalization without submitting to the standard rural mythology. All of my friends in the trailor parks and duplexes of North Platte, who knew when I first opened my mouth that I wasn't one of them and chided me for trying to be one of them. Warren, Robert, Tony, revealing things about themselves that no one with any self-esteem left ever would... No. That has too be something more than one pack of self-destructive hacks talking to another.

This post was going to be funny. I was going to tell you how drunk I got and all of the clever little things I did.

I'm getting too old for that. It's starting to give me the same chill I get when I look accross the street, and see the overweight woman smoking her Marlboro lights with that eternally angry look on her face.

When I turn the magnifying glass that I point at the world on myself; well, I'm not going to lie, I still like myself better than the world. Having said that...

Clarity. Acheiving clarity without destroying oneself and giving others an excuse not to seek it. It's hard to do. There's no excuse for not doing it.

I woke up the next morning to find that my body had flopped out long after my brain did. I had fallen into a dead sleep fully clothed without any pillows. The rain had finally come at some point in the wee hours and it was very cloudy outside. I was thankful for that.

It was time to go home.

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