It’s the New Year, day 1, and I feel worst for wear. I guess drinking a bottle of Glenfiddich with your mate on New Year’s Eve has that effect.
Anyway, it was a good night with good company in the quiet of my mate’s house. We talked a lot of shit about politics, music, and old times. We’re both in our forties, married with multiple kids, mortgages, jobs – the usual stuff of domesticated primates.
Back in the day I would’ve been scouring the neighbourhood looking for a party to crash with evil on my mind – itching to get drunk and get laid. Mostly I just got drunk and passed out. It took me a few years to realise that whiskey and sex have an inverse relationship. The more whiskey you drink, the less likely your chances of getting laid. The whiskey lowered inhibitions but also broke the vital communications link between brain and penis. As I said, I usually just passed out.
I once woke up on New Year’s Day and thought I was dead. I was on the 151 Bacardi Rum back in those days. I was at a house party with my wild-ass army buddies. We were young. We were dumb. And yes, we were full of the white milky stuff. Lots of it. I drank a half of bottle of rum lightly coloured with coke. It didn’t take long before the rum hit me like a hammer and I went from legless to unconscious before the clock struck 12. When I opened my eyes again I was in complete darkness. And I mean there was absolutely no light. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced that kind of dark before, but let me tell you, it’s unnerving, especially when you can’t form a coherent thought or remember how you ended up in the dark. The only conclusion that I could come up with was that I was dead. Panic set in. Holy shit, so that’s it, I thought. Eternal darkness. At least I wasn’t burning in Hell.
It took another 20 minutes before my senses started to return. I realised I was lying on a bed. I worked out that I could move. I stumbled around in the dark until I bumped into a wall. I groped the wall until I found a door. Suddenly I was back in the land of the living. I vowed never to drink that much alcohol ever again. That was 20 years ago. Ooops! Looks like I did it again.
It’s a New Year. Time for new things, new adventures, new goals. But first I need to find a greasy spoon joint to clear up this hangover. I have a taste for steak. A bloody piece of meat is always good for bringing me back to my senses. The blood awakens the natural man in me. It’s a primal thing, you understand.
I’m in Bristol, so a greasy spoon joint is not hard to find. At the next round about, I see just the place. I screech into the carpark, hungry and full of hate.
It’s not long before I’m seated and my waitress, Gemma, mid-thirties, short black hair, cute smile, hands me a menu and takes my drink order.
She returns with my pint of diet coke. She must have sensed my desperation. Instead asking for my order, she recommends the rack of ribs. There’s something savage about eating a rack of ribs. You have to hold them in your hands and tear into them viciously, like a lion into a gazelle.
Hunger satisfied, I turn my attention to figuring out what I loosely want to do in 2011. This is what I came up with:
Read more history and politics
Stay current on world affairs
Blog daily (which equates to write daily)
Build my social network (on and off line)
Write more essays
Write another book
Create useful products to sell
Make documentary short films focused on telling people’s story
I know I’ll have to sit down with these and figure out the details, but at least this gives me a direction of travel.
I signal to Gemma that I’m ready for the cheque. While we’re waiting for the card machine to give the ok, I ask Gemma what her goals are for the new year.
“I want to fall in love, run a 5K, find a job I enjoy and see new places.”
Sounds like a plan to me.