Seneca once opined that every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. It was a thought so laden with festive sounding implications that the twin city rock band Semisonic repackaged the quote a few years later and fetched some pop culture notoriety in the doing.
What does a Roman philosopher and a bunch of white kids from Minnesota have to do with the Irish post? Well, they provide cover for my last call. As in, this is the last regular post on Drinks. But I’ll get to that in a moment. And for this particular jaunt, James Joyce has been replaced as the key holder by Rob Zombie. Sooo . . . there’s that.
Lemme start by saying how funny a thing love truly is. And by funny, I mean . . . funny. Let’s face it. Love makes you feel good, do good and want good. For you and for the universe at large. When you got love, you imagine every single love song was pencil scratched into vinyl just for you. When you got love, you think Foreigner is a cosmic ally that was bottle tossed from light years worth of understanding away. When you got love, you possess the 20/20 vision of Stevie Wonder.
Love happens to be a cosmic provision with little to no concern for those mortal souls who find it to be cruel and unfair. Hey, it’s human to take things personally, rather than to seek a broader understanding of the stuff. Most people need love to be what they want it to be. They believe the end of such a significant event signals failure, without ever scrunching their toes up into a ball and stopping on that there mistake before they take a high noon step further. Instead, they keep on stepping until they reach a point of no return from which they find themselves at an impasse with the way things work.
It’s okay. These peeps usually catch up with themselves after bucco fat days where Haagen Daas and Cheetos become staple foods and plots to assassinate Richard Curtis become retirement plans.
To others, love is an acquisition. It’s something they believe will round out their perfectly orchestrated march to stardust. It’s a highfalutin bit of self centered me-speak that is indicative of a time and place where movies and romance novels are taken as blueprints for the real thing. And it is, to be perfectly frank, complete nonsense. Perhaps necessary, as pain pills and vodka are necessary . . but nonsense just the same.
The Holy Day went unanswered for me this year. There was little to no advancement of song or well spoken thoughts. Without benefit of some ninety proof inspiration, there were no clever haikus or misbegotten memes to be had on the 17th. And yanno what? It was plenty fine with me.
Instead, there were several woebegone texts from various members of my hard scrabble posse enlisting their condolences at the cancellation of festivities and asking me to coordinate a New York trip for next year. Which sounds a bit extreme on the face of it, but will happen nonetheless on a majority vote. Hey, if it’s good enough for the Supreme Court, Imma go with it.
So it was that I made my way out on the 18th instead. This wasn’t a makeup consideration, since that would’ve been akin to celebrating the 4th of July in October. I called up Big Papi because I haven’t seen him since our Super Bowl get together and then I texted my friend Brian to see what he was up to since I hadn’t seen him since our last ski outing.
Once upon a time, Brian had a life he believed would never go away. It began as a young man of party going age, when he took his impressive skill set on the slopes and began the wickedly obscene lifestyle of a circuit brat. When the money ran out, he went to work as an architect and he lived the life of Gatsby until his marriage went bad and the white picket fence became a studio apartment.
Turning off married life and moving into the next chapter wasn’t all that difficult for me, seeing as how I’m not entertained by conventions or traditions as much as I’m interested in keeping things quiet in my head and mellow in my soul. For Brian, not so much. He misses his old life every day. He wants for the things he once possessed, and I haven’t the heart to let him in on the fact that he never really had them to begin with.
Brian made the life changing decision a few years back to flip the script on his little black book when it became painfully apparent the life he once knew wasn’t coming back. I have to admit, when he first told me I thought he was joking and I made a rather crude joke that probably would’ve pissed him off if it wasn’t so fucking hilarious.
“How’s the new guy?” I ask as we toast to the St. Patrick’s Day that wasn’t.
“He’s a drama queen.” Brian replies.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” I say.
Big Papi tells Brian he never would’ve guessed and then he proceeds to ask a couple of alcoholically induced questions without being crude or prejudicial in the least, simply because it’s his way. I cut things off by screaming at the big screens that are busy delivering up the wrong final score in the Villanova game.
Big Papi is a frail facsimile of his former self, and the change has come rapidly. It’s increasingly difficult for him to get around and it is fast approaching that time when his strut is gonna be a motorized thing. He’s fifty five going on maybe another ten years if everything goes really well.
Still, he has pipes when it comes to anything sports related. And he’s using them on a group of young fellas who are high fiving each other. I can’t help myself, so I follow this up with the suggestion that they take their celebration to Madison, Wisconsin. I’m not really a Wildcats fan, but for the octane that a little smack talk may provide. The high fiving dissipates, but I’m pretty sure this has more to do with the fact that Brian is six foot too much with a mug that should’ve been cast in Goodfellas.
So there we were, the three of us, bitching about being men of a certain age whilst laughing about it inside the same vast breaths. Big Papi misses the good old days, and so does Brian. I happen to think it’s a waste of time, to miss them. Life is one big series of wins and losses, to which you can answer the uncertainty with swings. In the end, it’s all you got.
Donna and Allie arrive as we’re busy flagging down the waitress for a final round and they hop on the fledgling party bus. Donna is a forty something divorcee and Allie her younger concubine turned full time thing. The first time I met them, I was busy praying to Jesus that I might arrive at the bottom of a black diamond hill with all my necessaries still operational. They behave as if they’ve been married forever, and they’re much more interesting than that.
This is what love looks like in the new age. Everything is on the table, every happily ever after is subject to change. Nothing is as it seems, and to those things that are? Well . . don’t go putting money down on it. And so it was on the St Patrick’s Day celebration that turned into a simple trip to Buffalo Wild Wings the day after. Some decent eats, solid conversation, a few laughs and no bail was required.
As for Drinks? It is officially retired now. Which means not dead, but no longer around on any kind of regular basis. I’ll never delete it because why should I? And I plan on saying how do to my blog peeps from time to time.
This place was where the Irish post came to be. Out of the nowhere of misogynistic pleasures gone haywire. With dreams of hush and simple and a gallivant of primary colors gone sesame street. I turned albatrosses into a Paul Simon version of better. I measured my lack of discipline as per the ten commandments here. And not a soul knew how badly I was failing at them.
I bid you adieu with an adaptation, delivered up Cayman Thorn style.
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. And may God have a wicked sense of humor who just so happens to be golfing buddies with Richard Nixon.
It wouldn’t hurt, is all I’m saying.