“Whatever you do, don’t go crazy on alcohol and other women, focus on meditation and exercise, hang on to your spirituality,” This was the solid advice a close friend gave to me before I left Bali after hearing that my partner had left me for another man.
Wise words. Positive advice. I completely ignored it.
The path to enlightenment may not be paved in booze but it certainly leads to plenty of random experiences, works as a brilliant distraction to grief and acts as a perfect social lubricant in fresh environments. Delusional? Probably. Healthy? Definitely not. But I wouldn’t change the last two months for anything and I’m pretty sure I’ve increased the market shares of Whiskey in about twelve American states.
Drinking from one city to the next across a country as vast and insanely diverse as the USA, generally slips you into conversations and situations that would otherwise be unfortunately avoided. Singing with buskers, on stage jams with local bands, bar managers apartments full of after party madness, being led hand in hand to underground bars and clubs by ex-dancers and hipster cops, borrowing guitars from strangers on subways to improvise songs for a woman’s attention, doctors, attorneys, strippers, dealers, upcoming movie stars driving Ubers, urban preachers screaming poetic prophecies, swiping left, swiping right, chopping up ‘til daylight.
All of them inroads to the attitudes, underbellies and many layers of a city you’ve just rocked up to without any prior connections and they certainly lead to more excitement than sitting in a park admiring the local ducks. Time doesn’t heal all wounds but living certainly does. The characters and conversations we’ve encountered, the consistent love of live music that everybody seems to live by, the mashed up moments of laughter and confusion, the random short-term relationships. Plenty-fied and personified under a big fat umbrella of hitting it hard and loving it. My liver might be waving a white flag but my memory banks are boiling with gratitude.
More details to follow… (DNA test still pending)