So, naturally, when I heard that someone in town had given up drinking, I knew without question, that it was a rumor, a VERY RIDICULOUS and OBVIOUSLY NOT LIKELY TRUE rumor and so I seriously questioned the validity of this information until I heard it from a reliable source that I ran into in the drug store, and then, still not believing it, I heard it from three more random people at the bank and at the library, not to mention the UPS delivery man, and Buddy who works at the quickie mart. So, it might be true. I mean Buddy usually isn't wrong.
You know, I've had a lot of drunk people in my life.
This is simply a statement of fact. I'm not passing judgment. It just is. I have to admit, most of the memories of the time spent with these people are good ones, because, well, drinking was involved, and people who drink are sometimes pretty damned funny, while the ones who smoke pot usually just sit in a stupor or fall asleep or talk about a bunch of stuff you don't care about, mostly Lord of the Rings type shit. Of course there are the bad drunks. I know that. I've had way too many holiday dinners with them. But I like to remember the good ones, because they are way funnier, ones like Drunk Debbie.
Drunk Debbie was one of my favorite drunk people. She never apologized for her drinking - no really, to the point where you felt it was like completely normal and you suspected that if you ever saw her sober you probably wouldn't like her or even recognize her if you ran into her in a public place. Drunk Debbie had a beer permanently installed in her hand. Our families would go camping together, and in the morning she'd greet me as I came out of my tent, looking for coffee. There she'd be, already up and around, breakfast beer in her hand, ready to face the day.
Debbie was very accident prone. (unsure if this was or was not alcohol related.) While waiting for Debbie and her family to meet us at a camp site, we would place bets as to how she was going to be damaged or contagious. Would it be her arm? leg? Sinus infection? Rabies? We wouldn't even try to guess, not even when they were really really late and we almost had to set up the tents by ourselves and call it a night. We'd just wait to find out what the trouble was, but we would KNOW it would be something and in the end she'd end up surprising us, you know, like the time she showed up sporting an eye patch.
Drunk Debbie was a happy drunk, always very self depreciating. She told us all kinds of stories, which eventually were legends like The Time She Was Walking Down The Street and a Bird Flew Into Her Face, and The Time She Walked Right Through The Glass Storefront of a Large Retail Establishment.
Debbie had wardrobe malfunctions on a regular basis (which may have been the reason we were friends.) She had high-top sneakers (it was the 80's don't worry) and the laces would never ever stay tied. As she reached down to tie them for the 86th time that day she'd say "This is the stuff that will send you right over the edge one day. No, not the big things but this."
She also had the longest feet I've ever seen. She was a tiny woman with gigantically long feet, and since skinny jeans were in style then, she couldn't fit into them because size 5 jeans are not made for a person with size 9 feet. She simply could not get her foot into the skinniest part of the jean (the ankle part.) These, and many other things, are the things you discover when you have a friend like Drunk Debbie. So, I mean, if you don't want to discover these kinds of things, then you've been warned, and if you do, go find yourself a nice fun drunk friend of your own.
I think I would have liked Drunk Debbie even if she wasn't drunk, but that never seemed to happen because beers were not just for breakfast back then, they could be an all day thing for some people, and so you just had to like her the way she was - drunk and clumsy and gloriously non- apologetic.
Nowadays you are not really allowed to condone or even tolerate this kind of chemically induced behavior, which probably means there are a lot of lonely drunks out there. Oh, not around here....no. I mean SOMEWHERE. Trust me, in this part of the world no drunk is lonely. But even here, sometimes someone pushes the limit and becomes notorious. And if you become notorious here, well, let's just say there is some stiff competition, so most people probably haven't got a chance of winning. In other words, if you become notorious by drinking too much here, well, you are probably in a bit of trouble.
Of course, sometimes you hear of someone who decides to jump on board The Wagon, and it kind of makes you wonder, you know, if you will begin to like them more or like them less without their poison. Is the person you liked going to stop being funny, start wearing a cross and take line dancing classws? Is the person you hated going to suddenly turn into one you don't mind once in a great great great great great while and may you'd even consider it was because he/she was drunk that she/he was once so obnoxious?
And maybe most importantly, if I decide to see what the people I like and don't like when drunk are like when sober, will I have to hear the whole story of their journey more times than I'd be able to live through without permanent scarring and probably a very itchy rash?
Obviously a lot more pondering is needed. Probably over wine.
Author's Note: Since I have relocated (a few times) from the place where I once lived near Debbie, I have not had contact with her in years . Recently I googled her and found out that she had passed away. She had a debilitating medical condition and she knew that she didn't have a long life to look forward to. I think this why she decided to "live it up." To this day, this is my motto. Unfortunaely I was not informed of her passing and so I wasn't able to say my last goodbyes. I hope that she had as much fun in her life as she prompted in other's lives.
I'll see you next time Debbie. Cheers! xxooxxo