Irish whiskey runs through these canals, the many waterways that power my arms and legs and heart and the two eyes that watch these words fallow out of a chaotic mouth, purple lips in front of my violent tongue. Lowball glass, cool amber puddle masks the explosions that are on fire on my teeth. I have the slow slumber of unbucolic pastures. My thoughts are the mine field of an erupting volcano—the cool crust of a recent explosion, hot magma veins oozing mucus of bad blood.
Am I Hemingway reincarnated? No, never so bold as to assume, believe, embody such brilliance. But do I? Do I possess the same tortured soul that lends itself to loathing nights bathed in the whiskey of my ancestors? I have inherited the same trait as any writer plagued with feeling, with emotion. It is our strength. And it is our weakness. It is our source of magic and our destruction. I find myself when I write, in a way that doesn’t happen in front of a screen or trapped in the logic of the nine-to-five. The screen, the office, the vapid selfies and endless diatribes in one hundred and forty characters pulls me from touching the open wound of writing.
That’s what it is, you know? To write is to bleed. To write is to touch the face of God. To write is to speak a truth you did not know until pen hits paper. It is a storm in your fingertips.
No wonder we drink.
We have a need to touch the fire and the drink makes sure we don’t pull back when our arm hair is burned off, when the flame licks at our fingers. Any rational human would pull back, like a child learning not to touch a hot stove. The booze allows us to hold our fingers there, put our body into the burn, breathe in the sulfur and rotting flesh and march on. The booze allows us to believe we have that lightning. Allows it to pass through us.
It isn’t until the next morning we realize we’re just some conwoman and the words that glowed phosphorescent and luminous last night on the page have turned to ash. Hard. Dead. Black and sooty. The pain of our inadequacy leads to more Irish whiskey. What can we do? What can I say? It’s a vicious cycle, over and over again. Fuck the words. Fuck the feelings. Fuck reality.
Much better to believe in one’s grandiose ability than to accept one’s mediocrity.