On the Allure of Inebriation

It’s been a long while since I’ve gotten buzzed. For years now, my vice of choice has been red wine, and while I can easily polish off a bottle by myself, I don’t get to do it as much as I used to. And since alcohol tolerance, like language, is something that takes practice to maintain, a prolonged period of absence can easily lead to a loss of mastery.

Which is why right now, despite no loss in my reasoning capacity, my motor skills leave a lot to be desired. (This is what happens when a former red wine drinker decides to have a Mojito, a Bailey’s Shake, a Brown Cow and a White Russian in short order. And, no, it’s not unrelieved existential angst; it’s just the open bar at a pre-wedding dinner party.)

It’s not entirely unpleasant. One of the things I’ve always found fascinating about the state of inebriation is how it sharpens the peculiar sensation of having a body rather than being a body. The mind maintains a certain lucidity entirely at odds with the lethargy and clumsiness of the flesh. (Although I suppose this isn’t an entirely universal experience—some people get drunk precisely to effect a lethargy and clumsiness of the mind.)

So this is me, observing with morbid fascination the increasing torpor of my appendages (save my fingers, which, as in all digital-age writers, serve as extensions of my mind), the increasing weight of my eyelids . . . and the diminishing interest in this post. After all, whatever Descartes may have said (and whatever I might have said), we are still our bodies and we will (eventually) have to succumb to the cumulative effects of a Mojito, a Bailey’s Shake, a Brown Cow and a White Russian.



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