Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Drunk, Profoundly, Drunk

Come on baby, I'm a drenched rat drowning in a river of gin. You're nothing special--so quit being so uppity--and give me back my beer. The boozer loser blues aren't so bad when you embrace them and shout, To hell with it, I shall wiggle with a fat girl! And that's where you come in. Thank God the world's a blur and none of this is hitting home--I have forgotten my family tree omnipresent in the window and the unborn children between us--they don't understand I am here developing a new Aesthetic--they don't understand understanding's obsolete--I forget them all as I whisper in your ear, "You're enormous as a hippopotamus, graceful as a goat, and I shall throw my dignity out the window for a little piece of your sweaty blubber. But darling let's keep our clothes on."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My absence explained

I found myself stranded up in the isolated north―I did not know where exactly, but my instincts told me Russia or Canada. My heroic plan to beat the shit out of Myoki had backfired. When I arrived at his cabin in my snow tire shod Alfa Romeo, he challenged me to a drinking contest, and I thought, Yes, this will be a snap, but I had forgotten that his stupidly tranquil face belies a three-bottle-of-Bombay-Saphire-a-day habit. The last thing I clearly remember is rolling up my sleeves and seeing the azure eyes of Helga peeking out from the corner. She looked frightened. I smiled smugly, pounded a triple, and thought, This one's for you baby.

But my smugness cowered and hid when the 5'4", pot-bellied Myoki chugged an entire bottle of Jagermeister and hurled it against the veneer wall of the cabin. He didn't even blink. After the shock of the shattered bottle settled, he looked me in the eyes and throatily whispered, "Go you masked gibbon."

The next two weeks are a haze--I remember mostly snow and airports--but I knew I had lost the battle and there will be no Hollywood ending. I found the following notes scribbled in my ostrich-skin travel journal, now covered in wine stains, which, I think, give it character congruent with the name stitched upon it.

- In my summer car, I angrily do donuts in the snow. I go until I crash.
- Visions of Helga's coquetry torture me in the hospital; I flirt with the nurse in exchange for hard analgesics.
- I am sore after drunkenly lifting weights in a stranger's basement. She sang awful karaoke to me in front of a hideous clock. There were glamour shots on the walls. I ducked out the window when she put her hand down my pants after Karma Chameleon.
- I have joined a committee on Style as a joke. They don't get it. I shall quit tomorrow.
- I escape from the hospital and spend a night in a forest. It is cold and I am frightened. A turtle is my only friend. I think he knows how to talk.

Miraculously and inexplicably, I am now home and attempting to resume normal life, but it is unnatural, like trying to live underwater. I am pretending it was all a dream, but of course, such willed deceit, not to mention talking turtles, can quickly send a man to the bughouse.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I do not want a photograph. My eyes are more powerful than any device. You do not need my words.

When Helga left that morning, she left her picture of the table. In it she posed expressionless before mountains on a rainy day. When I found it, I burned it. There were no digital copies--I do not allow those dome-a-dozen memories.

I cannot forget how she left that night in the freezing rain. I hated her for leaving but adored her rugged beauty. Dressed in her 66 North Laugavegur Women's Down Jacket and Kaldi Arctic Hat, she was a brainwashed innocent. For the first time in my life, I wanted to apologize, but because she was gone, I drank myself stupid and watched shitty daytime chat shows. I cried and decided to grow a beard.

The rain glued to her long blonde hair. I knew she could not keep her face warm.

Now: I am smoking a cigarette in a cheap motel. I have a beard--it hides my rosy cheeks. When I knock upon the door, she'll see the suffering in every grey. But can a hero look like this?

I miss her and the way she put whisky in my coffee and Hennessy in my stew. Without her, drunkenness is empty.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I know exactly how things will go. The reunion with Helga has played in my mind for months. It always ends the same: drunkenness, heartbreak, daemon screams, wild animal posturing. I hope for resolution--tears of love, not fucking tears of rage. A grown-up boy can dream, can't he?

I shan't kill Myoki, but I'll hit him very hard. I'll throw him out and with him the keys to his SUV. Fuck off to the the nearest motel, you Buddhist cock. Leave us alone with our beautiful vices.

My nerves are steady. I’ll take a single drink and gas up the car. I’ll listen to some lonely station as I drive towards the sunrise, towards Switzerland. I already see that crack on the horizon--that little slit of hope. Even if I fail, I'll see some interesting things--those worlds I long to occupy but which never let me in.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Year in Review, Part 3

Part 3: Summer

I think of what to write as I walk amidst winter's swirling winds, the collar of my topcoat upturned, not to be stylish, but to protect me from frostbite. Occasionally the sun emerges and kisses my face, now hidden beneath a raw, animal beard--then it leaves, and once again there is only me and the frozen world.

I do not talk to strangers--we all just want to go indoors--but I feel a strange connection with them, though I know that most are idiots. But everyone likes hot chocolate and marshmallows--we'll always have that, even if most would prefer American Idol to a book while drinking it.

Come here, old man. Let us walk down memory lane backwards. I will pay you a florin and some peanuts.

Here. This is what I wrote.

"At an unsafe speed, I rumble through the trees--through the fall I fly, the stink of sewage in my nose--and I know there is no happiness that I'd call true...."

Yes, old man, it is with great fondness that I remember composing this rather weak Haibun. 2008 was the year I started cycling with vigourous intensity. Fuck old man I loved it! It is here that I learned not to fear death; rather I swallowed it whole--along with several midges--whilst cycling through the forest green and brown.

I certainly covered a lot of ground. It is well-documented.

Once, while riding in high humidity at dusk, I tumbled hard and awoke in The Banana Kingdom. The weird inhabitants fed me an intoxicating soup and told me three things.

1. Practicality is a shrewish bitch, but she cleans your clothes.
2. Faster cadence, lower gear.
3. For 5 days, eat bananas and bananas only.

Banana People, I will obey.

The banana diet made me weak and gassy, but I saw wonderful colours and heard beautiful songs. I slept like an opium eater and had similar dreams. I was happy and clean. At the end of Day 5, I collapsed on the hillside. I blacked out in blissful exhaustion. I wanted to be a Banana Person but we are genetically quite different.

Old man, I've tried the velodrome, but it's bullshit. Do you understand what I am saying? Of course you don't.

Here's your florin, you drunken asshole. Oh and your peanuts too!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

To 2009

Five years ago I composed a story entitled "To Green." It was to be published in The Paris Review until they asked me to remove the obscenities. I refused. It was a tale of drunkenness and hope and the relationship between the two; namely, how one is only hopeful whilst one is drunk.

Or was it about Academia and leprechauns? I do not recall.

Regardless, 2008 was a shithole. Let us make 2009 an emergence from said shithole. Let us revel in the spirit of adventure but let us not lose our dignity.

Reginald Hardcourt rang in the New Year pissing in a pint glass because the loo was occupied by a vomiting girl. I told him to see a whore because they are professionals. But in his modern greed he opted for an amateur he met on the internet. He thought it free but he left his 15-year-old single-malt when he fled.

To scotch? No! To Green! Intoxicating and expensive. Let us drink our savings and legacies away.

I spent my New Year's Eve high, alone, and listening to my favourite tunes. Multiple women contacted me, but I took comfort being in the eye of the hurricane, thinking, like John Lennon before me (before worrying about censors), Isn't it good, knowing she would? And for free!

A bonus: I awoke without a hangover.

To 2009! Let us emerge and fight the forces of entropy. Let us become something better. I shall make an effort.

Thank-you for reading, Dear Reader. I apologize for being so cerebral lately.


Nigel Tewksbury