Carter SmithAn Oost (2001)

As fascinated as I am by the transgressive, I’m put off by cultivated hedonism.

It’s not even that I have a problem with pleasure for pleasure’s sake–after all everything in moderation up to an including moderation itself.

But, being an alcohol dependent individual, I’ve learned the middle way is better than the escalating risk/consequence cycle.

Sure, it was great when I was a twenty-something. The strange magic whereby no matter how late I’d been up binge drinking the night before, by noon I was right as rain.

As I’ve gotten older, over-indulging has increasingly long range effects that I simply can’t tolerate. However, I can’t stop drinking. Beyond the fact that I drink as a means of self-medication, I chase this permeability. A sort of running up to edge and dangling as much of my body into the chasm as I can without falling.

Part of the motivation is because I’m damaged goods. Or, a truer way of saying it: so much of what I’ve felt so strongly all my life–contrary to logic or any authentic personal experience–resonates with this image. I drink because every once in a while, if the moon’s in the right house, I remember what it’s like to feel physically present and entirely permeable with another person.

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