I love never, ever being drunk. Love it! Not even a wee bit tipsy. That realization hit me last night, and I'm still a bit gob-smacked, to tell the truth. Here's how it went:
After dinner, my partner and I were cycling to a music show. It was a clear night, the moon almost full and promising to get even fuller. We'd been looking forward to the show: small ensembles playing contemporary music, with a fantastic bass clarinet player in from Montreal, sounds ranging from quiet moody percussion to glorious cello, finishing off with a bass clarinet and bagpipe duet that shook the room. I know this is not everyone's cup of tea, but it is mine, and it was wonderful.
But first: on the ride there, I mentioned to my partner that I was happy to not be drinking wine with dinner, because the ride was so much better feeling clear enough to enjoy the crisp night. Same at the show: the music blew me away, made me cry and laugh all at once. Thank God and the world and musicians and composers and volunteers and ticket-sellers and parents who pay for music lessons and everyone who helps bring us live music. And my partner for getting me a ticket. I love you all.
At the intermission, I ended up chatting with the man seated next to us, something to do with some seats having been reserved and whether we were allowed where we were. (He said had removed a bunch of pointless "Reserved" signs just before we arrived, so we had rock star seats, despite nearly being late, and as it happened, he was someone vaguely important and could get away with that sort of thing.) After the show, my partner and I walked to our bikes with guy we didn't know, a musician who had been a the show, whose bike was locked up with ours.
None of this sounds anything but normal. Which is the whole point! I am so, so used to doubting myself after those conversations, wondering whether I was too friendly or too loud or whether I said something I shouldn't have or made the person uncomfortable by saying hello or by laughing at the wrong time or whatever. As far back as I can remember, I have had that sort of wringing doubt after social events. And last night I didn't. Simple as that. I felt at home in my own skin, delighted to have heard such wonderful music and happy to share that with my partner and some people I didn't know. As far as the conversations went, the people I spoke with were as happy as I was to be there, and as happy to share that with someone in a bit of conversation.
Riding home, the moon was still out, the night still clear and crisp but not outright cold. Part of the ride is across a concrete viaduct (outing myself as a Vancouverite here). It's a monstrosity and it's going to be torn down one day, but it's got its beauty too. Riding on it in the night time means riding above the Skytrain and the low brick buildings, way up in the middle of the lit-up skyrises and the weird round ball of lights that is Science World, the whole lit-up city spread out all around. It's like a 1960s sci-fi scene come to life!
A few years ago, when the Olympics were here and the city was awash in cultural events, I quit drinking for a month. I remember one night attending a great literary reading, where the bartender had scrounged a kettle and made me a peppermint tea while everyone, it seemed like, everyone else drank beer. I was alone that night, and pretty lonely, fighting the edge of what I feared was another round of being depressed, but the reading was grand. Heading home afterwards, I rode my bike along a waterside pathway, admiring the lights of the city across the way in the cool night air, and I thought, This is everything I want in the world, right here, and right now.
Somehow I had forgotten that moment. At the time, I never connected it so much with not drinking, just with a great show and a beautiful night ride. Last night, revelling in the post-show glow and beautiful ride, I remembered the magic of that earlier sober night. It felt the same. And I realized, I love never ever being drunk anymore. Love it love it love it!!!
It's not like every moment is so crack-me-on-the-head magical. (That might hurt!) But I am deeply grateful to be awake and present so that when those moments happen, I am there, too. I never have to suck the moment dry by losing myself in neurotic second-guessing whether I was too something-or-other because of drinking. I am open to the magic that there is, as long as I can keep my mind open and live it.
I needed to write this down, in case I forget, as I most certainly will once in a while. It really is great to never be drunk. And there's an easy way to do that, right?
OK, that's enough documenting my bliss for one day. Now I really do have to get cracking and study for that research methods midterm.
Peace and thanks to you all. And much love.