July 29, 2014
My first step into the world of alcoholism is by watching William Powell in the Thin Man film series. If this was a drinker, then sign me up. I loved how he focused on martini drinking and solving a mystery between drinking sessions. My day is pretty well-arranged, that by 9pm in the evening I’m drunk. The beauty of the day is the rhyme and timing of moments passing, participating the first sip of the martini. Drinking is not the most important part of the day for me, but to know that “it” will happen, excites me to no end. I often feel that after a great writing session and basically being alone with my torrid thoughts, the award of the grueling work will be the taste of the combined elements of vodka, vermouth and olive. On special occasions (at least once a week) I like to have a martini around 1pm if the morning is going well. So the buzz in the afternoon is a pretty good introduction to the full-throttle of serious drinking in the evening.
When I’m writing I imagine myself as two different people or maybe the same person with poles apart characteristics. I haven’t really worked that out yet. Nevertheless, I feel my brain is kept separate from my fingers as I type. What comes to bear in mind is the story of “Archy and Mehitabel” in which the cockroach writes free verse poetry by hurling himself at the keys one at a time. Due to that practice and his very size, it’s impossible for him to operate the shift key on the typewriter, so all his writings were written without capitalization or punctuation. I kind of go through the identical procedure myself. Of course I’m too big to throw myself onto the keyboard, but nevertheless there is a coordination I have to continue to focus on between my brain and typing.
I’m working on a novel about a family that is born wealthy and therefore wealth comes naturally to them. Its take place in an era where new wealth is made due to an individual’s genius in making something new, or the ability to look at the world as if it was a map, and building or inventing items that can be used by the masses. The tension is not due to wealth alone, but the class structure that produced old money against “new money.” As my leading character says: "Don't you think being things is 'rahthuh bettuh' than doing things?"
My behavior is like a Professor Irwin Corey in front of the typewriter. I’m just trying to make sense of a world that I really don’t have an understanding of. I just know it tastes like a stale martini left on the bar for way too long. If I can just imagine staying focused and keep to the schedule I think it will work out OK. The drinking part is what keeps me in-tuned to the day. Like the sun arising and going down at dusk, I know the martini will take me to another place, where I can wander and be free for at least a certain amount of hours per day. Not to be restricted to the gravity of the Earth and in front of my typewriter, but to expand my drunk consciousness onto an expressway or at its worst, in a garage in Pacific Palisades, with a car motor running. But once I’m on the highway, I usually avoid the exit signs.