One more, it always ends up being one more. Just one more drink, one more song, one more conversation. That’s what we cling to in those dark and early hours. Just a little longer and a little more before it ends and we go back to where and what we came from. Work, spouses, kids, bills, aches and hangovers. That is what’s waiting for us when we finally turn in. So why even go to bed at all? Pour another drink, ask for another song, grab some beautiful stranger by the hips and go for another dance. Let it keep going and make the world wait outside behind the darkness. I’ve tried so many times, in the end I lay down and wait for the day to come and blind me with all those things I’ve pushed aside. Hangovers and old age never get any better. We try to avoid both as long as we can. Until we have to give up one for the other.
In the late hours of an early morning I have found myself deep in the cups on several occasions. Where every idea I had was astoundingly good and the company I had I could not tire of. Loud laughter and talk were as frequent and abundant as the drinks we poured. I wanted nothing more than the evening to last longer and longer still. I was hitting my natural stride as I danced with bartender, rubbed shoulder with the owner and his wife and did several rounds of karaoke. As I stepped outside to smoke a cigar with a woman who had found herself in my arms, I took a deep breath
“Everything alright?” She asked.
“Just breathing,” I said.
She shrugged it off not thinking anything else about it. The truth is I was filling my lungs not just with air I was letting out everything else that gets clogged up on the inside. Letting go those things that cling to you that only the cool night air can shake loose.
No matter how long I or anyone else wants it to last, sooner or later it will end. So the last call for alcohol came and I went, there after. In the morning I have nursed a hangover and tried to make sense of the words I used and the promises I’ve made. Only to try it all again one day in the future. I am guilty of chasing the night that was, we all are in our own way. One more, just one more moment is all I have sought in those fleeting moments. After too many long days in places I’d rather not be doing things necessary to live in a fast paced and unforgiving world. Who can fault anyone for clinging to those moments of joyous release and unyielding freedom? We chase it for different reasons but we do chase that night. Why? Because it’s better than simply going to bed and not living at all.
Work is boring, life is hard and drinking makes us feel the way we ought to feel when we’re not drinking. In those dark and smoky places where the drinks are cheap and the music is too loud. That being said, in my humble view, it’s one of the finest places on Earth to be. Everyone needs to have something that keeps them up late into the night. Something that reminds them they’re part of something bigger than themselves. That thrill of not worrying about time or place but only living in the very moment of such awe and timelessness. We forget too easily and too often that we are made to live not survive. Those long nights don’t need to be often but they need to last. Some people never get the chance to do something crazy. What unfulfilled lives they must live.
The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them– Charles Bukowski
Photo by J. Santiago Photography