Tuesday, March 22, 2011. We decided not to go snorkeling today as it was raining in the morning, sods law after the last bus went and there was no hope of getting to the mountain the sun came out with a vengeance, what’s more when I went down to Te puke to get some bread and get some money out I got a 20 dollars phone voucher, in the form of a receipt and absent mindedly threw it away in the bin with the ice cream wrapper. I only realized when I got back up to Trevelyan’s camp site.
On the plus side we have half a day’s work tomorrow, some people are leaving now because its taking such a long time to start work, I have a feeling that as soon as we just have one cold night we will be working flat out for a long time. Kago was starting to bake her cake in the afternoon, eggs flour and sugar all over the place.
I cannot remember which day I quit drinking, which is probably a good thing; I am not counting down the days although I did have a dream last night that I was getting wrecked. I have found I don’t much crave the booze, it’s mainly a rather slippery thing, I am sitting down and my mind like a greasy slab of meat will slide into the “where’s the beer?” frame, I have to catch myself and remind myself why I stopped. I have been thinking about why I like drinking, according to Allan Carr we don’t like drinking in any shape or form and that the pleasure you get from it is just the temporary relief from the brain washed craving we have for the stuff, Like wearing your shoes really tight and then taking them off at the end of the day just to feel the relief of not feeling stressed anymore.
But I don’t fully agree, I think there is something about alcohol, which is more than an addiction, something else which drinking however inadequately or ham fisted gives us. Maybe the excuse to go wild, to unashamedly revert to our animal self’s, something which to a great extent is frowned upon. Maybe it’s the shutting down of inhibitions, the temporary relief from having to judge and measure, and run our lives. Maybe it’s a whole host of things, but one thing is for sure whatever it does give us it’s not an exclusive quality to alcohol or drugs, there are other less harmful ways of getting whatever it is.
The only thing which is not really positive but is very convenient is that you can buy it in a bottle almost everywhere. Whereas lasting happiness or exploring our different aspects cost more and isn’t as instantly accessible. I tend to drink when I feel like letting go, I feel like leaving my life for a while and taking a break, when I am in an amazing mood I think “getting drunk right now would really top things off”, Maybe it’s just the bonding experience with friends, doing something supposedly manly together, like the pack animals we really are. But then that doesn’t take into account why I like drinking alone. I like to watch a few films and steadily drink until my mind jumps and slides into corners it usually doesn’t other wise, while my emotions are on fire.
This of course is neglecting the fact that sometimes I get depressed when I drink. Although I used to get paranoid when I smoked before and used to go to very strange places there is a much thicker bodily effect with alcohol, it effects the whole, making a depression or an elation magnify. A worrying aspect which I think is a tell tale sign of an addict is that I never feel like I have had enough and although recently I have hardly thrown up from drinking I have learnt how to push it to the very limit, almost spilling over into the abyss, how to keep it at that level to keep drinking as much as possible. Then the next day after the hangover has left I just want to do it again. And again and again and again.
Another negative side effect after a good bend, after a weekend of drinking, on Friday Saturday and Sunday is the feeling of lethargy and how unenthused with life I feel. All in all I am happy I stopped drinking and it’s good for me to remind myself about the negative aspects and to try and forget the positive things. I have reached a stage now, like I reached a stage with smoking weed when I am now more conscious and cautious and think about what it does to me.
I used to be able to smoke and drink and although I wasn’t unaware to the effects of my actions I simply didn’t care and in all truthfulness I didn’t think it would happen to me, the invincible youth. Now I think I have turned a corner where even if I don’t manage to abstain I will at least be aware of what I am doing rather than in denial. Denial being the correct word instead of ignorance, because there isn’t much we don’t know how to fix; it’s just down to what we really want to do. Potential is as common as dirt, over rated. It is what we do rather than what we can do. No one is famous for what they might have done, no one respects people who say “I could have done this” or “I really want to do that”.
Like Ishmael I now know which boat I am on and I know what will sink it and although there is still a great danger of capsizing I am at least facing forwards with my hands on the wheel as opposed to facing my foamy wake rudderless and unwilling to navigate.
There you go shipmates a bit of a nautical way of expressing that I am aware I have a drinking problem, yo ho ho and a bottle of….freshly squeezed kiwi juice.
At about 7 the kitchen filled up. Kago and masushi, Sophie, Bonny the woman from the Philippines and Alice. Kago and Masushi made a marang cake and sushi, bonny made vegetable wraps and Alice made Taiwan pancakes, Sophie made a noodle dish and Sarah a celery salad. It was a fun occasion; I helped to wash up and beat the cream for the cake, and made a roll of Sushi. Sophie told us she just got a job at the sushi shop in Te puke, Sarah was literally green with envy, but of course she wouldn’t be able to do the job as she has day shift. I was surprised that Sophie took the job “ at the moment I only work 5 hours a night, so during the day I can work as well”. When I hitch hiked down to Te puke earlier today I spoke to a man who was doing the same thing. “I work the night shift then work driving a tractor during the day”. The man said ‘that not very safe at all’ I thought to myself “I only sleep for two hours a day, but like today I have a day off so it’s ok I can sleep all day” he explained to my raised eye browse ‘so sleep all day apart from right now were your driving’ I wondered if I should have got out of the car.
The dishes where all cooked and we sat down for the meal, Kago opened a bottle of wine and she poured people drinks. The food was excellent especially the marang cake, like a soft heavenly cloud kissing the inside of my mouth with sugary marshmallow lips of ecstasy. I must learn how to make this divinity, this god cake. The conversation moved around varies topics and my fears where confirmed when Mike the man from Manchester who had spent the last 40 years in NZ began to talk about depressing things “ oh we are all out of control and heading for doom, but it’s alright”. Last time I had a chat with him we had barely got past name introductions before he began in this apocalyptic vain “we are going to wipe our self’s out, but it’s alright”. He has a irritating habit of saying “but it’s alright” at the end of all his morbid sentences. ‘How exactly is it going to be alright if we kill everyone?’ was a question swimming around my head. He would mumble and sigh knowingly at anything which was said. A sort of “whatever will be will be…but we are all doomed, but it’s alright” exclamation.
All that shite aside the evening was a success, lots of laughing and picture taking and good food, I will miss the communal eating area in Trevelyan, I will miss the people. I will not miss the caravan or the bed or having to walk to the other house to go for a wee or a shower. You cannot have it all can you? And even if you could I think it would become rather boring, in the same way humans have a huge capacity for dealing with pain, so do we have a huge capacity to deal with pleasure. I think even everything would not be enough for me.
At the end of the night as I sat watching TV and everyone departed I got the strongest craving to drink I have had yet, I weathered it and when it was over I had a shower.