Last night, the wife is following me around, ragging me about an open window on the bus. The turnpike window is open, it is open for a reason, “it is 108* outside and I don’t want to blow the windshields out of the thing, while sitting in the sun. So I opened a window and a vent.” This has disturbed her balance in the Universe and she feels compelled to tell me about it.
She is disturbed about this window, so she follows me around “commenting” on it. She is worried it is going to rain, when was the last time that happened, April? She says a fly is going to get inside. She has (in her head) a million valid reasons why THAT window ought to be closed and she is determined that I be the one to close it.
And I think two things.
(1) Why doesn’t she close the window?
(2) I need a drink.
It has been a confusing and somewhat trying week here at the Goat Farm. Unfortunately, help is not on the way. I think that guy at the beanery the other day that told me that Jack Daniels Black Label was good for depression might have been pulling my leg or something?
Drinking isn’t all that good for you come to think of it. Still, why don’t addicts stop using when it begins to destroy their lives? To understand that, we need to look briefly at how the brain’s pleasure center functions. We like to feel good. We enjoy music, the company of people with whom we feel a connection, good food, a drink now and then, maybe a hit or a line or two. We enjoy sex, which feels good and satisfies our instinctive desire to bond intimately with another human. We like to win at sports and other games.
We get a thrill when we hunt. Our survival instincts are deeply involved with the pleasure center, which gives us positive reinforcement for survival-oriented behavior such as making friendships (allies), winning at games (and war), and successful competition in the arena of business. It pleases us immensely when we enter into the uncommon realm of being lucky. Kind of like finding a used drop box or a over-sized copper-cored-radiator at a bargain price.
We enjoy these good feelings and emotions for themselves, but they also provide a welcome change from the unpleasant aspects of daily living. Insurance, taxes, alimony, cable TV, teenagers, the electric company in late August. Running wire runs under the bus, polishing wheels, stopped up fuel filters, slow-poke Okies on the Interstate,giving an eight mile turn signal, motoring along at a brisk 49 MPH in the fast lane.
Many other activities, such as shopping and gambling, provide pleasure, thrills, and distractions from our humdrum lives. All of these activities are rewarded by the pleasure center, and eventually we may find that we seek them out too often, or for too long.
So we drink.
We also imbibe to let go of the fear and anger which imprisons our heart, to relinquish all childish expectations and live joyfully in the world as it is — not as we wish or imagine it to be, to be free of the always craven and ever-craving ego, to be released from the endless hungers of the body, demands of the job or career.
To see God in others, to see God in everything, to die without really experiencing death and merge our consciousness into the cosmic sea of bliss from which we came. I drink because in my case, I don’t like to wash my bus, I can no longer fill my tank with cheap diesel fuel, find a road that beckons to me that I have never driven or traveled, and last, at days end, my seemingly endless futile search to locate an empty spot at the back of the lot when I tire.
And of course, I have a turnpike window open on the drivers side in August.
Yeah that’s it, that is why I hoist one every now and then, I’ll drink to that.
Possibly Related: Lost And Adrift