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Self Image Editor

My latest idea for an invention is a photo editor like Picasa, Pixlr-o-matic, or Instagram that adjusts reality so it more closely resembles my idealized perception of it. I’d name the program Melodr-o-matic. Or Instagrat.

One of the reasons i started drinking was because i read the Jim Morrison biography, No One Here Gets Out Alive. Like a perfect storm, the book hit me at just the right time in my life (i was 17 years old and in the process of becoming a disillusioned Christian) and i decided i wanted to be cool like Jim Morrison. (i even wrote a post about this over at the Bar None, here.)

i had this mental image of what drinking and partying was like, about how it was dark and poetic and dangerous and just plain cool. i fell in love with that image and looked for it at the bottom of every glass i could get my hand on. If you’d asked me—when i was staring up at the ceiling through the bottom of that glass—i’d have told you i’d found it.

Which is why i hated photographs of myself drinking. Pictures of me drunk showed a goofy, sloppy, drooling asshole who looked absolutely nothing at all like Jim Morrison. Nothing like the mental picture i carried of myself in the pocket just over my heart.

My illusions have since ceased to become delusions. It’s still hard for me to say that i’m happy or to use exclamation points when i write but i’m learning to live with the optimism. Am i still cool? Most certainly not. But given the choice between “cool” and “happy”, i’m going to choose “happy” every time.

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About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on April 26, 2012, in Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Cool is relative and I’m just going.to sound old.now. smoking is “cool”..hacking your lungs up every time you breathe? Me thinks not so much. Do people.still smoke through the hack? Absolutely. Do they still think its cool? Me thinksnot. Are they happy? Me thinksnot. The ex smoker who can breathe? I’m thinking very happy and to me that is very cool….just substitute drinking and any consequence and I will feel and think the same. Take care Al.

    • Thanks for the perspective. Especially considering i’m an ex-smoker who would love to be a smoker but can’t afford a pack a day habit. Does that mean i can’t afford to be cool? Methinks not.

      thanks for stopping by, my friend!

      Keep coming abck,

      Al K Hall

  2. Lol and I meant to say and others will think the ex smoker is cool too jeez. Likewise with the former drinker..

  3. inthesameboatla

    Alcohol is so mainstream these days, the true rebels are the ones who don’t drink. Going against the “grain” takes courage. To be able endure a drinking ritual with coworkers, friends, or family, while being mocked for not drinking is much more rebellious than drinking until shit faced. It’s a bigger “fuck you and the rest of the world” than anything The Doors ever did.

    • There you go! Like geek chic, sober is the new cool. i like it and not even from a sarcastic point of view. You’re right, in this age of decadence, the trailblazers are the one’s headed the opposite way. Vey nice idea, brother! Thanks for the thought fodder.

      Keep coming back, man,

      Al K Hall

      • inthesameboatla

        This post is as good as any to discuss the subject of “how do drinkers react to the fact that you’re not drinking?”

        People who knew me when I drank are happy that I quit. Or at least they don’t express any disappointment and seem to treat me normally. (I’m assuming that it’s the same with you.) But what about the new people you meet that don’t know how you were when you drank when they see that you’re not drinking socially?

        Most people don’t give a shit. But there’s a few — usually the ones with active drinking problems — that notice, and will often comment on it. Usually, an “I don’t drink” works. If pressed for why, I’ll often jokingly say “Because I’m pregnant.” But you can see what’s going through his mind: “This guy is either a religious nut or an alcoholic in recovery (or both.)”

        And then there are the few of the “never trust a man who doesn’t drink” type co-workers. Those are the worst, because they will exclude you from social-business invitations, which might lead to getting a leg up, and will do their best to embarrass you if you do happen to show up at a happy hour with an N/A drink in hand. What do you do about those fuckers? I’d almost like to say that I’m being discriminated against, but I think that’s too strong and that sometimes my whole sense of victimization is mis-calibrated.

        • In the Same Boat!

          Excellent questions. My old friends are relieved that i no longer drink, but have stopped asking me to hang with them, so that kinda sucks. As i’m kind of a writerly homebody, i don’t have much of a chance to meet new people who have to be confronted with my sobriety. If i do leave the home now, it’s to either go to an AA meeting or hook up with people from AA, which is a blast. i get a kick out of hanging out with partiers who don’t party and swapping stories of shit we pulled.

          i really get what you meant, though, when you were talking about being discriminated against. Rather than trying to prove myself in a world of people who don’t appreciate me, i prefer to hang out with those who have hit the depths i have and truly get me.

          Great question, brother!

          Keep coming back,

          Al K Hall

  4. OK, Al, time to accept an award … i’ll keep trying …. I know it’s time consuming, but there’s a NEW PICTURE for the versatile blogger award. https://iamnotshe.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/the-versatile-blogger-award-pour-moi-pisha/… very exciting news.

  5. Ya know, I also read that Morrison book, and I also wanted to be cool. I’m not either, and I never was.

  6. Hey Al,

    You know how every year someone says something stupid like;
    “Brown is the new Black.” or “Green is the new Black.” ?

    Well, we ALL know there will NEVER be a new Black. Duh.

    I DO think that Happy IS the NEW COOL!

    I am sure of it.

    Peace, Jen

    Love to the Mrs.!

  7. Al K, being the brilliant sober alkie that you are – you are so totally cool 🙂 It’s probably a new kinda cool, but still cooler than cool in my own opinion. And HAPPY on top of that… my oh my

    • Lol! “Brilliant” isn’t a word i hear too much when referring to me, so thank you for letting me know what that feels like at least once! i agree, though, sober is a new kind of cool and whether i’m cool or not is secondary to my happiness! My h my, indeed!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

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