that frenzy from drinking

no, you know that he is not drunk, you know that he is A drunk. his cheeks are profusely blushed, and his nose is all red because he had too much wine under the sun. his belly is too big for his body, his liver enlarged like foie gras, and his body too skinny and anemic because he never eats (well, he does, but boiled pink eggs and fried sausage is not a healthy diet). and he has dirty jeans pants, dirty-black right above the tights because he sits on the bar all day long, his sweaty body perspiring like a motherfucker, his palms clammy from the booze, so he dries and dries them, rubbing them over and over again on top of his pants. and his shirt smells like stale beer and the top 4 buttons are open because it’s always too hot when you are drinking, no matter how many cold beers you knock down. and his ears are red and red and red, his face has a stubble because he hasn’t been home to shave in a couple of days – or shower. he smells like a bad bar, the floor, the grease from the kitchen, the puddle of piss in the bathroom. and the tips of his fingers are yellow, much like his teeth, because the cheap cigarettes that he smokes are the cheapest that money can buy. and his speech slurs, and his hair is up in all the ways, and his walk is goofy, like his legs are made of stone.

and a drunk knows another drunk, always; their breath mingles alike, their eyes pointless, glassy, unfocused. their conversation is a bunch of smeared words behind shit-eating grins. too drunk to care, too sad to mind. and there is nothing fun about these drunks, they are not teenage drunks, they are 6 a.m. drunks, I-need-a-drink-first-thing-in-the-morning-to-function drunks, and all about them is a little sad and a little poetic, and I’m all melancholic on the 9 a.m. bus to downtown because, next to me, there is one of these drunks, a little 60-year-old barfly, and he is sweet and quiet (once again, unlike these teen drunks) and he reminds me of those skinny grandpas who would sit and play domino at the bar near my house and would give me 50 cents to buy candy instead of getting change for their doses.

and you just know he is a drunk, a professional drunk, and that his head hangs low because he knows he is a drunk – and he is a little ashamed of it as well, but there is nothing he can do. so he just tries to sleep on the bus back home, so he can get home and face his wife and get yelled at, shower and go out again, back to the bar, knock down a few because his wife is a drag and his kids don’t care and his life sucks but he can manage (even though he can’t change).

and you know he is a drunk because a drunk knows another drunk, and you are a drunk, and he knows you are a drunk.

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