drinking, written 2008

22 Jul

 drinking

“These faces never seem to change, only grow old and dirty like layers of dust that cover an old shelf. Faces in neglect, faces that glare bleached, as though burned by a bright, black sun. As Toulouse-Lautrec would paint, at night they glow with poison green and fluorescent yellow, colors from lives spent down in dank, smoky rooms. And now, as the sun rises early, the faces turn from bright colors into their sickly versions. Now they stand with brownish green hue and only a splash of the yellow left, pale in their cheeks. 
These are the faces a stranger would notice first. The faces he would notice from his moment of arrival. Faces he would see until he stayed, one week, two weeks, three weeks long, and the moments slide by as the outsider becomes one of us, as his lively colors diminish, and the sickly ones rise. 
And we invite him in, down to dank, smoky rooms. We invite him in to drink with us as we invite everyone. Because drinking makes us feel closer. Close to each other and close to touch. We drink to close empty hearts. We drink to close the voids of loss. We drink, forgetting what it was we drank for. 
We all drink together and we all search together. Searching, whether it is for things in our future or something we never had in our past. We all search, whether we know it or not and the hope here, is that it will come. Our ironic hope is that by coming close to the humanity that so often destroys us, we will find a salve for our wounds. We invite him in, our stranger, until he no longer looks strange. Until his colors match ours and we all feel close together.”

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