I’m not sure how we spoke fluently then, but we managed. I was pretty much a bonified functioning alcoholic with a photographic memory waiting to go off like a ticking time bomb. In fact it’s how I keep the next chapters stored away in my brain, filed away throughout a chaotic system as it had always been.
I wonder sometimes, did work throw me over the edge? Were my coworkers, who knew little of bipolar, right? Had I burnt out?
It’s tough to tell. Back then I was housing down a bottle of gin and 12 beers a night. Just to erase my memories and keep them from spilling out like cards all over the floor. But why, because it’s not like they got anything but worse, or as most would assume. Most were and still are fascinating to me.
I’d drink it all down only to have a 1/4 cup of gin left in the morning which is precisely when all my memories would flood back and panic dug its talons into every fiber. Luckily, I was still drunk most mornings and the worst of it wouldn’t occur til noon, when withdrawal set in.
I could recall every photo in our system, every file and where each was, how to fetch it and use it brilliantly, but I couldn’t for the life of me recall a sliver of the conversations had only the night before nor could I recall what outlandish behavior had ensued.
Every day was hell. Wondering.
I remember him always coming in, usually hungover as well. He’d stop at his desk before sitting down and sigh looking straight at me with a pathetic shake of his head.
I really resent it, ya know? How someone can be a soul searcher and then condemn you for finally finding what makes you tick. No. Not the alcohol. The mania and the radical awareness that tagged along with it. He knew … we both knew. Our worlds were being sucked out through computer screens and we drank to sustain semblance.
Every night I’d sit up tirelessly fumbling through distraction after distraction, popping one beer can’s top to the next until gin came into play to deliver the final blow. I felt I was on the verge of discovering the secrets of the Universe.
It was this insatiable thirst to figure out this something that satisfied my soul enough to stop this chaos so I could live. Always looking without and never within. Which is odd because I’ve always been introspective, to a fault.
This is not delusion as many had told me years later. This is fact. Not only that I rummaged through anything to grasp concepts that blew my mind wide open, but also that I had discovered what, to me, was the key.
That is, after I began to loosen my grip on the booze.
I can only imagine through his music that he was gathering the answers as well. Hyped up on liquor, caffeine, weed, nicotine … you name it.
I don’t know the extent of his questions and I never will, but I can almost guarantee he asks from time to time, “What did you discover, Lizzy?”
To which I’d reply, “You’ll know it when you see you.”