I rather enjoy drinking alone.
And yes, I’m quite aware of the implications in our wider society.
Yes, my family has a history of alcoholism.
Yes, I drink most days of the week.
Already, many people might ask me questions about a river in Egypt.
By the standards of my birth culture, I am prime alcoholic material.
Alone, I love to have a beer or some wine with dinner. And then maybe some port, brandy, or sherry for dessert.
Alone on the hottest day of summer there’s nothing like a bottle of rose champagne poured over ice, paired with fresh, chilled nectarines and overripe mangoes.
In the autumn, there’s nothing like crisp hard cider, sweet porters, and bittersweet stouts served with ham, bacon, aged cheddar, and apples.
As the weather turns cold, there’s a special delight to be taken in fiery spirits like a good brandy or whiskey sipped straight while reclining by a fireplace.
I find that alcohol has the ability to carry the intimate imprint of a taste, a smell, a place better than any other substance.
I remember being amazed the first time I had a certain scotch from an island off the coast of northern Scotland. It tasted overwhelmingly of peat smoke and of the sea. It made me imagine myself sitting alone in a small, warm hut on a forbidding northern isle able to hear winds howling outside and waves crashing at the bottom of a rocky cliff…
I’ve watched the way extroverts drink and as far as I can tell, they don’t drink for any of the same reasons I do.
Classic extroverts tend to drink:
In unfamiliar public places with unfamiliar people – to deliberately lower inhibitions. Imbibing in excess gives a socially accepted excuse to misbehave and vent one’s pent up social repression. Alcohol becomes an attempt to escape from responsibility and even from the oppressive prison of oneself.
It doesn’t really matter what they drink so long as it gets them drunk. Generally, the more the taste of the alcohol can be masked(to encourage easy overindulgence) the better. If there’s a killer hangover, no problem. It will make a great story to tell one’s friends.
The Subtle person drinks in safe, comfortable places, in the home, with close friends and family, often alone. Imbibing in excess is unpleasant and unseemly.
The desirable effect is a relaxed, contemplative, spiritual state. To be content to sit and enjoy that wonderful feeling of just being alive, to read a book, or to write.
Not just any drink will do. It must be something that makes both body and soul feel good. While drinking…and afterwards.
This Subtle ethic is one that many mainstream people can’t understand. On the occasion I catch myself speaking of my fondness of good drink, I sometimes see a funny look on other people’s faces.
The main society offers two possibilities in this vein.
a. You’re a drunk.
b. You’re a snob.
How does a Subtle person convey the idea of alcohol as more of a sacred drug as opposed to a mere party drug or a crude tool to signal social status?
The narratives offered by the mainstream birth culture are a barren expanse with little to offer.
Imagine using ‘sacred’ and ‘alcohol’ in the same sentence in actual conversation!
Perhaps better just to drink alone, in the home, with intimates.