Thursday, December 23, 2004

Up, Down or Sideways ?

As we enter the KWITHMUTH season of good cheer and excess beer, the time has come to remind us all of the Golden Rule of Partying. When we party, we begin a voyage across the wide ocean of our consciousness. We travel to places biologically, socially, and chemically, and we require navigation for a pleasant journey and a safe return.

Therefore - as it is written somewhere else, in a nicer font than this one - KNOW THYSELF. Enter without fear onto your voyage of discovery, but remember that in order to discover yourself, you may have to get a little lost, since discoveries are often made by the lost.

As the cognac sinks uneasily down over the three mince pies which sit like inedible stones in your stomach thrown down in a vain attempt to pacify the Beer God - YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF (and those around you) by ALWAYS REMEMBERING THAT YOU ARE ON THAT JOURNEY - you are the navigator and you are the pilot. As you opt for the stilton after the brandy snaps with a double shot of bisongrass vodka cranberry, YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF (and those around you) by recalling that you got yourself here and that it is within you the means to get yourself back to a place where the deck of the ship is not slippery and pitching.. and YOU CAN DO THIS (and by doing so help those around you) by remembering to ask yourself this question whenever you need to make a decision as to which way to go now:


Let me give an example. The evening begins (traditionally) with an UP. Bring on the shots, the champagne, knock back a beer or two. Wheeee ! Straight UP. Now, how are you feeling ? Want to stay there a little longer ? YOU CAN - but probably not with alchohol for that long. After about an hour, alchohol will start to bring you DOWN. So, if you want to stay UP, maybe it's better to go SIDEWAYS. Have a cup of tea. Eat something. Not too much - or you'll go down. No ? Want to keep going up ? OK well, your decision - remember YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF (and those around you) to anything you like - LIFE IS SHORT and so is our attention span, especially when intoxicated.

Now, you haven't smoked marijuana in a while (maybe never) but here's a friendly looking guy/girl and the shots and champagne have mellowed you and it's KWITHMUTH so you mosey on over and sure enough, despite the fact you don't even smoke and even worked voluntary on a rehab program once, you're toking like a hippy. UP UP UP UP ! Being KWITHMUTH the girl/guy has the Top Seasonal Stash on them and it's WAY STRONGER THAN YOU RECKONED and suddenly you don't feel all that clever although you can't stop laughing and you are very very hungry.

At this point, you need to go DOWN. Not down to the kitchen to binge on sweets and pick up another beer to steeeeady yoooour nerves, you need half a litre of fresh water, a cup of herbal tea (camomile for example) a cool face wash, and ten minutes or so in the fresh air not too far from the entrance, preferably with a less stoned friend to help you make sense of your gabbling brain.

So, having come down a little bit, with the sugar level restored by the cake and the alchohol beginning to metabolise, gripping your tea like a lifebuoy, you can make your next decision as the second wave of party-goers arrive with more champagne and assorted pleasures - UP, DOWN or SIDEWAYS ? YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF (and those around you) by making the right decision. So, having got drunk in 40 minutes and been the most stoned freak at the party, you gracefully accept a modest jug of shampoo and head for the dance floor, where you vigorously apply the Rule by getting down and moving sideways towards the MOST attractive guy/girl who has just arrived, and he/she seems to be OK with that, and you realise that the time has come to go back UP.

So you head up to the bedroom with your new friend and earnestly discuss the weather, and what the global economic prospects really are, and how you know someone who knows someone who lives just near there isn't it a small world, and why you have those cute little glittery bits just there, and after a while it's time to come back DOWN. But you are rather worried in case the people you kind of came with see you both coming down together and embarasses you (and those around you) by making a silly scene. Plus you need to adjust your clothing and sort out your face. So you go SIDEWAYS into the bathroom and say, see you down there.

Five minutes later, you are feeling really up and ready to go up further. UP is the way you are going, UP is the way you will be, and this is a TOP party full of fabulous people. Only you can't for the life of you see ANYONE you know, and you wonder if they are avoiding you, and where's your NEW FRIEND gone, and five minutes later, you are feeling really paranoid, and thinking of going home. You came down, then you went DOWN. But you don't necessarily need to stay down. Then again, the only way is not up.

Then you hear the fireworks and realise everyone is outside which is why you can't find anyone and you GO RIGHT BACK UP as you grab a beer head outside grinning like a loon to watch beautiful bursting flowers of flame and colour light up the hearts of all who stand in awe, rooted like the innocent children they really are, gawping at mini miracles of fire and light...
Then the nice guy/girl with the spliff walks up and offers you another toke, and you need to make the most important decision of your night - UP, DOWN or SIDEWAYS ? If you stay on the beer, you are going sideways. Can you risk going up again, given all that has happened so far, given that you won't speak to anyone anymore, given that you could end up passed out and comatose and miss your lift home, given that your New Friend is still here.. oh.. actually standing right there in someone's arms, kissing them passionately and clearly with intent... damn it.

You decide: UP, DOWN and SIDEWAYS. Yes. All of them. At once, please. Now. So, you pour the beer into the tea, pour them both into the shampoo, add a dash of vodka, accept the throat-rasping roach, wonder if there are any real drugs available at this shit party, and decide that you (and those around you) will come down in the New Year, and not before. Then you kiss the guy/girl who gave you the spliff to his/her surprise, and ask the one simple question that will change your life (and those around you) forever:


And then he/she smiles and says, "I thought you'd never ask"- and you suddenly realise that your voyage of discovery has taken you to a new place, a land of warm breezes carrying unknown perfume, a land of distant horizons, melodies like seasnakes, white sheets drawn across tan thighs, caresses and soft touches and hidden sinews, smooth domes and golden arches, and you are kissing at 4am outside McDonalds in the holiday trash and seasonal vomit, wondering how you got there, how you are managing to stand, how you are going to explain this later, to whom you are supposed to explain it, why you have pockets full of ham, and what Good King Wenceslas and the Feast of Stephen and Louie Armstrong have to do with any of it.

"See, Louie," he/she murmurs huskily in your ear, "you understood and operated by the Golden Rule of Partying. You weren't successful by chance. You were a survivor. You knew. You kept it together. For all of us. You brought us here. You really did swing. Low. Very low. Sweet chariot. Amen."

Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace...

Aromatherapy Associates Party Survival Kit

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At 8:47 PM, Blogger Chromatin quoth...

Are you sure you're not my brother? This seems like an accurate description of one of his nights out. How very odd.
May I say how very much I enjoy your writing. And after that sycophancy, all the best for the New Year. Goodnight.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Brad Roach quoth...

Were you sideways when you wrote this? Me likey.


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