I used to never get hangovers. I could wake up the next morning after a night that would practically butcher any other without any doubt in their minds while they consumed such unhealthy amounts of alcohol of all kinds. But not me. I could down it all, in any order, and wake up the next morning with a clear head, no regrets, and complete insight of everything that had taken place. I took pride in my Russian roots and their blessing to my body of an abnormal ability to drink. And drink. And drink.
But all that's changed, and I think I've worn out my roots so bare that this tree's about to fall flat on her fucking face. I drink and I drink and I drink and now I've started to pay for it and pay for it and pay for it, not so much literally out my mouth or my nose, but most defintely out of my pride. I've started blacking out, forgetting what I've done or what I'm doing and continuing on like everything's fine, when in all reality I'm completely unconsious. It's not fun either. I do things I don't like. I say things I don't mean, and if I mean them, I'm definitely not supposed to say them. I become dramatic in ways I've never even fathomed myself being before, and to fix the problem, I drink more, and I drink more, and I drink more, until either I reach the point of no return, at which point I'm clinically insane, or I pass out. Wherever I am. Even if it's under my desk on a mountain of chords.
The other day was the worst, when I got home at around 2 in the morning and had stopped being conscious around 9PM. After that, everything was erased from my memory, and unfortunately that doesn't mean it was erased from time, and even more unfortunately, I wasn't exactly at the top of my game during those hours I don't remember. I wish it wasn't so; I wish this wasn't happening to me but the fact of the matter is that I traveled from one end of the city to the other only to be rewarded with the fact that my stability had completely crumbled and the more steps I took, the more I was walking all over myself and breaking up shards of my pride into smaller and smaller pieces. The next morning, I had never hated myself more, and I was sure that everybody I'd been unlucky enough to run into wasn't too fond of me anymore either. I stayed in bed all day with a hangover resembling a construction crane dropping 3000 pounds of cement from 3000 feet in the air about 3000 times every second.
I lucked out that night in a sense that I didn't permanently fuck up anything with anyone I really cared for, and everyone else I saw was yet another card in my dusty database of acquaintances. I came to grips that morning with the fact that sure, I could meet nice people, and I could be nice back, but I had met so few people in the city of San Francisco that I actually felt any compassion for that I figured it unlikely that small number would increase by much. The social population of the world had grown so cruel and everyone's motives were so downright crappy that every time I met someone, all I could do was deem them untrustworthy until proven otherwise, and in the meantime pick them apart until they were nothing but flaws that couldn't connect with my own flaws, which were too abundant to fathom at that point. I just didn't care anymore about meeting people and becoming friends with them; I was satisfied with the three I had and knew that there was only one place in the world I would ever experience where there was a valuable relationship with the majority of people I could meet, and suddenly I wanted to be there more than anything.
At that moment, the differences of Burlington from everywhere else in the world seemed more important and noticable than ever before, and I realized more than ever that I had left a place people spend their entire lives looking for, never knowing it exists at the oasis in a maze of gorgeous mountains and trees and winding roads of New England. It was our litle secret and our little fountain of youth and our little vault of gold coins in which to swim. It was where I was safe from the ever-growing population of back-stabbing friends and untrustworthy motives and downright horrible intentions. At the same time, I worried about Burlington. I had met a group of people there who thrived on alcohol, and I didn't want to re-live the night I had just barely escaped with people who's opinions I actually valued. Until that morning, I had never felt so unbalanced before in my life; never so deeply fearing the possibility of falling and losing everything I had worked for because of one drunken misstep after one glass too many.
I have gained something so important to me in this city that I cant possiby risk losing it by leaving. Graphic design has become something I value too much and something that calls to me too loudly to give up, but in terms of everything else in my life -- my stability, my happiness, my pride, my excitement, my insight -- all that has seemingly shrivelled away since coming to San Francisco. There may be a place out there better than Burlington in every single way, but I moved to San Francisco in search of it, a city they claim to be among the most amazing cities in the world, and I'd say Burlington is still winning by a landslide.