Tonight, a night that once appeared headed for early foreclosure, instead carries on into the early morning fueled by that same toxic mixture of hope, dread, curiosity, nostalgia and a burdensome sense that I forgot to do something important.
It is a concoction that my poor brain has drunk far too many times.
A Fan's Notes by Fred Exley sits beside me, a book that I have treated like a dangerous depressant: with sweet binges and long trips on the wagon. I started it in early September. Back then when the weather still held up more often than not I took it to the pebbled shores of Budd Bay, the weekend refuge of Batdorf & Bronson, a local coffee roaster, and a handful of Monday nights at the Royal Lounge where I read to a soundtrack of the Greta Jane jazz quartet.
But now, with pages 336 and 337 growing soft from having lay pressed heavily into the carpet for weeks, I feel the urge to load up on Scotch before I finally put it out of its misery like an alcoholic who wants to go on one last raging bender before giving it all up. Might as well go out on a night remembering and forgetting every last reason why you loved it so much in the first place, and why you hated it enough to stop. Then again, you might just get drunk enough to forget you ever made that decision in the first place.
If I go through with it I might even lick some of the pages when I'm done, just to get a real sense of rock bottom closure. I hope Exley, whose wordsmithery and whose writer's sense of purpose makes me feel inferior at times, would approve.