Good Morning Impuissant Avatars,
There were services held this week for one of Dewey’s young bartenders. He was featured on this forum from time to time, and from what little I knew about him he seemed to be a good guy. 26 year old Lipped Ring Robbie (never actually knew his last name) was good natured and on the surface looked as though he was on his way to somewhere; Dewey’s being nothing more than a stepping stone to someplace else. In the three years he poured me drinks we traded good-natured barbs and enjoyed the typical jocularity found in most drinking establishments. Unbeknownst to most of ‘Curmudgeon Corner’ but suspect not a secret to his close friends, Robbie did much of his drinking in private. What I mean by that is, he drank to excess no doubt to bury the demons that tormented him consuming his life. Many moons ago when I was 26, I did everything to excess and was drawn to hedonistic indulgences as were most of my friends. Ironically though, it was just around that point in time most of us made the decision to get serious about what we wanted out of ‘life’s rich pageant’ and tempered the excesses being more selective about the time and place. I don’t know what drove Robbie’s pain, but he didn’t have the tools to beat it.
I don’t want this to come off as a lecture because Lord knows I live in a glass house, and it’s not even mine! I don’t know who said it, but to paraphrase it goes something like this, “In reference to our lives we are the sum total of the decisions we make.” We tend to look at the homeless and addicted as pathetic losers incapable of living their lives above board. Those people are easy targets because they’re strangers to us and would bet the two or three of you reading this shot of Aqua Velva feel superior. Having spent a little time at the Denver Rescue Mission I can tell you each one taking space there attempting to turn their lives around has a story. I interviewed a handful of those qualifying for a bed, and the stories usually involved circumstances beyond their control leaving them victims, undeserving of the hellish things that beset them. Some will take ownership of their lot in life and crawl out of their addictions but the majority will eventually fall prey to them. Each of us face these kinds of choices on some level, and must determine how best to navigate through the deep seated dark things in our lives.