Sober City – February 27, 2011
There has been plenty of times in my life where I have bitten off more than I could chew. In high school I organized, emceed and performed in a large scale, multiple act concert event (largely on my own) and managed to turn a profit. When asked to do the event again the following year with more bands in a much bigger venue for many more people, a young 18 year old Joe said “Absolutely I can”. My second year at Mount Royal College I was cast as the lead in The Music Man (a large scale musical) as well as a main character in the smaller but equally demanding touring show, Nobody’s Children. I was taken aside by the head of the program and asked quite seriously if I could handle doing both. A 20 year old Joe said, “Absolutely I can.”
10 years later I find myself in Toronto, a working actor/musician undertaking a year long experiment on the implications of not drinking and I keep asking myself on a daily basis if I’m actually going to last another 10 months without even once indulging in the simple pleasures of alcohol, and a 31 year old Joe says, “WHY IN THE HELL DID I AGREE TO THIS MADNESS?!” Somebody get me a bottle of Lemonhart, hook it up to my arm and put me on a plane to Vegas with a steady flow of Wolfblass Yellow Label and Grasshoppers at the ready accompanied with a video camera stuck on record to document the entire fiasco for future generations of anthropology students to dissect in classes about moments in historical awesomeness! I’m a musician damn you! I’m an artist! I’m suppose to be experiencing the world through booze goggled glasses so I can parlay it all into songs about strife and give future performances filled with heart ache and pain! I do honestly think this way a lot and I know how ridiculous and false it is, but that doesn’t make it feel any less real.
It’s the constant struggle between feeling good about myself and feeling like I’m undertaking a pointless task that is serving no real purpose other than frustration and boredom. Alcoholics always talk about getting clean because of hitting “rock bottom” and needing to turn their life around or not being able to just drink socially. I doubt “quitting for a year just to see what would happen” has ever been a real reason for sobriety. Even though I’m not an alcoholic, I’m not a straight edge guy by any means either so this whole all or nothing thing doesn’t suit me very well. I’m not saying it would be easier to cut out booze completely if I had an actual drinking problem or believed alcohol was inherently bad, but having a legitimately solid reason for quitting would probably help a great deal.
That being said, I’m still on track and I gotta say that going public with this was the best/worst thing I could possibly have done. For better or worse I’m in it for the long run now and as I approach the two month mark I can honestly say I’d probably be calling it off if not for you dear readers. It’s out of my hands now and slowly becoming something bigger than me, so I’ll keep going and keep complaining and keep writing about my frustrations and triumphs equally as they come. If not for my personal curiosity and self betterment, then for what I can only hope is public inspiration and entertainment. So you can ask me if I’ll continue this sadistic, self sacrifice of zero alcoholic intake for the entire year of 2011 and ask me if I’ll stay sober even during patio season and rock concerts and you can ask me if I’ll pass on that glass of wine tomorrow night during the Oscar telecast and rest assured the answer will continue to be “Absolutely I will”. God help us all. Cheers!


One thought on “SOBER CITY – Day 58”

  1. And you did a great job in the Music Man and Nobodies Children! "Faceless, nameless children, who are the children no one knows" – I saw Abigail the other day and sang this to her. Oy.

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