BARchetypes: The Alcoholic Writer


Any bar worth its salt has a writer-in-residence.  Not necessarily a talented writer, not necessarily a popular writer.  Just a guy who puts words to paper (or screen; writing on the page is sexier, though). 

He’s at the bar for the liquor.  He might tell himself he’s there for a change of scenery, or for conversation, or to be surrounded by people, to be inspired by the swarming hive of the indecent human presence.  These are smokescreens.  He’s there for the liqour.

When drinking at home has gotten him nowhere, when the words have dried up like his pickled liver, he emerges out of his cave because he believes that public alcohol may just unlock his muse when private alcohol could not.  He will not drink just one.  He will tell himself two is the limit tonight, an economic choice because he only has enough money in his bank account for one.

He drinks four.

At some point, having spoken no more than the bare minimum of syllables required to procure his liquor, he will walk out of the bar, next-to-sober.  He will fight every instinct in his body to go back and have just one more.

Then he will return home and write.  Try to write.  Write.   Same difference.

And what comes of it, success or failure, will either validate his choice or prove that he should have gone back for one more drink.

He may end up writing all night, powered by his lack of willpower.  Or he may write a forgettable paragraph and pass out in his jeans.  Either way, his night’s creative peak will have been reached hours before, when he struck upon the inspired idea to leave his apartment and have a drink.

And what of the writing that results?  Is it any good?

I guess that’s up for you to say.

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