» The Benny Poda Years «
Kevin McGowin
Chapter 24 - Boston

Once I got to Boston, I started drinking like a BITCH. Usually cheap burgundy, though of course I didn't really give a shit. There's a lot of substance abuse in this book, in case you're just tuning in.
        I wasn't fuddling because of Monica. I was drunk because I couldn't find a woman to get drunk with me! See? Hell, there's nothing worse than being poor and drunk in a big city. I just went there because it happens to be a really good place to score a living playing pool! And I wasn't PLAYING pool. I wasn't doing SHIT. Plus, I was there because lots of sleaze was there. Because a Threat to Sleaze anywhere is a Threat to Sleaze EVERYwhere. And after you're quits with a classy woman, you want nothing more than some major, irresponsible, self-indulgent, self-destructive SLEAZE. I promise you.
        And I couldn't find Marcus. I'd get fucked up and stand in the middle of Rotaries and walking around in the Square flagging people down and asking them just where the fuck was Marcus. It was crazy, man. I started thinking I was in Paris. I spent most of my time wandering around on Washington. Which is, by the way, where you buy your crack in Boston. It's a beaucoup sleazy road. In FACT, I have found that it's the sleaziest road EVERYWHERE! Don't know the town? Don't know what to do? Go to any larger city in America and get in a cab and tell them to take you to Washington and STEP on it. They will, too.
        I was thinking Boston was Paris. In fact, Boston is pretty fucking FAR from being Paris. Or . . . maybe it's NOT, I don't know. Hell, ACTUALLY, having been to both places, Boston is probably more like Paris than any city in America! Except Philadelphia. In Philly, and not that many people know about this—there's this district called Little Paris where they speak French and use francs and smoke Marlboro Lights and get fucked up on Merlot. They have a little Eiffel Tower and a little Notre Dame and a little Seine near it and a little Louvre with a little Touleries behind it and shit. It's just that not that many people know about this.
        So when I thought Boston was Paris I was hallucinating. But I didn't call up people like Lee Priest. Oh yeah, and that guy and his 12-step buddy in Cincy, well, they were buttfucking each other! I heard them in the other room when I stayed with Lee after getting out of that shitty hotel room. He'd be giving it up the ass and right when he was fixin' to Hutch his Doop, he'd yell, "Ninety meetings in Ninety days! And no relationship for a YEEEEAAAAR!"
        Well, Lee had told me once that there's this Test you give yourself to find out if you're an alcoholic. You get a drink and drink the bitch. Then you get another one and drink HALF of it and then put it down. If you can do it without drinking more, you're not an alcoholic. And I can do it. So I'm not a fucking alcoholic. I do it all the goddamn time! So that meant I could drink. Still does. In fact, I am hammered NOW! Maker's Mark. I'm drinking it now, and I have some people over and they're fucked up on it, too!
        But those Real Alcoholics, of which there are either not many or more than you could IMAGINE, well they too have periods in which they can drink functionally like I did in Chicago. Then they start thinking they're in Lisbon or some shit. Like that alcoholic who's in the movies, where everybody he ever plays is also an alcoholic? The one who was the Green Man and he was Under the Volcano and he was Rich in Love and all that? Well, THAT dude is an Alcoholic. I'll bet he thinks about some Weird Shit. He probably thinks London exists in miniature in the middle of Downtown Cleveland.
        But I was drinkin' HARD, even Beefeater which, pal, is some RAUNCHY shit. I drank all this shit by myself, too. Men that are fucked up cannot get pussy. WOMEN can get COCK, but men cannot get pussy. Or whatever. Women though, man, THEY get fucked up outside their house and they're just ASKING some sleazy motherfucker to come get it. Well, am I not right? Come ON. I'M not gonna fuck you, but some asshole out there WILL. HE doesn't have your moral structure. He shouldn't fuck you? Well, I never fucking said he SHOULD, now did I?
        I used to know this hoe who'd only fuck when she was fucked up, which, very often, she was. She was yours for the night after a few beers or a couple of drinks, man. She lived in every city in America. Just like the dude who fucked her. Just like you and me.
        So I was boozing so hard my body was like Toxic and shit, and I couldn't eat. Lee said that for boozers, there is in their future ONLY jail, institutions, or death. Well, he's himself now fucking DEAD, and he was no longer a boozer. I guess. And I've known thousands of people for whom this wasn't the case. Jail or institutions? Drunk people rarely give much of a rat's ass about the consequences of their crap, and the only reason they'd NOT want one or the other of these things is that they'd have to QUIT! Go figure. But you're drunk? Hey, you'll stop. The time'll come. There are only Three Certainties in life: death, tax evasion, and the fact that YOU ARE going to fucking stop drinking.
        Does my life, such as it was, in Boston seem FUN to you? Well, I guess that's not a fair question. Nobody over the age of 30 has FUN, they just have what actors call Emotional Recall. Well, it was certainly obliterating while I was on it. In fact, I hope to do it again one day! But you can only write your memoirs Once. But I wouldn't have written that unless I was piddled off my ASS. Ah, but that visit was an indulgent waste of perfectly good booze, and I had to leave, 'cause it was Boston that was doing it to me, see. I had to leave. And I did. There were two and maybe three people I needed to see in person. Yeah. You know where I'm going.
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