‘When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.’

Charles Bukowski



The drunkenness of one person is a longish story with seven stages. The highly subjective breakdown of the stages, however, helps people who have decided to go for it, master them.

In the beginning, there is Anticipation – it is recognized by that slight softening and tingling in the knees. It’s because the thousands of Nymphs Living Under the Tablecloth drink blood from your meniscus. The Promil is their religion. Their Heaven kind of resembles your now blackened liver.

Next comes the state that resembles the Brain Relaxation When High. However, while on weed, your brain has truly decided to go somewhere else without you. Alcohol doesn’t allow that. The brain just revels in the amniotic fluids of your personal Cosmos. And with a giggle, it builds a Stairway to Heaven, which, frankly, usually lead in the opposite direction.

The third state is what those in the know call ‘Love Glow’. It occurs after the third beer for teenagers and the second small vodka for Ordinary Devotees. And it never happens to miners, tractor drivers, and other industrial users. The third state is the Aggregate State of Personality, allowing every person to feel like a Giant. This is the Stage of Understanding, the Cut-off of Sympathy, the Place Where You Manage to Say the Sentence, and everyone laughs. At your sentence, not at you.

The fourth is what everyone is waiting for. I suppose it’s called Genetic Intoxication. Man is programmed to absorb Alcohol. The stage of genetic intoxication is when enzymes recognize Alcohol and instead of starting to break it down immediately, they sigh and take the day off. Because they already know – you have already trained them – that tonight one thing is certain. Tonight you have decided to get smashed and that is all there is to it. You are committed and you will be pouring vodka down your gullet until it exhausts all the enzymes on this Earth.

The fifth element of drunkenness is the Moment of Excessive Display. We did not fight the Revolutionary War and survive years of Prohibition to not have our five shots. Or ten. Or few gallons of beer. FFS.

The sixth state is the longest. Ancient Chinese sages and various know-it-alls divide it into two types – Quiet Sorrow and Noisy Madness. When the sixth state takes over a person and makes him, or her, quiet and sad – they look like a stuffed animal and, in its glassy eyes, one can read the swelling horror that it will soon be sick. Sick not in terms of vomiting and cramps, but sick in the sense of the total return to the World of the Next Morning when people around you will be all too sober. And dull. And they will make you be like them.
Quiet Sorrow is characteristic of elevated individuals, intellectual types, satisfied and aware people, and serial killers. Noisy Madness on the other hand, is the state for another type of people – unconscious, suppressed backstabbers who are unable to commit suicide in the ordinary way.

The seventh level is simply called Amnesia. The world no longer moves at 24FPS but a little slower (and slower and slower). It comes in surges and ebbs to you, and it takes great training not to let it dissolve you. In such states, Real Drinkers maintain their essence by constantly calling on the Pour Consciousness to return, give themselves an accurate diagnosis (meaning ‘God, how drunk am I?) and leave without knocking anything over and without anyone stepping on their watch. Amnesia in Real Drinkers is also a mild form of schizophrenia – consciousness forks into Realization and Reaction, desperately seeking their favorite assistant, Coordination.