I’ve never loved Sundays. That’s not unique, but it makes it no less true. Psychosomatic as it may be, Sundays have always felt a little bit off. We all know the feeling that washes over us when we’ve finished a big test or a vacation or even just a lunch break, and whether it lasts a minute or a month, it’s there. The feet drag a bit more slowly, the shoulders slump, and the mind fights against the body that will leave both feeling worse for wear. The feeling that leaves us asking ourselves, “That’s it? … What now?”
Whenever I get the Sunday Blues, though, a simple thing my sister said one time pops into my head. “I think you just need to get over it.” What? Excuse me? As if it’s that simple? It can’t be. It’s something that’s real and in me and makes me physically feel weak and mentally incompetent. It’s not the two to five days of drink, that’s for sure. It couldn’t be, because I felt this way when I was a child, long before I was a drunk. Or maybe that’s wrong. Maybe I was a drunk when I was a child, but I was just waiting for the opportunity to let my true colors show. That opportunity, apparently, was called Korea.
With Korea came many things, one of them my fondness for trivia nights. Actually, not so much trivia nights as much as my friend and roommate Jeff’s trivia night. He has differentiated it from other trivia nights around here in that it feels less like a real competition and more like a game night amongst friends. And at this point, it basically is, as he’s been running it for more than three years at the bar we’ve been performing at for more than five, Rocky Mountain Tavern. A lot of the people who come are friends and fellow performers, and even the regulars I don’t really know generally greet each other with a warm smile, kind of like Cheers but with college graduates and Asians. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people at this bar, been onstage for far too long, and even felt the pangs of love a time or two. And what night does Jeff’s trivia night land on? Sunday.
So every weekend’s inevitable demise occurs at one of my favorite places, with some of my favorite people, doing some of my favorite things. All the better if we win, which occasionally happens, but my goal is mainly to share a few laughs, bust a few balls, and drink a few Mooseheads. My trivia knowledge is limited to 80’s and 90’s NBA players and professional wrestlers. So if “Chocolate Thunder” comes up, I’m your guy. Otherwise, I’ll be enjoying my beer and contributing as needed (as in, not much), and waiting to sing a karaoke song or two afterwards.
I’ve spent nights at trivia not drinking before, but this was the first one that I actually noticed. Saying no to drinks – even when we won free ones– wasn’t that hard, but looking back, I might have been a bit on edge. Maybe it was because it was the first of four weeks I wouldn’t be drinking at. Maybe it was the fact that there were two new people on my team and I wouldn’t be able to count on liquid courage to up my social skills. Who knows.
It’s hard to get much perspective when you’re in the moment, but perhaps a little has come to me in the past day. That’s not much time, but it’s some.
A brief list of my transgressions: I was short to friends; I cut off karaoke in a hurry when there was a small malfunction; I didn’t let my friend tickle me (Horrible, right?); and I barely said goodbye to a group of visitors I’d been in contact with when they left. Minor infractions, yes, but I felt them. I don’t know if anyone else did, but I did. If those people were in fact in my front room, I wouldn’t have treated them like that. No way.
This is not to say that I think I’m a horrible person or that these things are keeping me up at night, but I could have done better. I’ll do better.
You may laugh at these things that stick in my head, or at least say, “Rudy, that’s nothing to beat yourself up about. You were surrounded by a bunch of drunk people. You’d won free beer that you couldn’t drink for goodness sakes! You hadn’t socialized all day. Your university just lost the biggest comeback in bowl history!” And you’re right. And I agree with you. But why is it that we’re so good at trying to make our friends and family feel good about their hardships, that we would bend over backwards to help someone out in the slightest, and yet we’re such ruthless dickheads with ourselves? Why don’t we take the time to try to make ourselves feel as good as we try to make others feel?
Overall, though, it’s been a pretty decent four days to start this dry New Year. (Except for the first day, but I’ll talk about that another time.) I’ve been exercising, playing a bit of music, making food, writing, watching good movies and TV, and going for walks. There only seems to be one minor problem. For the first three days of 2016, each of my walks has ended up at Taco Bell. Ah, shit. Can’t win em all.