Music and whiskey

TWO HOURS after shooting the video above from the upstairs terraza, I was sitting on the Jesus Patio eating seedless green grapes and listening to the hog next door expressing displeasure with her situation, which she does often.

This is being written yesterday, Saturday. The previous night had seen a heavy downpour that lasted I don’t know how long because I went back to sleep after waking briefly to notice it.

Some things don’t change much in these parts, and the sounds of sunrise are one of those things. Roosters, tractor-trailer trucks on the highway up the mountain behind us, crickets, the loudspeakers of the house-delivery propane trucks.

However, some things do change, and they’re generally for the better. We got some great news recently. An international chain of movie theaters, Cinépolis, is opening here in our mountaintop town. Hooray! Now we won’t have to drive to the state capital for first-run flicks.

The changes that have occurred over the past 17 years that I’ve been here are considerable. There were no major supermarkets. Now there are two. There were no stoplights. Now there are many. There were few Gringos. Now there are way too many!

I wonder how they’ll react to the Cinépolis chain. Over a decade ago, the Mexican convenience store chain Oxxo opened its first store here, and the Gringos, many of whom are aging hippies, went bananas. Egad! Modernization!

We have numerous Oxxos now, including one directly on the major plaza. Another sits on the nearby smaller plaza. Their signs are subdued, not intrusive.

I’m praying for a full-blown Walmart and Costco.

Convenient shopping is a good thing, and it does not detract from the morning views I get from the upstairs terraza, something I love and that never changes.

* * * *

An old friend emailed me this week. I rarely hear from people above the border, so it was a welcomed event.

He and I worked together on newspapers for decades both in New Orleans and Houston. Like me, he is divorced more than once. Unlike me, he is not currently married. He’s three years older than I am, and he lives alone in a home he bought in Colorado after he retired from the Houston Chronicle.

I had sent him a note after seeing him briefly on a Netflix documentary of Janis Joplin who was a close friend of his in high school in Port Arthur, Texas, and later in her early years of fame and drug-addled degeneracy.

My friend is a much-published poet, but not in recent years. He said his life now is mostly whiskey and music. And that all his major life decisions were wrong ones. That last resonated with me because all my major decisions were wrong ones too. Till 1996 when my major life decisions did a 180.

What happened in 1996? I stopped drinking. My friend is 76 years old, and I doubt he will do that.

I didn’t even mention it.

Here’s to music and whiskey! And staying the course.

13 thoughts on “Music and whiskey

  1. Congratulations on 20+ years of sobriety. Life goes better when you remember what you’re doing.



    1. Gracias, señor Lanier. I was never a falling-down drunk nor an angry or violent one. I just got mellow. But it was an everyday thing that affected my mental state which affected my actions, decisions, etc. I guess it was a bit subtle. However, when I stopped doing it, my life flipped spectacularly overnight. Best thing I ever did.


  2. It is depressing now, to see an old drunk. I have a few relatives/friends that have not given up the bottle. Come 3 or 4PM, they start talking about a “cold one”. Cold one my ass… they need a drink or a beer. Then they get hateful and sloppy. Not for me. If my Husband was like that, I would divorce him.

    I will admit that I had a part of my young life, where I needed a drink. When I realized what was happening, I quit. I grew up with a bunch of drunks. Not gonna happen to me.

    Glad you got out of it too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beverly: I have never “needed” a drink. I simply did it almost daily for 25 years because I enjoyed it — it was fun and relaxing — and I saw no reason not to. It did not interfere with my job. I thought it did not interfere with my personal life either, but I was dead wrong about that.

      My father was worse. I wonder if he looked at it the same way.


  3. Which came first, the psilocybin mushrooms or the sobriety?

    In my neighborhood, the vendors with loudspeakers would be shot before 8 am by drunks coping with their hangovers.


    1. Andrés: The two were almost simultaneous, but I quit drinking first, about 10 months before I dived (temporarily) into a few sessions of psilocybin and LSD, which was the best thing I ever did to and for myself.

      The vendors don’t go through your neighborhood at dawn hawking propane? Strange.


  4. When I saw Whiskey, I thought of a song called Tennessee Whisky by Chris Stapelton, give it a listen.


  5. Watching your video it occurred to me that Mexican small towns are WAY more interesting than Gringo ones.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    A boring, architecturally soulless American small town.


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