There is one crucial aspect of yesterday’s story that demands a closer look. But that in turn requires some necessary back-story.
Even though I have all this turmoil going on in my head, I’m outwardly very calm and composed. I rarely lose my cool, and my tone and demeanour barely change, no matter how intense I find external stimuli. This is good because it gives me a feeling of great control; this is bad because it gives me a feeling of great control. Sometimes, I feel like I’m forcibly filtering all my “innate tendencies” just to behave and sound like a certain mellow chap I fantasise myself to be. Or, rather, that I imagine other people want me to be.
People have always been telling me how they lose some of their inhibitions and control when they start to drink, and how this loosens up their social behaviour. I don’t know this from personal experience, but I’ve always been curious to find out. Just how would an unfiltered me experience and react to the world?
The general practise here is that you carry your own alcohol to parties (since it is so damn expensive). I normally carry a lot, but don’t really drink since I just don’t. On the way to the party where I was to later meet Alicia, someone asked me why I was carrying so much if I wasn’t going to drink anything. I didn’t have a strong case, other than to point out that I thought contributing to the party was the polite thing to do.
And that’s when it dawned on me, why don’t I just bite the bullet and drink my stash at the party, and find out whether it changed anything? The idea simultaneously excited me and made me nervous, but I really wanted to perform this experiment. So I asked a friend of mine to keep an eye on me (which he utterly failed to do) while I hung out at the party and went through my drinks.
Several drinks in—but, as I saw it, none the woozier—I met Alicia. Interesting, open, opinionated… she seemed like everything that I claimed she was, but was she really? Why was I talking so long to a woman I wasn’t even attracted to? How did I find it so easy to talk to her? I left that evening with a few questions I couldn’t easily answer right then, because I wasn’t certain if my perception of the world was warped by the drinks. I had to meet her when sober to find out for sure.
And so I did. Multiple times. And she really is all those things, and extremely easy to open up to. It hasn’t in the least felt any different from our first evening. Perhaps my brain ever really relinquishes control.