Monday, March 8, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It takes only one drink to get me drunk.
The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the
thirteenth or the fourteenth.

George Burns, comedian, elder; he died
on this day, 1996, age 100

Confession Time. I was a young monk, maybe about 25. One night, after Vespers, I set off with a dear friend, a terrific, intelligent (Mensa), wise woman, who worked for the Order of the Holy Cross, and who subsequently became a Deacon in our Church. It was about 6pm. We went in her car. For about 7 hours, we wandered the strange little towns of the Hudson Valley – stopping at all the bars we passed!

A couple of years before, I had been “introduced” to Black Russians (no, not men, the drink) by a nun of the Order of St. Helena. I was seduced. So, that night, we stopped first in Kingston, and I had my first Black Russian of the evening. It was a fabulous, wonderful, scintillating, charming, talkative evening – and …… contrary to what you might think, I remember all of it. Except for one thing.

We got back about 1:30am. I went to bed. I was up for Matins at 7am. Going back to my cell after Matins, I went to my cupboard, and looked at my shirt of last evening. In my pocket were ….. 11, count them 11, stirrers – presumably from the Black Russians I had drunk the night before. I had no headache, I had slept well. I functioned through the day. No nap. No aspirin, when I went to bed, or later. I never threw up – I have only done that twice in my 64 years from too much drink.

George Burns was teasing us, good comedian that he was. But you know: forget all the pseudo-morality that could play in here. Relaxing with friends , talking about all the deep things of Life, is a great blessing and gift. That was one of the best nights in my Life. We need to spend many such nights! Friends are the greatest gifts in Life. Especially those we can explore Life with at the deepest level.

And I do recommend Black Russians (as I drink them, 3 oz of Vodka, with a splash of Kaluha). They are sinless - nuns advocate them! (To be PC: “drink responsibly”!)


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