"Kept drinking and pouring till I felt the floor"

I’ll admit, I don’t really like Uncle Tupelo. I don’t actively dislike Uncle Tupelo or Son Volt or Wilco, for that matter. To me, these are the parsley of bands, something that appears, that you know must serve some purpose, but you don’t really understand it, and you sure as heck aren’t going to consume it.

But I’m going to tell you that I think “I Got Drunk” is one of the most perfect songs ever written. It contains the exact right balance of rage, self-loathing, self-pity, and truth.

Here’s the first verse:

Well I took a fifth, and I poured me a shot
And I thought about all the things that I haven’t got
And I drank that down, and I poured me some more
Kept drinking and pouring till I felt the floor

I don’t drink like that anymore. It’s no way to live–from cringe to warm belly to pissed off to passed out. But when you’re doing it, it feels like a perfectly reasonable course of action. It feels like a quick way to be a long way gone.

And I love to run away. I like to think about running away and I love to do it. I know a lot of folks run to see who will follow, to see if they matter as much as they hope they do or suspect they don’t.

But not me. I hit the road hoping to outrun myself, to find that everything that ties me here, ties me down, will peel off and leave me with nothing but an empty girl with no ties to anything.

And this time, this time, I think, I will fill that girl with hope and parcel off for me a good life. This time I will try harder to give me the things I need.

It never works. I never get far enough to make that happen.

But I keep running, just the same.

5 thoughts on “"Kept drinking and pouring till I felt the floor"

  1. Hmmm…

    Aunt B., one of my favorite songs says the following:

    “Save us from all love and hope/
    Give us iron, give us rope…”

    The implication being, I suppose, that the singer would prefer to eschew the intangibles in favor of something with which he can work. (Never mind that the singer of those lyrics drank himself to death a few years ago; his stuff will always be my favorite.)

    That said, I’m not the most practical person in the world. If I’ve learned any one thing, though, it’s that hope is a worthless, thieving crack whore. I’m not talking about dreams, mind you, which are the Lincoln Logs of your imagination. I’m talking about hope. That nasty little temporal con man has conspired with my Laziness far too often, and he has done me no good.

    Ah, shit. I guess I’m just lucky now to have found a situation– and people in it– with whom I can work. If I sit around ‘hoping’ for something better, I’ll lose sight of the value of what I have; that’s how my first marriage went kaput.

    I’m not trying to imply anything about your circumstances, just that I’m guessing you’re a resourceful person who can do what she wants when she gets good and ready (or sufficiently fed up).

    Just offering another point of view, for what it’s worth.

  2. At the risk of sounding like a music snob…

    The best stuff out of that whole genre is early Whiskeytown. Especially stuff from their first album, Faithless Street, which may be the best solitary drinking music since Hank Sr. My favorite lines:

    “And now I stumble down the same damn streets/My daddy done stumbled before/Too drunk to dream”

    That’s bourbon music right there.

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