Thoughts Of A Lonely Drinker Poem by Will Althen

Thoughts Of A Lonely Drinker

He let it swish around in his mouth before swallowing it down
The slightest of cringes, as always, adorned his face as his liver drowned
He wondered how anyone enjoyed this bitter taste
Of course he’d said he enjoyed it but his kind words could be replaced
He thought of it in the same vein as telling a girl of the sweetness of her juice
In both cases the same method used
A lie to alleviate a pleasure of its disheartening qualities
A selfish lie at that he thought as he sat down and turned on the TV
Twenty-six enemy causalities read the ticker, two Americans dead
a price paid just to be free
A price pushed on us by the repackaging of a birthright it seemed
Freedom and happiness, a gift at birth taken by knowledge and society
He studied the label of his beer
Its colors and graphic design must seem boring to those ignorant of its power
To those who congregated to dirty apartments, cramped dorms, or dimly lit dives
it had an effect of giddiness, especially in large quantities
Like when a young boy is deemed foolish or innocent to ignore the beauty of a woman’s curves or makeup enriched face
He kicked his feet up, still sheathed in his boots from a days work, on a table
As his hand changed the channels like a race
Boredom is what he ran from and his vices were his transportation
Distractions like the internet or a book were a pair of sneakers
Women a bike, drugs and drink of all assortments were his prized convertibles and personal jet, raising his thoughts to higher happiness over that much bleaker
But the emissions of these mechanical marvels clouded the world of his mind as they melted away his lobes like the ozone layer
He sat down his now empty beer and walked to the fridge and as he opened its door cold light enveloped him
It crossed his mind that this is what heaven must be like and to him it seemed dim
He returned to his spot with his butt indent still carved into the cushion
He sat there for five more beers pondering the selfishness of love once again
If sex came with no pleasure and you gained no personal satisfaction or advantages from a relationship would they exist
Surely the practice would not persist
It would be a hassle, a quarrel with commitment
Dogs only love us because we feed and shelter them after all
The only reason it is in their DNA to love us is because our ancestors were so kind to show compassion to wolves
A quite alien ideal it seems, that love is what domesticated a feral beast
If it would be said that to socialize a killer all we’d have to do is love them,
you’d be laughed at by those who’d rather watch them swing from their neck or suffer in an earthly, concrete hell
All these thoughts that came to him were swiped away like the wiping of a whiteboard by each gulp of his drink
Everything seemed to matter less and less as he was surrounded by a potter’s field of cheap, American, wholesale beer’s carcasses that had been bled dry
The only thing he’d love, as he took his last sip and dropped his bottle on its side letting it roll under the sofa, would be another beer.

Another poem written for my college creative writing class, this one focuses on a neurotic everyman enjoying a twelve fact and pondering the nature of love. This poem has multiple themes such as, of course, love, the flaw of theoretical sociology that consider conditions that don't exist, loneliness, monotony, and the inherent frailties of apathy. It should be noted that this man isn't necessarily an alcoholic and that there is a narrator that serves to expand upon his train of thought.
Thanks for reading.
Will Althen

Will Althen

The District
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