38: substance

Seems as though a lot of people are into expressing their ideological and political opinions as of late.

I have to leave town for band practice in an hour or so, and I spent my day at a beer tasting extravaganza.

So I’ll keep this brief.

Disclaimer: I’m slightly drunk writing this blog.

And that, for some reason, is socially acceptable.

It is totally legal, in my region of the United States, for a ton of alcohol vendors to show up to one location to serve bottomless sips of their wares to humans who have paid enough money to get into the designated alcohol tasting space.

And I won’t pretend otherwise: it was a lot of fun. I had a great time tasting delicious beverages (and gross beverages, alike).

I also had a fantastic time bonding with my father, who also enjoys tantalizing his taste buds and getting a little tipsy for fun. Beer is a medium through which I can connect with my dad, one through which we’re able to strengthen our bond and get to know one another better.

So, for that reason, I partake in the occasional alcoholic beverage. Sometimes, especially with people my age, I partake in a few too many beverages.

Can you blame me?

Alcohol is everywhere. TV. Billboards. There are bars on every other street corner. To drink, it seems, is to be American.

But alcohol also ruins lives. It causes fights and accidents. Breaks up families. Destroys people. I have a few family members who regularly attend Alcoholics Anonymous in order to work through their own personal issues with addiction to the substance. It’s deadly stuff.

But societally, we’re cool with it. TV tells us it’s sexy. Relaxing. Refreshing. Manly. Chill.

Meanwhile, I have friends – good people, smart people – who are crippled by laws barring other, similar substances from human consumption and sale.

I’m talking about substances which are not unlike alcohol – enjoyed responsibly, they can provide social lubrication and foster emotional connections between human beings.

Abused, they can destroy lives.

I have friends who either enjoy or who medically require certain mind-altering substances who have been abused by the American legal system and who have to suffer needlessly for months or years under its authority.

Seems a little backwards.

And, sipping beer at a beer-tasting festival, I can’t help but think of those friends, and to say a little prayer that they may be liberated from human tyranny.

Hope this post was sobering for some. I apologize for my inebriated, possibly disconnected, train of thought – but, in order to stay true to the year-long challenge, this post was a necessity.


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