Date: Monday, July 22, 1996 10:06PM

Subject: hypnogogic tendencies

After all has been said and done, when the end is upon us, as fire and brimstone fall from the heavens to cleanse this world with fire, when the last star in the heavens twinkles it's last shimmer, we will find that all we truly have left in our lives is our drinkin' buddies. Some good, some bad, some I don't even know. A drinkin' buddy is one of the best kinds of buddies you may ever have. And one of the best kind of buddies you could be to your friends.

There are different kinds of friends in this world. Drinkin' buddies transcend all categories and can be found throughout the spectrum. People you normally would never give the time of day to are your best friend underneath the neon light. People you should know intimately, you won't ever talk to because they go to a different bar. Why is this? I do not know. I participate as much as anyone else does in the practice of drinkin' buddy discrimination. Why does this occur? I will blow off my dear friends to talk to a guy I don't know. A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Branch wanting to sit around and hit on my honey that rarely goes out, but forget that. My rock star drinkin' buddy Johnny was at the bar. I chatted with him for about half an hour about nothing. I could have spent that time being productive trying to get into a friends pants, but I drink beer with this guy. Priorities.

I believe that the phenomenon derives itself from the ritual. I don't know about ritual, per say, but the action of sitting and drinking has a profound effect on a social level. You usually don't just sit and drink. You interact. You converse. Granted that the conversations usually are not of the caliber one might expect of intellectuals sitting around a fire, but that girl's butt and Star Wars are quite important topics when taken in context. But I digress. You bond with your buddy. You complain about the same things; work, women (or men), money, what have you. It is not important what you are talking about, it's important that you are talking. You grow accustomed to the companionship. You look foreword to seeing the same people.

Sometimes you don't even have to know or talk to you drinkin' buddy. I have many friends that I have never spoken more than a sentence a week to. After drinking about a million bottles at opposite ends of a bar, you get to know someone on a different level. I don't know them, but I do. I know they got my back, and they know I got theirs. It's a mutual understanding between the two without any words. I know you, you know me. I have on occasion spoken to these strangers that I know so well. A few have been stand-offish. A few didn't want to talk to me. A few became dearest of friends. A few even became dearest of lovers. Whatever the outcome, we still throw each other a nod from across the room as if to say 'Wassup'. This is how I met Holly. She didn't like me because I was some strange guy who would offer little girls candy. After a while, we actually sort of knew each other. Now we are good friends. Funny how many people never speak to the people at the other end of the bar. That is usually the best place to find buddies.

You don't always need to have a buddy to talk to. Sometimes are not as happy as others. You may need a buddy to keep your hair out of your lunch while you share it with the world. Would your best friend help you first, or would your drinkin' buddy. Drinkin' buddy. Your best friend should be laughing at you, or sick as well, or something. Your drinkin' buddy knows exactly what's going on. Hail a cab, find a ride, help walk home, breath mint, cigarette, whatever. Your drinkin' buddy is there for you. Not because you are their best friend or any of that crap. If they are there for you, you will be there for them. It goes back to the mutual understanding that you share. Give and take. Share. The golden rule lives on.

I guess I just wanna say that drinkin' buddies are not born, they are made; forged in the beer lamps of the bars across the world. You can't just say 'You're my drinkin' buddy', you have to earn it. When you earn one, you become one. It is a mirror dichotomy. So next time you are out having a good time, go up to that stranger you've know forever and see what's going on.