an hour to kill

I dont have much to say this afternoon. The closer to the babys due date that we get, the less I have to say. (I think it might have something to do with the paralyzing fear of fatherhood.) I need to write a letter to the woman coordinating the OCD art competition in Chicago, but I cant find any words beyond, I have OCD and I make things. Maybe the words will come to me if I just sit here long enough, staring into the screen.

Im in a bar right now. Until 6:00 you can get 25-ounce beer here for $2.95. And thats for anything on tap, even the good stuff. Its a little after 5:30 and Im waiting on my Guinness and Bass black & tan. Ive been thinking about this beer for the past few hours. Not sure why. I can go weeks and weeks without a sip of beer, but then there are days that it calls to me. I guess today is one of those days, one of those days that Id rather be in a dark, dank bar than out in the sunshine.

update: The beer just showed up and its good.

I should probably be at home, cleaning something, or putting together some kind of contraption for the baby.

The battery on this old laptop of mine is dying. Without being plugged in, it cant make it an hour. Im watching it drain now, like the beer sitting beside it. Neither one will make it an hour.

Im trying not to let the OCD get to me, but its whispering in my ear, telling me that this will be the first of several beers, that this is my first night as an alcoholic, that my baby will only know me as a drunk I cant even have one beer without fearing alcoholism. In reality, theres no risk of it. These days, I fall asleep after a couple of beers. (As an illustration of this, scroll back to that night in April where, after having some beers with my bandmates, I went home to bed while my pregnant wife went out to the bar to see one of my favorite musicians (Dexter Romweber) play.) Its my internal fail-safe switch.

Right now, Im just feeling guilt. Im guilty about being here when I should be home working. Im guilty about writing for the blog when I should be home nesting. Im guilty about spending $2.95 when I should be saving.

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me that I should start putting away $500 a month for my as-yet unborn kids college fund. He said that was what financial planners were advising, $500 per kid, per month. Fuck. It might as well be $5,000. Theres no way. Were already going $12,000 into debt to replace the lead-coated windows and remove the peeling lead paint around the house. I suppose we could have put that in a college fund. That would have covered us for two years. But our kid, raised in such a lead rich environment, would never make it into college.

Catch 22.

So, Im still sitting here, drinking beer. Right now, the beers 3/4 of the way down and the battery is about half-full. I wish they were closer. As it is, Ill either have to drink more, and faster, or slow down considerably. To further complicate the equation, happy hour ends in a few minutes. So, the question is, do I guzzle the rest of what I have and get another, or do I try to nurse this one until the battery dies.

OK, the waitress just came by and I ordered another one.

So, if a historian ever asks you, this is the exact moment that the alcoholism started. 5:51 PM, June 24, 2004.

It has crossed my mind before that it would be cool to have a blog that was only updated from the bar. BarBlog. Either it would be my blog, that was updated only when I was sitting at a bar, or it would be a blog maintained by a particular bar, open to any patron for their use. I think that would be cool. Just have a laptop out on the counter for all the regulars to use, but only for blogging. I wouldnt let guys surf for porn on it, or use it to settle stupid bar bets. Id be pretty strict about that.

OK, someone just came in with a newborn baby and Im starting to feel guilty again. I need to be at home, figuring out a way to keep the cats out of our bedroom. (Im convinced that out child will choke to death on cat hair if we let them in.)

OK, I ordered a bowl of chili and it should be here in any minute. I have to go. The battery indicator just turned red.

(postscript: Its a few hours later and Im back at home, with Linette, assembling a baby swing that was given to us by ours friends Flick and Elizabeth in Chicago, after just having returned from Babies-R-Us. So, I didnt dive into alcoholism as I had feared. I just ate my chili, drank my beers and went home. Its not really a very exciting story.)

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