The Successful Degenerate

How does one become a successful degenerate? Well for starters, one must have at one time or another, been an unsuccessful degenerate. Partying as a teen and a young adult have many, many downsides, and I am in no way advocating engagement in such degeneracy (per-say). However, one cannot ignore the obvious positive implications of such engagement, though many of us prefer to ignore these implications. But the fact is that partying–especially during those formative years–is a form of socialization. I wouldn’t be who I am today (both the good and the bad) if I hadn’t ‘partied’ back in my day. Whether we want to admit it or not, social groups play a major role in just about every aspect of our entire lives as human beings. Partying exposed me to myriad social groups and circles I otherwise would’ve never engaged with–again, both for better and for worse. But partying also taught me a lot about human beings, in that at base, we’re all very much the same; we share common fears, interests, triggers, goals, that alcohol (and other substances) have a unique way of unveiling. Partying bonds us; together during the act, we become vulnerable together, as one. Alcohol and other drugs expose a side of us that we don’t show the world on a regular basis (for the most part), for myriad different reasons of course. Because I partied, I am a part of a very large club in the adult world. I can snicker at the pot references, roll eyes knowingly with the crowd during the best man’s wedding toast as he reflects on shared ‘college days’, sip a martini thoughtfully during happy hour with the coworkers. Like it or not, alcohol is, and has always been, a major aspect of human social life specifically because of its unique ability to bond us in commiserate humanity. And the allure of alcohol is simple, for this very reason; most humans crave that bond with others. We crave human connection, commiseration, the special validation that only others can give. And so many of us, especially in our youth, are aroused by the prospect of ‘partying’–we long to imbibe, so that through the act, we may imbibe in the one substance that has long bonded man together as one fucked up species. Alcohol brings for some of the very best and worst in all of us; it diminishes egos, lets us say the things we long to say, makes friends in the bathroom for us, calls attention to our flaws/insecurities/woes/unresolved issues and trauma. But because alcohol does all of these things for each one of us, alcohol is indeed a unifying substance; it deconstructs us to the core, unleashes the beast within, shows our true colors, parades our strengths and weaknesses for all the world to see, and we are not ashamed in the least. And this is the beauty and the ugly of it all; while we are under the influence, we see the reality of who we truly are as a species. We see humanity for all its faults and beauty–we see through the pretty facade we painstakingly maintain through the weekdays. For those who refuse to imbibe for whatever reason, well, the choice is truly individual. But the facade is universal.

Successful Degenerates
only party on Saturdays
and the major federal holidays
–and vacations.
Successful Degenerates
were once unsuccessful degenerates
but those days are long gone…

-distant cringeworthy memories.
Successful Degenerates
party with trusted friends

and sometimes colleagues
–on the sly

Successful Degenerates know that social media
is the-enemy of the occasional-intoxicated.

Successful Degenerates have a history
a record of various ‘partying’ discrepancies

–mere venial offenses.

Successful Degenerates
hold down steady jobs
and are ‘successful’ individuals
in that
their careers mean somewhat something…
–in some capacity.
Successful Degenerates
possess a sense of:

purpose
self-determination
ambition
ultimate goals.

–And for that, the birds chirp for them in the morning and the sun winks and the coffee works and the wheels turn and churn and all is well and good and right in the world.

Successful Degenerates
party simply ’cause
they’re single, young,

liberated from familial responsibilities
no wards kept waiting up at night

–for the tuck-in.

Successful Degenerates
enjoy letting loose
for we can all stand reprieve
from the grind

–from time to time

Successful Degenerates
always know when
to punch out
–until next time

…And that just makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

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