Determine Your Self
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom
Being The More Richly Endowed, More Varied Man
“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”
– Abraham Lincoln –
I’m feeling it today.
The vestiges, the woes, the subsequent pangs of run-away gluttony.
Uncomfortable, “fat,” bloated, hot and bothered, and generally unhappy—I feel your pain.
I feel, “This is what it must feel like to be a woman” when she’s catamenial, in the throes of her menses, clawing and riled like a cat on a hot tin roof.
Empathy can be so enlightening, and quite frightening too. For now, I understand what you go through, your moods, the brood and broad repeal against reality.
For whether or not I’m really “fat,” I’m feeling it, and that, my friend, if only for this intense moment, supercedes everything.
My suits may be a little snug, I may have to tug at the belt to close the loop, I may look in the mirror and think, “God, you’re starting to look like Alec Baldwin,” but in reality I know that I’m really okay. I know I’ll bounce back—the sheer will to not succumb to apathy, sloth, mediocrity and all the other mortal sins will take care of that—eventually.
Yet, once again, it’s not going to be easy, especially with the holidays coming up, especially with all those parities, with all the open bars and the passed hors d’oeuvres and the smorgasbords that I’m likely going to gravitate to and loiter at an indulge in—all-nite-long.
Moreover, lately, it feels like I’ve been hooked up to an IV of vodka.
At the beginning of August I drowned my camera in a bottle of Kettle One; in September, Rayner and I brought home four bottles of 750 ml. of 267 premium fruit-instilled vodka, they’re gone now; last week I thoroughly enjoyed a few—free—shaken Grey Goose martinis at the Photo Fair; and this weekend, I “spontaneously” replenished the cabinet with a liter of Absolute Peppar.
Thus, I’m beginning to wonder—am I a boozer? A rummy, sot, a souse?
Alas, the vices only begin here.
“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” – Elizabeth Taylor –
For there’s also the 9 bars of Lindt dark-dark chocolate I purchased last week upon a whim (intense mint, intense orange with almonds, intense pear and 99% cocoa—yum), the screwdrivers, the mojitos and late nights of revelry and diner grubbing, and the experimental smoking (my first hookah at the Casbah, and the like).
Libertine, lush, glutton, rebel-rousing hedonist, cosmopolitan Corinthian—I’m feeling like its high-time I crawl back into my cave of austerity, seal myself up and one-by-one pare down the luxuriant indulgences, study a little philosophy, maybe.
Besides, I’m almost forty. So, shouldn’t I be slowing down—not, speeding up?
Who knows, if I don’t pull on the reins I might end up like the lonely guy I saw in Port Authority some time ago, shamelessly airing the woes of his ways in public.
Okay, maybe not. But it’s romantic to think that I might go astray as such, to waywardly roam about the world, wandering in lust of everything.
So, yes, certainly, as an artist who lusts for life, I’d love to go on thinking that the secret to living a full life is to ignore our senses. But, then again, I also know that the secret to living a better one is to gradually heed their sensibility.
Pan here broke in on the Philosopher.
“Virtue,” said he, “is the performance of pleasant actions.”
The Philosopher held the statement for a moment on his forefinger.
“And what, then, is vice?” said he.
“It is vicious,” said Pan, “to neglect the performance of pleasant actions.”
“If this be so,” the other commented, “philosophy has up to the present been on the wrong track.”
– The Crock of Gold, James Stephens –
Otto Weininger once wrote:
The man of genius is he who understands incomparably more other beings than the average man. Goethe is said to have said of himself that there was no vice or crime of which he could not trace the tendency in himself, and that at some period of his life he could not have understood fully. The genius, therefore, is a more complicated, more richly endowed, more varied man; and a man is the closer to being a genius the more men he has in his personality, and the more really and strongly he has these others within him. If comprehension of those about him only flickers in him like a poor candle, then he is unable, like the great poet, to kindle a mighty flame in his heroes, to give distinction and character to his creations. The ideal of an artistic genius is to live in all men, to lose himself in all men, to reveal himself in multitudes; and so also the aim of the philosopher is to discover all others in himself, to fuse them into a unit which is his own unit.
So, maybe what I really need to do is merely change my perspective here. For, perhaps, talvez, peut être, I am merely losing myself for the sake of understanding others than?
Quizas, quizas, quizas…
If anyone ever wants to join me for happy-hour, I’m available to discuss and debate the merits and faults, the vices and virtues, of such self-imposed restraint. For, as Weininger wrote, experience is key to true understanding!
Other Tales of Drinkin’, Depravity & Debauchery:
A Touch of Evil
In the Blink of An Eye
This Diurnal Yearning
Three, Things I Like
Brain-Picking, Mind-Blowing and Just Getting Drunk
(Hanging with Hizoner at Gracie Mansion or
“A Married Woman and A Thousand Gay Men”)
Half-Crazy Wild Women
Being The More Richly Endowed, More Varied Man
Love, Lust and Other Things
The Lush Life
Having A Drink
Living The Lush Life
(Series of drunk self portraits taken after a black tie dinner)