Pat Freestone

Pat Freestone: Drinkin' Man






March 10, 2003

The nightmare is finally over.

After subjecting my body—and thus the fly within—to a sustained and somewhat excruciating period of self-inflicted electrocution, I have finally put an end to the genetic mutation process that threatened to turn me into a horrible insect-humanoid hybrid creature. I haven’t even begun the long series of tests that I must perform on myself to verify that this presence that has plagued my DNA has been expelled, but I know the fly is dead. I can sense the calm inside my ravaged flesh. I can see with the stark clarity of eyes that have reopened after a long period of darkness. I can hear the humanity beating in my heart—not the sick, twitching pulse of a monster, but the steady meter of a man.

A man who has a half-gallon of Southern Comfort with his name on it!

Yours,

Pat Freestone

March 11, 2003

Now, even though I have freed myself from the fly’s terrible grip, I am still faced with some lingering questions.

First, what sorts of difficult-to-diagnose long term damage--if any--have I subjected myself to?

Second, what effect will my brief period as a fly-humanoid have on my future offspring—assuming, that is, that at some point in the future I somehow become capable of the kind of sweet-talk necessary to coerce a woman into such a coital arrangement?

And finally, why is it that I have completely lost my superhuman ability to climb vertical walls, but I am still driven by a constant, unquenchable thirst for alcohol?

Now that I think about it, did I actually climb any walls?

Perplexed,

Pat Freestone




March 12, 2003

Okay, so maybe I wasn't mutating into a fruit fly.

But what would you think, if you woke up after a night of blood-doping and found that the pint of blood you had injected into your body was contaminated with insect carcasses?

And who among you has shot up a staggering hot load of high grade heroin, chased it down with eight 16 oz margaritas and then proceeded to intravenously reinvigorate your own circulatory system with hundreds of millions of extra red blood cells?

And what of the endless, instinctual cravings for sweet brown liquor that suddenly overwhelmed me? Is sweet, brown liquor not the very kind of liquor that fruit flies find irresistible? How could I not think my body was morphing into a insect-humanoid creature!

Maybe I was overreacting. Maybe I was too focused on my goals. Maybe it was the Cuervo Gold and the heroin.

In any case, as I sit here amid the decaying ruin that my life has become, it is clear to me that I have reached a turning point. I thought I was a man-fly. I was wrong. I tried to defy nature and failed. And now it's time to face the truth.

My name is "Pat F," and I am an alcoholic.

Pat Freestone


March 13, 2003

I never thought it could happen to me.

You grow up hearing a constant stream of parental warnings, like "don’t sit so close to the TV, or you’ll ruin your eyes," and "don’t play with your penis all the time or you’ll go blind," and "don’t you be eye-ballin’ me, boy," but they never bother to tell you, "hey, by the way, make sure not to drink yourself into a stupor every night for twenty-five years or you might wind up with a drinking problem."

Now I am faced with one of the most difficult decisions a man must make:

should I continue to drink myself to death, or commit myself to avoiding alcohol for the rest of my life like a big pussy?

Problematically,

Pat Freestone



March 14, 2003

It didn’t take long to locate a wide variety of detailed information pertaining to alcoholism on the internet. I searched under "alcoholism," "drinking problems," and "how did this vomit get in my bed and why do I still have my shoes on." Each query yielded a more than ample amount of related documents.

Many of the sites I perused contained information on recovery. Some offered medical advice; some recommended praying to God. And then there were those that simply triggered an endless volley of pop-up windows about hot, horny, naked teens. But the one thing that kept coming up was the notion of STEPS. Recovering from alcoholism is not a one-shot deal. You have to take the STEPS.

And they all said the first STEP is admitting you have a problem. So, here goes:

I must admit, in the winter months, I get dandruff like you wouldn’t fucking believe.

I feel better already.

Pat Freestone




March 17, 2003

Maybe today wasn’t the best day to give up drinking.

So, to keep in step with the ethnic celebration known as St. Patrick’s Day, and take my attention away from the variety of DT-induced snakes, spiders and bats I am now noticing on my walls and floors, I hereby invite you to join me for

Pat Freestone’s Week-Long Celebration of Alcohol-Related Haiku Poetry

Haiku poetry, as you may remember from 7th Grade English class, is an ancient form of poetry invented by the Japanese. Instead of basing its structure on rhyme, like much of our traditional, hokey-ass Western cornball poetry, it is based instead on number of syllables per line. A Haiku poem generally consists of three lines, with the first and last lines containing exactly five syllables each, and the middle line containing seven. However, despite the strict rules of the form, Haiku still manages to capture all the pretense and ham-fisted artifice that poetry is generally capable of.

How do I love liquor? Let me count the ways.

Haiku #1 - Contemplation at Alice’s Apartment, 3 AM


Why did somebody
Put coats, shoe boxes and skis
In this urinal?


Haiku #2 - The Cocktail Blushes


Cosmopolitan--
How tall and sexy you are!
Too bad you are gay.



Haiku #3 - Reunion by Telephone


Hello Susan Wiest!
Remember me from High School?
(inaudible) Howzhit goin?


Wearin’ the green,

Pat Freestone


March 18, 2003

Time for more of

Pat Freestone’s Week-Long Celebration of Alcohol-Related Haiku Poetry

And yes, I HAVE been drinking. Why can’t you just get off my back and stop telling me how to live my life!

Haiku #4 - Outrage at TGI Friday’s


Excuse me, barkeep.
I can’t taste the booze in this
Mint fudge cream pie shot.

Haiku #5 - You, Who Understand Me


Hello, sweet whiskey.
Here you are, my only friend,
Not counting the weed.


See you tomorrow,

Pat Freestone


March 19, 2003

I drink, okay? It’s NO BIG DEAL!

Haiku #6 - Drinking With Father in Summertime


Back in the old days
Dad would offer me a beer
And then he’d yell, "psyche!"


Haiku #7 - I Am Not An Alcoholic


An alcoholic
Is one who drinks all alone.
So, I got a cat.


Sincerely,

Pat Freestone

March 20, 2003

Glad to see you made it back for the penultimate installment of

Pat Freestone’s Week-Long Celebration of Alcohol-Related Haiku Poetry

Haiku #8 - The Long Day Ahead


Woke up depressed, but
I don’t drink in the morning.
So I’ll just have beer.


Haiku #9 - Asleep on Subway Train After Midnight


I don’t drink and drive
That would be against the law
Plus, I gots no car!


Good night, all.

Pat Freestone


March 21, 2003

I hope you’ve found

Pat Freestone’s Week-Long Celebration of Alcohol-Related Haiku Poetry

an enjoyable event. I know I have. But then again, for the last five days, my blood-alcohol content has remained somewhere between .15 and Schnapps.

Oh, well.

Haiku #10 - The Cold Awakening


The empty bottle
Almost as depressing as
The soaking wet pants.


Haiku #11 – Watching Sorrows Drowning


I drink to forget.
I drink to dull the heartache.
And man, that shit works!


Haiku #12 - Crowded Happy Hour in Gramercy Park


I’ve known some great drunks--
Men that accomplished great things.
But most were assholes.


Haiku # 13 - Wishing Good Weekend to All


This is not Haiku
This is me saying, "so long."
So long—Pat Freestone




March 24, 2003

Oops.

Ever since I quit my job at Big Screen Video, things have been quite different around here.

Although I have been rather successful at keeping my liquor cabinet well-stocked with stolen whiskey, I have managed to let my cable television, telephone, gas heat, and electricity sources run dry. My clever-yet-illegal line-tapping has kept me on the World Wide Web, thanks to the phone wiring of the apartment directly above me, but I can’t say how long my bicycle-powered laptop will continue to function. And I can tell by the large pile of collection notices and service shut-off announcements that has been building up under the mail slot that I am in need of some financial assistance if I am ever to return to my life of warmth, light, and Revealed with Jules Asner .

So yesterday, I began shuffling through the correspondences in hopes that I might somehow figure out a way to consolidate my bills into one low, monthly payment, and I came across a recent postcard from my mother. It seems that in addition to forgetting to pay my utilities for the last several months, I have also been forgetting to send Mother her $75 weekly stipend.

This can only mean one thing:

Mabelline Freestone is coming to town.

Sincerely,

Pat Freestone


March 25, 2003

Mabelline Freestone is on a plane headed this way, and she is not happy.

As part of the contract I signed with Mother when I turned 30, I am required to send her regular payments of $75 per week until the cost of my child-rearing has been completely paid off. This investment includes all the food, shelter, travel, schooling, clothing, medical care, insurance and living expenses my mother incurred while raising me, including local applicable sales tax and inflation adjustments. The $57,000 hospital bill for my four months of incubation and intravenous feeding as an infant is not included, as such medical care was the direct result of my mother’s adamant refusal to cut back on her drinking, smoking and methamphetamine abuse during her pregnancy.

Mother is stubborn, aloof, and occasionally violent, but not above admitting when she is wrong.

However, since I have not worked in several months, and have consequently let myself fall behind in our predetermined payment schedule, I am in violation of our contract, and thus subject to the stipulated penalties. I need to find my copy of said document, so I can determine exactly what kind of trouble I am in.

I’m not sure, but I think my mother is now legally entitled to immediately repossess my liver and kidneys.

Nervously,

Pat Freestone


March 26, 2003

Well, Mother is here and just as I predicted, mad as a hornet. Since the moment she set foot in my apartment, she has been berating me over my negligence in not sending her "mothering reparations" for the last few months. She can’t understand why a grown man like me has no job. She can’t understand why a grown man like me likes to keep a Slip-N-Slide in his foyer. She screamed, she cursed, and then after several failed attempts to strike me across the face, she suddenly decided to walk down to the Rite-Aid to pick up her Twizlers and Efferdent.

In the meantime, I am carefully searching through her suitcase to make sure she does not have any weapons with her. I can take her in hand-to-hand combat, but if she managed to sneak one of those plastic Glocks through airport security, I want to know about it before I lay down and pretend to go to sleep.

Tomorrow, after Mother has rested, she will decide whether she will move into my apartment and force me to support her, or put me in a bathtub full of ice and remove my kidneys for sale on the black market.

Whatever she decides to do tomorrow morning, I just hope it includes blueberry pancakes!

Sleep tight,

Pat Freestone

March 27, 2003

Time for the final showdown.

Rather than wait for Mother to come to a decision about whether she will move in for good or relieve me of one or both of my kidneys, I went in for the kill. The all-or-nothing approach. The offer she couldn’t refuse.

You see, there are two things in this world Mabelline Freestone simply can’t resist: drinking and gambling. So I set a trap for Mother and let her walk right into it. I told her I had become quite the drinking man as of late. I told her I could hold my liquor even better than dear old Dad ever could. And then I played my trump card: I told Mother I could drink her lily-white ass right under the table. And I’d be willing to bet everything I own to prove it.

So tonight, as soon as the sun sets, Mother and I will have a drinking contest to decide once and for all this whole who-owes-what-to-who business. We agreed on the standard, 80 proof, shot-for-shot, last one still in their chair wins. If she prevails, she gets my apartment, my kidneys, my liver, and even my Marrantz Hi-Fi Stereo Unit. If she loses, she goes back to Puyallup and I don’t owe her a damn thing.

Bottoms up, bitch.

Pat Freestone

March 28, 2003

I can tell she’s starting to fade. While Mother uses the bathroom, I’ll take the opportunity to update you all on the progress of our drinking contest. So far, it’s been dead even. Mother can really hold her liquor, and has proven to be a worthy, if not somewhat overconfident, opponent. I knew she’d make it through the first 12 hours, but that little smile that keeps creeping onto her face tells me she’s loaded to the gills.

I, on the other hand, am feeling rock solid. I started seeing double somewhere around shot #30, but I’ve found I can easily compensate for that by keeping one eye closed. I also felt a bit nauseous around five am right after our breakfast break, but that was probably due to the undercooked chorizo Mother insisted on putting in the eggs. Nice try, lady.

It sounds like Mother is done in the bathroom, so I’d better get back to the contest. She’s humming a happy tune—that tells me it won’t be long before she’ll be on the floor. Let’s just hope she doesn’t start getting all mushy on me before she drops.

See you soon,

Pat Freestone

March 31, 2003



Weird.

I defeated my mother in the drinking contest. She finally dropped after the 72nd round. But I don’t know which part was more surreal-- the part where she admitted that she loves me more than anything in the world, or the part where her she keeled over and died of alcohol poisoning.

Weird.

Pat Freestone


April 1, 2003

My victory over my mother in the drinking contest was bittersweet. Yes, I had won the exhausting head-to-head challenge and thus saved myself from a homeless, penniless, liver-and-kidneyless existence. But alas, I had sort of inadvertently caused my mother to drink herself to death.

So this morning, after a brief but heartfelt eulogy, I wrapped Mother’s body up in a carpet and prepared to drag it down the hall to the freight elevator. I wasn’t sure what I had in mind beyond that. I thought about borrowing a car, loading Mother into the trunk, and then driving off to some remote wooded area and roll her corpse down a canyon. I considered packing Mother in a large, hermetically-sealed ice chest and FedEx-ing her to a fictitious address in the Cayman Islands. But then I decided the best plan was to hide her down in the basement and just act really surprised when someone eventually finds her skeleton.

But my surprise came early, halfway down the hallway when Mother popped her head out of the carpet roll and yelled "April Fools!"

Good one, Mom! But guess what? You still lost.

Pat Freestone

April 2, 2003

Because of a little-known clause in the Freestone Family Drinking Contest Rules, I must give Mother another chance to compete for my liver and kidneys.

The rule--known as the O’Leary Loophole--states that a Freestone Family Drinking Contest cannot be decided on a holiday. The origins of this particular stipulation date back to the late 1800’s in Ireland, when my great- great-grandfather Patrick took on the entire township in a drinking contest. I’m not sure how the contest played out, but legend has it that it involved the traditional Easter Mass procession, a stampede of flaming horses, and a terribly unlucky drunken blacksmith’s apprentice.

Whether or not our forefathers would have considered April Fool’s Day a holiday worthy of the O’Leary Loophole is debatable. However, I am confident enough in my superhuman alcoholism to give Mother another chance tomorrow.

Right now, as I watch her sleep, I admire her tenacity, fearlessness, and sheer will. She’s quite a woman. Although I must admit, our two-day drinking contest, combined with the six hours she spent wrapped in a carpet pretending to be dead, have left her smelling a little like a Jean Naté & Fabreze Kamikaze.

I’ll be sleeping on the fire escape tonight.

Pat Freestone


April 3, 2003

It’s over.

Mother finally came to her senses and admitted that she is no longer the most full-blown alcoholic in the family. It is me. I will say that again: It is me. There can only be one top dog in this yard, and that would be me. There’s only one gold medal in the booze game, and it goes to me. If you want to see some half-assed, part-time, wannabe full-blown alcoholism, look somewhere else, because right here you will only find the most severe problem drinker in the world—me. Me! Me! Me! Neener neener nee-ner!

Mother decided that she would not attempt to repossess my organs as a means of compensation for the expenses she incurred in raising me. I guess Mother came to the conclusion that I am not just a walking debt that needs to be paid off. I am not an investment that has not brought her a return. I am not a ledger-book to be balanced at the end of each month.

I am her son.

Either that, or she just assumed that my liver and kidneys are probably shot to hell already from years of intense liquor saturation. Mother decided to go back to Puyallup tomorrow, and told me not to worry about the money I owe her until I find another job.

So tonight, I can finally sleep without this Bowie knife in my hand. Good night, Mother, and God bless you.

Pat Freestone

April 4, 2003



Mother has left the building.

Pat Freestone