This weekend is ripe with friend connections. Last night I went out with work friends, the colleagues who make teaching bearable. I love my students, so having some colleagues who aren’t dicks is just a bonus.
We did a pre-St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl in good old Muncie, Indiana. We started at the ever trendy, hipster Savage’s Ale House, which is one of my favorite bars, because they have $1 PBRs, of which I had two. I also had the Epic Muncie Burger. Amazing.
From Savage’s we headed to Doc’s Music Hall for all the mixed-drink drinkers. We sat outside at a really long table. There were a whole slew of us! Here’s where I mixed my metaphors and went from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Loretto, Kentucky and stopped south of the border for a few sips of my friend’s, the birthday girl, Muncie-rita, that’s served complete with an upside down bottle of Corona in it. All the traveling must be why I have such a headache this morning!
From Doc’s we dropped in next door at the Heorot. I kept on traveling: I had a Strongbow from Ireland and a New Albanian Porter from New Albany, Indiana.
Then we headed to the Silo (Maker’s and a Fat Tire (Fort Collins, Colorado)), and then to the very haunted Fickle Peach (Bell’s Porter from Kalamazoo, Michigan) where I spilled my beer so hard the marble bar broke the glass. No worries, a friend split her beer with me and then somehow I ended up with another Bell’s Porter. I also played pool for the first time in several years and didn’t do too shabbily, but I didn’t do really well either.
We ended the night back in Milwaukee with a Miller Lite at the Mark III Tap Room, “the longest gay bar in the world,” but by that time I didn’t trust myself to take my phone out of my pocket for fear that it would go the way of the beer at the Peach and shatter all over the dance floor.
My point in writing about this is that I am a serious person most of the time, but my goal this year was to get my joy back by doing those things I hadn’t been doing, which bring me joy. Surrounding myself with friends brings me joy. Drinking excellent beer and bourbon brings me joy. Walking around town and acting silly and dancing poorly all bring me joy: great joy and a great headache the next morning. I think Jesus wants us to experience joy (maybe not so much the headaches, though he did like his wine); in fact, I think we were designed to be filled with joy. Look at Adam and Eve, they were perfectly content before they ate that dastardly fruit. How could they not have been joyful living in the most perfect place ever? David was so joyful he danced with no clothes. John the Baptist was so joyful in utero that he “leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Peter was so joyful he couldn’t resist calling Jesus out for who he is, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” In the end, we’ll all be so filled with joy, we won’t be able to stop singing.
I just want a little bit of that joy here on earth, and one way for me to experience it is by giving myself over to those silly sides of myself that don’t always show, but which always hide there, just beneath the surface aching to get out. And, yeah, in many ways, I am equating fleshly drunkenness with spiritual drunkenness. The spirit and the flesh, they feel really similar to me, which I suppose is because I don’t really buy that mind, spirit, body split nonsense, chalking it up as a patriarchal paradigm foisted upon us by the Enlightenment. So tonight I plan to do it all over again with different friends, in a different place, but with the same goal in mind: gathering the joy that’s swirling around out there waiting for us to take it!