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brownouts and the passage of time

Brownouts and the Passage of Time
I’ve been on a bit of a low key bender for the last month. We have been out every night for weeks mostly to the same bar. I’m almost embarrassed how much we spend on booze at this place. Not being able to afford a vacation is our own fault. We take mini vacations every night of the week. Our dry out date is set for Saturday. I’ll likely bump it to Sunday since my mother will be in town.

I’ve noticed something these last few weeks. The brownouts are the worst. Blackouts are terrifying and rare. But browning out has become the norm. I lose track of conversations, texts, messages, and how I got home. The end of each night is so mundane and repetitive that the details dissolve. The issues arrive since both my partner and I can become salty in this phase. I often have to dig through texts to find out what the argument was about, and more ashamedly, who I might have reached out to for solace.

In the eight years I’ve been immersed in bar culture, friends have earned master's degrees, married, had children, and bought their own homes. As I write this from my top floor apartment with the full ocean view I’m disproportionately content. I want high level degrees from reputable institutions, to be jet setting across the country and world for projects. But I’m constantly seduced by this city and get trapped back on ground level so easily.

It’s another thing that influences the consumption: the peer group. I’ve never really fit in anywhere. I’m a reasonably attractive cis presenting female who was raised by her father in a science lab. So I’m far from a princess but I will put myself together before going out. I’ve never had a manicure. I’d rather talk shop about projects or concepts rather than babies, boyfriends, or sports. The problem with this mix in current local bar society is that I run into three scenarios on average: the knowledgeable older man who’s happy to have a conversation but either becomes too drunk or lecherous; the younger male who pretentious and consistently mansplaining the point that was just made; or everyone around continues to talk about babies, boyfriends, and sports. I have tried to find these conversations outside of bars but they are one of the only public social spaces left. Experts say that by your 30s your peer group is established and that it’s harder to create and maintain relationships. This is my social network. I better learn how to navigate it.