Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem- imagination trumps reality April 26, 2014

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 6:19 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

“How can you write

about being drunk

if you’ve never been drunk?”

the boys ask, grinning.

I shrug, and hand them some papers.

“You tell me.  Did I do it?”

They read,  groan, gasp and sigh.

“I didn’t see that coming,” one mutters.

Finally they look up at me with muted faces.

“Well?” I ask

“Oh, yeah,” one grunts.  “You did.”

The others nod and grunt in agreement.

“But how?” asks another shaking his head.

“I could imagine what it’s like to be drunk,

and so I never needed to drink.

I could have fun without needing to dull my senses

or find artificial courage.

I don’t drink.  I’ve never done drugs.

I don’t need to, because

I have imagination.”

“Huh,” they say,

and class begins.




I know that my experience is not at all common.  My parents were social drinkers, but I never saw either of them intoxicated.  I didn’t like the taste of alcohol, and felt no need to drink to be cool.  If I went to a party, I was disgusted how the drinkers all turned into idiots.

My high school friends didn’t drink. We went out together, had a great time, and the next morning we remembered what happened and we didn’t have a headache!  We had a remarkable amount of common sense! 😉

I have addicted relatives.  They are also a good lesson of how lives can be destroyed.

I am routinely astonished by students who have never met *anyone* who doesn’t drink.  They think all adults drink.  Many of the adults in their lives only socialize in an inebriated stupor and they don’t know there is another way to interact with people. I have never tried marijuana or other recreational drugs either.  I don’t need to medicate my emotions or do weird things.  I need all the energy I have, so I can’t afford to send my motivations up in smoke!   I can’t imagine just taking some pill off someone at a party.  That’s not fun, that’s just stupid (and dangerous).

I don’t presume to tell anyone else what to do, and I actually support legalization, to remove the criminal component. I consider it a health issue.

One thing about my clean life style- it frees up room in the budget for my Fluevogs! 🙂

PS. I’ve linked to the snippet that they read.


25 Responses to “poem- imagination trumps reality”

  1. I’m glad you know a clean reality, a bit envious as well. That’s certainly the preferred route to actually living. My husband is the same way, never done a drug in his life and could care less about alcohol- we addict/alcoholic type call you guys, respectfully, “normies”. Sober and clean are unnatural for us, whereas intoxicated is unnatural for you guys. It’s a complex kind of crazy for sure!

    It’s great that you can be a positive role model for your students. That’s a gift of immeasurable value. Peace to you.

  2. xallix Says:

    Reblogged this on balance and commented:

  3. kiwiskan Says:

    Alcohol has caused a problem in my family as well. If only people didn’t feel the need to get ‘legless’…

    • I figure if there are role models out there, at least kids know it’s an option. If I’m in a crowd with someone who feels s/he shouldn’t be drinking, but is feeling pressured to drink because others are, since I’m not drinking, perhaps it’s easier for them to decline because they won’t ‘be the only one.’ Personally, I’m never worried about being the only one doing/not doing something, but I hear lots of people don’t like to be the odd one out. lol

  4. keelymyles Says:

    I’m with you on this. My parents indulged in alcohol, but I never saw them intoxicated or at least certainly not in a stupor. I have family members who have drug and alcohol problems as well. Through high school, I also felt it was a complete waste of time/ money to party and lose your senses. So I completely abstained. It hasn’t been until I’m an adult that I’ve participated in indulging in moderate consumption of wine/ other alcoholic beverages. I have never been drunk. Tipsy maybe, but then I think that’s it. 1-2 drinks maybe a night and mostly just on a special occasion. So, our stories are a little similar. It certainly is good to role model for not only the next generation, but also the adults around us. Keep up the good work, Shawn. Imagination is such a powerful tool! ❤

  5. I think you’ve hit on something really important. As an adult, who does not drink nor likes around alcohol, I often feel left out. Almost every social hangout I’m invited to has an element of social drinking and it’s a bit annoying.

    I agree with you that there needs to be a stop to this. You can definitely have fun and socialize without alcohol! You just have to find the right kind of friends.

    • If your circle doesn’t drink, it’s much less awkward, that’s for sure. I agree, I sometimes feel like I’m out of the loop, but oh well. I have too much to do to worry about it! lol

  6. You are a very strong woman. It is good to lead a clean life. For many years after my mother passed away in 1998, Thanks to America’s Big Pharma pill pushers I was a prescription drug addict. I was extremely depressed after my mother died. Unfortunately in the United States you don’t have to take illegal drugs to develop an addiction. I was that person sitting next to you in church, going to school, and working beside you in the office that had a hidden problem that I was able to successful mask. At least for a while. My therapist/psychiatrist prescribed all types of anti-depressant drugs for me instead of talk therapy. I’ve since discovered that most of these “Happy Pills” I was taking cause more depression and suicidal thoughts, which I found out the hard way. There are probably millions of Prescription Drug addicts in America.

    I have an addictive personality and many of my family members have histories of mental illness. My mother was an alcoholic and suffered with schizophrenia. However in her last three years after my Dad died in 1995 the proper medications were found to alleviate those systems.

    As for me finally after coming close to dying several times I quit the last prescription early last year. Doctors and Big Pharma are the biggest drug pushers in the United States. They probably kill or cause more deaths than most illegal drugs. Through prayer, friends, reading the Bible, Buddhist Meditation and talking about this issue via my blog I hope I can help others in Recovery.

    • Well done, Deborah! I think you’re stronger than I am. I wasn’t ever interested so it was easy to say no. It’s harder to deny yourself something that you want! (Let’s not discuss my expensive shoe habit!)

      • Strange but I am a social drinker however alcohol in excess never really tempted me. However the desire to stay well and experience life to it’s fullest keeps me in Recovery.

        I also love shoes! My Dad used to call me the Imelda Marcos of New York!! LOL!! I don’t have as many now but my collection is building! LOL!!

  7. I so agree with you, why drink, when on can have fun, be silly and remember it all, and why would I want to lose control over what I am doing, give that control to someone else most probably, that’s way too much trusting! 🙂

  8. beckarooney Says:

    This is a fantastic piece! The message it portrays is extremely important, in today’s society I rarely come across someone my own age who doesn’t drink – it’s sad. Excellent poem 🙂 x

  9. Joseph Nebus Says:

    I haven’t had the experience of getting drunk myself, although I have gotten a bit tipsy a couple of times. Tipsy is the right term for it too, since I mostly realized that I was not perfectly sure of my balance, though people around me don’t seem to have noticed anything awry.

    Sometimes I feel like I’ve missed out on something nearly all my friends know, but then, I feel also like it’s something I’ll surely experience at some point, and it isn’t as if I’ve failed in not having had the experience (or that they’ve failed by having it).

  10. Greydreamer Says:

    Reblogged this on Sifting The Clouds.

  11. I am sharing this with my 14 year old daughter! We just had a conversation the other day and she seems to be under the impression that everyone drinks and most people start before they turn 21! I told her that wasn’t the case, and that even if it were that doesn’t mean she has to! Now, I have proof. Thanks!

    • Glad to oblige! It’s hard for kids to stand up against what their friends are doing. They need a little maturity and security in themselves, and most of them don’t have it.

  12. 7128788elf Says:

    Hi Shawn, loved this poem, and quite agree with the sentiments under. I too do not drink, and my wife as well. I do not find not drinking socially inhibiting, but often we don’t go to parties because we can’t stand the dribble people talk when they are inebriated. Thanks, and thanks for following and liking my blog.

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