IN DEFENCE OF BEING DRUNK

By Ruby Flanagan


A French poet once said “You have to always be drunk, that’s all there is to it”.

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I admire that notion.


Because I like my brain when it’s a little drunk. I adore the feeling of me, after I’ve knocked back a few glasses of something good.


My brain often feels busy. It hums like a porch light and ticks like a clock, running my thoughts like a ticker at the bottom of a news report. And when I have a few glasses of something good, the clatter and clangs of the engine running at full capacity finally decelerate and my brain becomes quiet, it feels numb and as relaxed as it will let itself be.


Those few glasses of something good let me escape, not from life, but from a world that’s stern and serious. A world that is usually full of grey skies and grey stories. It lets me be a little softer and little sillier, to be a splash of orange and warmth in a painting of a rainy day. It lets me fall in love, with where I am, what I’m doing and with the souls around me and I think to be given the ability to fall in love and cherish so easily, is pretty lovely.

You have to always be drunk, that’s all there is to it

These moments also let my heart open, that little bit more than my sober mind could ever allow. The contents that are kept away, hidden deep in the darkest crevasses are set free to flow into the world.

These secrets are not deep or profound or important, they are may not even be classed as secrets at all, they’re just things. Things that once dropped, like a heavy bag give me a sense of relief. Only ever after those few glasses of something good, do I show the raw side of my mind. The raw side that when I wake, head throbbing and eyes blurred the next morning becomes locked away once again.


For anyone who’s ever been blissfully tipsy, we are aware of the ways our personalities haze with the few glasses of something good in our system. For a period of time, I get to holiday away from the familiar character I call my home. I get to be daring, I get to be brave, and I get to be a wild, if that’s what I decide. I get to cut loose from the insipid instincts that I’ve burnt into my consciousness and I get to act on different and deeper urges, do something thrilling and play on the instincts that my a few glasses of something good character has. There is just something a little addictive about that feeling of wicked.


To be drunk, tipsy, intoxicated, bladdered, wankered, whatever you want to call it, to me? To be drunk represents joy and happiness, it represents friendship and open-ness. It represents ecstatic fun, untamed pleasure, and euphoric magnificence.


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That French poet adorns the notion to be drunk.

He says “But on what, on wine, poetry, virtue. As you wish. But be drunk.” This romanticised perception that you can be drunk on these other aspects of your life: on love, on passion, on music, and on art is charming. What a concept to uphold; To consume a something to the point of absolute blissful drunkenness, and that something being something that brings you immeasurable delight? Now that’s a note I want to hold.


So, going forward.


I will live a life that pursues this philosophy, by engraving it into my instincts and my senses. I shall strive to devour my likes, my loves, and my desires the way I devour my few glasses of something good so I can experience the sentiments and feel the way I do when I am, actually just drunk.

And on the days where I can’t find a metaphorical way of being drunk, that’s okay. I will let myself be drunk on good wine.



First performed at Gutter Street Nights In: Instincts. February 2021.


You can find more of Ruby's work here.


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