This is a small excerpt from BEING DRUNK HULK (for more info about the book, scroll to the bottom). I’m posting this because I arrived in Poland ten years ago last Sunday, and this particular chapter takes a look at the moment I decided to take the chance and move here. Enjoy.
WHEN YOU LOOK BACK AND SEE ONE FOOTPRINTS! YOU KNOW THAT WHEN DRUNK HULK CARRY YOU!
1. WORST END OF WORLD! EVER!
Before I became Drunk Hulk online, I was Drunk Hulk in the real life, only less green and far less charming. It was St. Patrick’s Day of 2003 – the night before the end of the world.
It was a Monday night, but somewhere along the way my stupid brain had convinced my even stupider body that it was really a Friday night, so I accepted all of the beer that was handed to me and ignored the clocks with an unperturbed philosophy that I rarely enjoy outside of the weekend. The beer was dark, the music was loud, and you could feel the impending nudity in every direction.
All of this was happening in a South Tampa Irish Pub that also just so happened to be my neighbor. I lived so close to the pub that I could bring my home phone with me and not lose reception. Living next to an Irish Pub was simultaneously the most awesome and worst thing that ever happened to me in my time living in Florida.
On the televisions in the pub, the President of the United States was putting an expiration date on the world’s sanity: 48 hours. It would be 48 hours before we’d be going to war in Iraq. It was like they were trying to wrap up a trilogy to a series no one had wanted to see in the first place. The world had been an edgy place for most of the new century and it had been getting even worse in the last few months.
And so the celebration carried this apocalyptic edge no one wanted to mention. It was like drinking at our own wake; all we could do was sit back, enjoy the show and hope everyone had nothing but good things to say about us. There were reckless kisses in the corners and plenty of groping; only now, it had some new twisted meaning that no one wanted to confront.
2. NEW RULE! NO MORE 1984 REFERENCE UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY READ BOOK FIRST!
A prophet says be with the ones you love and the world will sort itself out. It’s good advice, but all I could see that night were people too afraid to love for fear of rejection. The clock pushed closer to midnight and they got more afraid of rejection. Two pounds of anthrax with the potential of killing one-hundred thousand people, dirty bombs, mutant flus, 2+2=5 written on the walls, a collapsing economy…and they were sitting there still afraid of a two-letter word.
But I knew the truth. I wasn’t going to be rejected today.
I had received the email a few hours earlier. It said that if I wanted a teaching job in Poland, it was mine. All I had to do was let them know.
You just need to ask yourself: is this something you really want? the email read.
I had promised myself I’d be living in Europe by the time I was 30, but really, Poland? It wasn’t even on my Top 10 List. But I knew if I didn’t take this opportunity, this wheel-spinning that I called my life would continue. I was tired of the wishing and the empty beds. It was time to put my money where my mouth was.
I’d have to quit my job, sell everything I owned, collect my savings, leave all my friends and family behind, and move 5,000 miles away.
What if the job isn’t real?
What if it sucks?
What if I end up in some kind of sex dungeon?
3. DRUNK HULK WANT STUDY A BROAD IN COLLEGE! BUT SHE SAY NO!
I met Matilda at the bar. She told me that she was afraid. She’d be graduating in December with a degree she didn’t think she needed or wanted, and after that, she didn’t know what she wanted to do. “We’re all afraid,” I said.
“What’s the world going to be like? Will it be a good or bad place? Do you think about that?”
“I think about it all of the time.”
We left the bar and went out into the patio. It was humid outside and I could feel my clothes clinging to my skin in that way only Florida could. There was a man on stage singing. Matilda took my hand and led me to the dance floor. She started dancing around me, using me like I was some kind of beacon. The crowd was chanting the chorus, “Everything’s gonna be all right! Everything’s gonna be all right! Everything’s gonna be all right, yeah!” The crowd was moving and laughing and singing and fondling; I just stood there looking at the full moon above, wondering what the view was like from up there. Was it as blue as I imagined? I closed my eyes. I could feel heat all around me and the music was so loud it was incredible. I opened my eyes and saw the faces around me: lots of smiles and wet eyes and joined lips and dancing hair.
Matilda put her arms around my neck. “This isn’t so bad, is it?”
I nodded, drinking my beer over her shoulder.
It wasn’t so bad at all. It was madness, but it was the good kind. In fact, this was how the world was supposed to be. The world needs love, sure; only it won’t understand simple love, it needs to be mad love. It’s the only compromise we’re ever going to get. And it’s not a bad compromise, because it still keeps things alive and interesting.
The crowd continued: “Everything’s gonna be all right! Everything’s gonna be all right! Everything’s gonna be all right, yeah!”
Hell, even I was starting to believe it.
4. ONE GLASS OF ALCOHOL A DAY INCREASE RISK OF CANCER! BE SAFE! ORDER SECOND ROUND!
Matilda and I managed the 20 second walk to my place. We stumbled through the front door and crawled up the stairs to my bedroom. While she went to use the bathroom, I turned on my laptop. Once my email came up, I typed:
Yes, this is what I want.
I woke up four hours later. It was a half hour ride on the motorcycle to get to work. I rode the Howard Frankland – a five-mile bridge across the Tampa bay – as the sun rose behind me and dolphins jumped in and out of the water, and I felt so fucking free I could cry.
-You’ve just read an excerpt from BEING DRUNK HULK, written by Christian A. Dumais
BEING DRUNK HULK is about embracing your inner monster. It’s about the power of transformation and finally coming to accept who you are and where you are in the world. It’s the ultimate journey story of how using the Caps Lock taught me to be a better writer; how living abroad taught me to be a better American; and being Drunk Hulk taught me to be a better man.
Hilarious and inspirational, BEING DRUNK HULK is the book fans of Drunk Hulk have been waiting for, filled with funny stories, shocking surprises, and lots of Drunk Hulk jokes.
I previously posted an outline for what the book can be here. Are you interested in reading this book? If so, then tweet, update and share away! Let publishers know this is something you’d buy.