On Saturday I attended a wedding, and went to the after party with the bride and groom in the beautiful guesthouse of a friend from my youth. I was sitting on a table with some guests when two women began speaking about politics, and a third person complained that the politics, religion and love were not allowed to be spoken while drinking.
“I agree on politics and religion, but love… Plato’s Symposium is a dialogue on love in which takes place at an after party, not unlike ours. If the ancients could speak about love while drinking, I’d say we’re allowed too”, I said.
“But love can’t be agreed upon if we all experience it in different ways, and since it can’t be seen, touched, smelled or heard, I would say that it does not exist”.
“We say love does not exist because we do not speak about it. We’re too coward (and I include myself) to explain our inner experience. Of course you can’t sense love with your physical senses because love goes beyond the physical (it’s metaphysical), so the only way in which we would be able to verify its existence is that each one of us expresses what is felt in love. But again, we’re too coward”.
“Why don’t you start?” the love-skeptic asked. I waved him away. He insisted. I gave an excuse. He insisted (he was drunk).
“What you’re asking is that I expose myself to embarrassment with no reward. I would do it if you follow me explaining what is love after my turn”.
“I won’t explain it after your turn, I’ll explain it right now: love is a product of our imagination. It does not exist”, to which everyone protested and willingly exposed their own perceptions of love. I will not attempt to register what was said, my memory is hazy and the reader will be better off reading the Symposium rather than a pity account of some contemporary drunkards.
The night did not end as in the Symposium, in which a group of drunkards disrupt the party, steer the dialogue and destroy themselves drinking until daylight. We simply grew tired and decided it was time to leave.
Unlike Socrates, I’m not immune to alcohol and I paid greatly the price of drinking. Despite feeling beyond sick, a lot of work was accomplished through me, not by me, because by now I understand very well that I get in the way of work, and it is only when I’m able to forget about myself when I’m able to create good work.
And there’s no better incentive to forget about oneself than when you’re hungover.