rosie-schaap-c-m.-sharkey_custom-d4661b63d7defda5edd6e3b8ee07d9a103e58137-s6-c10How are you feeling, Rosie? You don’t have to say “fine, thanks.” You can be honest with you.

Thanks for asking. I appreciate that, because, you know, I don’t like any of that old “fine, thanks,” b.s.  In truth, I’m feeling…many feelings. I’m a bit of a worrier by nature, so anxiety tends to follow me around most of the time. But it’s pretty manageable these days. I’m pretty excited that my memoir, Drinking With Men, is finally out there in the world, and that people are reading it. I’m feeling a little run down, what with all the excitement. I’m napping more than usual. I should probably eat more vegetables. But I have little to kvetch about. I’m happy-ish. Full-on happy is mysterious to me, and it’s not necessarily something to which I aspire. I’m too superstitious to be totally happy; it could attract the evil eye, as my grandma could have told you.

 

drinking-with-men-mdIn 1986, when I was fifteen, I discovered the bar car on the Metro-North New Haven Line—a dingy, crowded, badly ventilated chamber where commuters drank enough to get a decent buzz going, told dirty jokes, and chain-smoked. These were my kind of people. I liked my friends at school— mostly pothead misfits like me— but these were adults, and, right or wrong, I liked to think of myself as one of them. And even though in my memory the whole place is clouded by a sort of grimy yellow film, it was my kind of joint.

My mother had moved us— herself, my brother, me, a shih tzu, a Lhasa apso, a cat, and a parrot— from Greenwich Village to the suburbs a couple of years earlier for many rea­sons, but partly, I think, in a desperate bid to make a normal kid of me. It didn’t work. I became a druggie, a Deadhead, a reasonably resourceful truant, a small- time delinquent. But I was not without ambition. I wanted to be a mystic.

 

Rosie Schaap is the guest. She is a contributor to This American Life and npr.org, and she writes the monthly “Drink” column for The New York Times Magazine. Her memoir, Drinking With Men, will be published on January 24, 2013 by Riverhead Books.

Kate Christensen raves

This book will be a classic. There is so much joy in this book! It’s a great, comforting, wonderful, funny, inspiring, moving memoir about community and belief and the immense redemptive powers of alcohol drunk properly.

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