Alcohol will break you.
So there were these three guys on the train tonight. There was a youngish bald guy, an older, slightly overweight guy, and another older, exceedingly drunk guy.

The older, overweight guy was speaking very loudly, especially for an El car at 11:00 at night. He was insisting that alcohol was very bad for you. "Alcohol will fuck you up," he warned, "Alcohol will break you." I decided that he must have been recently kicked out of his monastery, because he was gobstruck at the vast amounts of alcohol that people drank. He told a story in great detail (and at least twice) about how he had gone down to Addison the other night, and everyone there was drunk!! The bars were full, and surprisingly, they were not full of sober people. He could tell that these people were drunk because "several" of them were vomiting. He demonstrated, pretending to vomit in the train car. Didn't these people know how bad alcohol was? Alcohol will fuck you up! Alcohol will break you! They were all drunk there...

The bald headed guy, meanwhile, was being the most reasonable person I'd seen in a week, really trying to understand what on earth the first guy is talking about. He was nodding in sympathy, but occasionally suggesting that, "Maybe the people you saw were young, you know I used to drink a lot when I was younger, too", or pointing out that sooner or later, everyone has a bad time and can't hold their liquor. At this point the older guy did his fake vomiting thing again.

The bald guy was so anxious to agree, and yet also to remain rational, that he was quite thrown for a loop when the first guy announced that alcohol was worse, much worse, than cocaine or heroine. The bald guy was a little taken aback, but finally rallied with, "Er... yeah. Because it's legal! Exactly!" I'm pretty sure that wasn't the point the first guy was making, though. I think he just really didn't like booze.

So this goes on for a while, and I'm amused by it all. Suddenly, the third guy (who had probably been asleep throughout most of this) perks up and cheers, apropos of nothing at all, "Long live Osama bin Laden!".

Totally the high point of my night. The bald guy, of course, began asking him (very reasonably) what had caused him to say that... apparently "Long Live Osama bin Laden" because bin Laden wasn't white--at which point the bald guy acknowledged the merit of this, but also pointed out that someone's skin color wasn't really a good reason to like or dislike them.

The older guy said, "See what I told you? Alcohol will fuck. You. Up." and made the pretend-vomit noises.

It felt almost like being back in New York.