Cassie raises a glass … but what of?
Hear ye! Hear ye! I have just recently realized the awesomeness that is wine! Let me explain.
I have always been a fan of the liquor (insert lesbian joke here). Once I turned 21, I was cocktailed at every single show. I always said, I like my liquor like my dicks — hard! I have never been what we call a messy drunk. I would drink at the shows because it was what we did; we are at a bar, after all. Customers see us drink so they drink more. Many of our fans love to buy us shots, and it would be rude not to drink them. Still, no matter how much I drank, I was always able to do my job as an entertainer. I never got so wasted that I could not finish my show … although a couple of times, I came close. I remember once drinking so much, I threw up right before I went onstage but still lip-synched the shit out of Lisa Loeb’s “Stay.”
I guess you could call me lucky because I have never once blacked out and not remembered the night before. A few times I wish I could forget some of the vile ridiculousness that has been spewed from my face hole. But nope, I have an elephant’s memory even after a drunken rampage. I was also lucky that I never got pulled over while buzzed. Not that it happened a lot, but there were a few times I know I should not have been on the road, so thank you sweet baby Jesus.
But now I am in my 40s, and drinking three or four nights a week was catching up to me. My post-drinking recovery time was getting longer and longer, even though I had the best hangover remedy (two Advil, a big glass of water and a banana before bed; worked every time). I would still feel like I had my ass kicked by Ronda Rousey the next day. I would spend the day bitchy, sore and easily annoyed. I guarantee you that after my husband reads this, he is going to ask me if I am hung over every day.
I decided it was time to slow my roll. For a while, I simply tried cutting back, but that didn’t work. One drink would lead to seven and so on. I finally decided it was time to quit, so on Halloween of 2014, I had my last drink of alcohol during a show. It was pretty difficult at first; the easiest way to deal with drunk people in a bar is to be a drunk person. For the first few months, it was awful; I would go on stage on autopilot, just going through the motions. Then something clicked and I realized I was having fun again. My job really is a blast and it was great to see I didn’t have to be wasted to enjoy it. I was finding that I didn’t have to be shitfaced to be funny or to have fun.
Don’t get me wrong, I was not cutting alcohol out of my life completely. I would still have the occasional beer or mimosa at a Sunday Funday or on the lake. I just wasn’t going to drink during the shows. I am fortunate enough that I get to do a lot of shows, and so eventually I am sure my liver was going to go on strike or call social services for being abused.
So last week I was making dinner and the recipe called for half a cup of wine. Well, I am not one to waste anything, so I drank the rest of the wine. I’ve never been a huge fan of wine but this shit was good. Please don’t judge me when I tell you how I served it — the most white trash way ever: over ice. It was transcendent. I don’t think I have ever been able to drink and just chill with nothing to do. It is a completely different experience when you don’t have to worry about a single thing. I didn’t have to worry about getting paid or paper work after a show. I didn’t have to worry about performing. I didn’t have to worry about driving home. I was able to just enjoy my buzz and not do a damn thing. I’m 43 years old, and I don’t think I have ever truly enjoyed drinking as much as I did on that Winesday (which if what I will forever call Wednesday from now on). Winesdays are my new favorite thing. I’m off on Winesdays and so I am going to enjoy a class of wine and just chill.
And now time for a question from the audience…
Hey Cassie! I miss seeing your show since I moved to Portland! Hope you’re all doing fabulously. My question might be a little serious for this, but I’m gonna ask anyhow.
I grew up in a hyper-religious household like a lot of us queers from the South. I’m talking speaking in tongues and everything. My father hacked into my MySpace account (now I feel old) when I was 16 and found out I was gay. My parents isolated me and tried to pray the gay away for two weeks until I ran away. I was headed for New York, but the cops arrested me at the bus station in Kentucky.
Anyhow, I’m 25 now and I’ve been through a year of therapy over everything that happened to me. I have always wanted to write about it more and try to help kids in the same situation. The problem I keep running into is having to work 40 hours a week at a soul-sucking job and not having the time and energy to get it done, or even really started. I’m not expecting you to know what I’m supposed to do, but a fresh perspective typically helps me see something I’ve missed. Well, that’s it for now. If nothing else, I got to vent! Thanks for reading! All my love, Corban.
My dear Corban, Your story is an important one. I think you should make the time to tell your story, even if it is only a post on Facebook, it could really help someone out there. When you are young there is nothing more comforting to a young gay person than to know they are not alone in their experiences. I guarantee there is someone out there right now going through the same bullshit you went through. Imagine how you would have felt knowing there is a light at the end of your all-consuming tunnel. If you haven’t already seen it, watch Del Shores movie or play Southern Baptist Sissies. It is a beautiful moving story that will probably touch close to home. That feeling of isolation and loneliness you feel when you are going through that kind of stuff is awful and not to sound cliché but it does get better. I think it is important to share our stories with one another because you never know who it might help. Thanks, Cassie.
This world can be a tense, ridiculous place but there is nothing that a nice glass of wine served over ice, fresh from the box won’t fix. Cheers bitches!
Remember to love more, bitch less and be fabulous. XOXO, Cassie Nova.
If you have a question of comment, email it to AskCassieNova@gmail.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 7, 2015.