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Hannah Lincoln speaks with us about drunken Beijing antics, the best famous person to imbibe with, and the emotional connections we gain from the assistance of alcohol in this month's A Drink With.

What famous person would you want to have a drink with?
Charles Bukowski. In a sense, he’s my hero. He sort of haunts me, actually. Just reading his stuff struck me in a way that other writers haven’t. He and Frank McCord, who wrote Angela’s Ashes. They actually have this thing going on where they were just shameless to the tenth degree about their attitude. They were quite talented in how they did and got credit for doing that. They are also both heavy drinkers, so why not?

How old were you when you started drinking?
I had my first drink when I was 15. The first time I got drunk when I was 16. Drinking was so much easier as a teenager even though it was hard and illegal and you had to sneak around. The motivations were different. The motivation then was this teenage angst darkness that you had to grasp, whereas now it’s just more of a habit. It’s a social cue. Then it was an event that we congregated around and it made us special, and there was something very special about it.

When was the last time you were drunk?
I was drinking with some friends, some of whom were leaving Beijing for good. A bunch of us went out for wine. I had some wine and some more wine and some more wine, and it was just one of those days when I was so high on life. Once everyone was going home, I grabbed the friend nearest me who is single and younger and capable of going out, and I said, “we’re going to go rage!” So we walked over to Kokomo and it was empty, and then we went somewhere else and it was empty. Then we went to The Local and I passed out at a table there, and then I left my bike there for a week.

What was the dumbest place you’ve gone drinking?
I have this image of me and my friends when I was 17, we had all been accepted into good colleges and we were going off to school. We were drinking at the beach in our town and the police showed up. We thought, “oh my god oh my god! What are we going to do?” So we just threw the beer cans in the rocks in front of us, and by some miracle, the police didn’t see us, they just walked by and said hello. So that was pretty dumb. That wasn’t really that dumb, just unfortunate.

What kind of drunk are you?
I seek intimacy in the friendship sense. When I’m drinking I really want to know everything about everyone around me, and when I’m drinking, I’m seeking that deep, bonding experience. Some people aren’t really down with that, they think that’s boring and would rather play foosball. In my mind, the goal of drinking is to really, deeply connect with someone, so it’s like truth serum. I realize that’s not always what people want to do when they’re drinking. Sometimes they don’t want to talk about their deep dark secrets. That’s fine.

Read all about Lincoln’s deep, dark secrets in her contributions to The Anthill, www.anthill.org


Photo courtesy Hannah Lincoln

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