Nothing Exceeds like Excess

I am just back from a great little Mexican place here in town where as usual I ate far too much. Upon arriving home I popped a bottle of wine and I shall now proceed to drink too much of it in all its grapy deliciousness. I am told I smoke too much, read too much and take too many naps. I make too much spaghetti when I cook and I use too much pine sol to clean the floors, All our lives it seems we are accused of doing the things too much. Moderation is best we are told. Do not enjoy things too much or take it too easy. It seems to me that quite often too much is in fact just a good start. My motto for some decades now is that nothing exceeds like excess.

Imagine a world where we all did too much. Read too much, learned too much, listened to too much great music, had too much good food , drank too much good wine, lived too much and loved too much. It sounds like my kind of world actually so I try to live there as much as possible. I want to fill my life with an excess of all that is good about life and to achieve that goal nothing exceeds like excess.

Now, I am not advocating a life of fat drunken stupidity here. There are tradeoffs. If you like to eat good foods get a dog and take long walks unless you want to be one of those thoroughly disagreeable types who frequent places called gyms. Don’t be a sloppy drunken fool and know your limits. Stop at too much and not too goddamn much. You are going ot pick up a few scars on your body and your heart practicing the art of excess but the rewards outweigh any pain. As the poet Baudelaire advised:

Get drunk

One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters;

that’s our one imperative need. So as not to feel Time’s

horrible burden one which breaks your shoulders and bows

you down, you must get drunk without cease.

But with what?

With wine, poetry, or virtue

as you choose.

But get drunk.


And if, at some time, on steps of a palace,

in the green grass of a ditch,

in the bleak solitude of your room,

you are waking and the drunkenness has already abated,

ask the wind, the wave, the stars, the clock,

all that which flees,

all that which groans,

all that which rolls,

all that which sings,

all that which speaks,

ask them, what time it is;

and the wind, the wave, the stars, the birds, and the clock,

they will all reply:

“It is time to get drunk!

So that you may not be the martyred slaves of Time,

get drunk, get drunk,

and never pause for rest!

With wine, poetry, or virtue,

as you choose!”


Nothing exceeds like excess.

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