Every day, my father warned me of the dangers of the demonic fluid. It is drink which unleashes all of man's evil and eliminates the barrier from beast. It is drink which eliminates health and happiness. Drink is danger, drink is trauma, drink is obscenity and humiliation, blasphemy in the eyes of God and excrement in the windows of memory. Drink is serenity's eternal expenditure: instants of bliss for an eternity of inner violence.
Trauma is the intrusion of another soul that claims a new section of of the mind every day, intrusion doubling upon intrusion, exhibiting ever more masterfully that he, not you, are the part of your mind that thinks.
Perhaps this other soul is a devil or dybbuk, perhaps he's simply another person who deliberately lodged part of himself within you, or perhaps he's another person burdened with his own dybbuk. But whomever he is, he, not you, masters the mind, and you become a spectator within your own consciousness. With every hour he determines more of your decisions, and with every new decision he makes for us, you wonder ever more if he was you all along.
For centuries, father barely touched drink. He knew of its ecstasies and torments as well as any man, but he saw what drink made him, and what drink made others, and its humiliations were repugnant. It caused a whole earth on which man has neither self nor divinity, but only sense - pleasures to drown our pain, other people's pain to drown us in pleasure, a whole earth of trauma absorbed and trauma inflicted where man uses his divinity to inflict all the worse. And so where the rest of Earth was wine, the House of Noah was water, kept fresh and pure in wells we cleaned every day along with blessings to a spirited water in a second, smaller well. A spirit whose name we never pronounced, and perhaps we never knew. For an hundred years of our lives, Ham, Japeth and I knew no drink but water.
All the while, as the temperature warmed and the Earth became fire and rain. Father communed with his holy spirit of the drink. Every day as he had for hundreds of years, he pulled a bowl from the well tied to a string, put a finger in the drink, touched its holy spirit to his lips, and threw the bowl back. Every day he spoke with the spirit of the drink, and the Drink spoke back. For seven hours every day Father walked around the well, speaking questions and answers, and the pool told him all creation, of its trees and crowns, of its spheres visible and hidden, and the Spirit of the Drink made Father the wisest of men.
The spirit told Father to build an ark and gather every living thing that creepeth upon the earth, for the spirit was wroth with the world and would flood it. The world would begin anew in a second Eden where would live none but the House of Noah's righteous offspring.
And the Spirit was right, for lo, the earth became drink; not drink still and clear, but torrential and murderous, until all the world was again without form and void. Then the sea level rose, and rose, and rose, until the planet itself rose up and murdered its unworthy caretakers, and all the Earth was but one large ocean, stewed in the iniquities of its trillions of drowned beings and glazed with salt to parch any survivors. And within three days, all remaining life lodged within an ark of 300 cubits.
The invisible spirit told us of the flood, he told father to build the ark, precisely how, and with what, and how large, and how many animals to gather, but he gave us no extra ration of fresh water. All we had was the water within our well, which when drawn out must be fermented ere it turn to undrinkable excrement. So there was only barley fermentation, and wine, and animals, and obscenity. There was not even water for children.
And yet the first thing we brought aboard the ark was Father's pool of drink, of which he made us carry pitcher by pitcher aboard the ark to a pool of stone he'd constructed alone.
Upon the ark at first it was only us and the wine. He told us we had no extra rations of fermented water for the animals, but to allow ourselves twelve times an eleven month supply for four families of drinks - we asked why, he did not say. Surely father knew what was to come better than we.
It began not with agony but with joy and camaraderie - days of merry work followed fine nights of wine and song. Then lying with our wives in tents in living quarters on the Ark's four opposite corners. The children would be serenely asleep just after dinner, and so torpid they never wandered. The House of Noah used our wealth to buy all the crops of nearby families to feed the ark's animals, and once aboard we pickled the crops within buckets of salt water procured from the outside deluge.
Father had always been serene, but he was quiet and cryptic, and often warned us of what sort of different man he was before encountering the holy Spirit. He took to the wine immediately, and his serene self turned upside down to the most dreadful moroseness. None saw him eat, and he said not a word even as he fed the animals. Yet while Father felt submerged in drink, our work seemed as play.
But at the cusp of manhood, no drink could torpor Canaan. In less than one year he'd have taken to wife, but what wife lived to take him?
The noises began with the sheep of course, and then the goats, and then the dogs and cows, and then to the larger animals, and the smaller, until we wondered if there was an unsullied animal among the 16,000 on the ark. An animal would exclaim that peculiar scream, always the same in every species, and we knew what Canaan was doing, particularly because he would return every morning with terrible bruises and scratches. But what did it matter if we all were so besotted with drink? The world was ending, boys will be boys, the animals were drunk too, and were we to believe Father, the House of Noah was the one family in the world who did not enjoy the company of livestock.
"Your father tried to kill me before I laid my curse on you!"
"It is not for you to question what the spirit in the drink tells me."
"There is no spirit in the drink."
"Indeed, the spirit tells me the world is fornication and wickedness. Just like y..."
"No, grandfather, the world was already flooding, the spirit only told you what you knew."
"No, our spirit sees with our eyes."
"May your bullshit visions of the Eden we lost haunt all your days and creep all your nights. May you forever see in me your only impediment to paradise."
Noah immediately charged at Canaan to strike him down but was prevented by the cage he built himself. He reached for the key to the cage, but Canaan pulled Noah's key out of his own tunic.
"Execration! Astonishment! Reproach! We spit you out of the House of Noah for eternity!"
"I was planning to run away from this pathetic house for years. Now I've got a whole new world I can start on my own!"