This is why God made alcohol. Though plenty of people, the guests at Bentham's, maybe Len - and Sherrie, for all he knows - probably think Swenson has had a drinking problem for quite some time, Swenson disagrees. But now is when a drinking problem would solve a lot of more serious problems. This is the moment for which God created drinking problems. Swenson watches the cases of wine empty, wrapping the world around him in Styrofoam, cushioning voices and objects as if for the shock of a move, a spongy buffer zone between Swenson and his life. Alcohol keeps him numb and paradoxically energized with an oddly pleasurable anger: white noise that drowns out the dangerous whispers of pain and fear and sorrow.
Francine Prose, Blue Angel (257-258)