Friday, November 2, 2012

It's a Matter of When

I am not an alcoholic but I'm pretty sure I could be. In my blood runs the stuff of addiction. Case in point: My way-back-when relative named Sterling rode a horse off a cliff due to alcohol’s deathgrip.


Years ago I heard the Spirit’s whisper to not be drunk (with wine). I obeyed for the most part, except for that one birthday. I woke the next morning my head obnoxiously pained, my mouth potty paper dry, my world a Tilt-a-Whirl.
            I squinted at my face in the bathroom mirror. “How did I get home?”
            Furtively. Illegally.
            “No one asked if you were okay to drive,” someone, something defended.
            How many times did I do that very thing in my early years? Drink . . . drive . . . regret . . . swear off . . . Well, maybe just one. It's rare now, but still . . .


In vino veritas the saying goes, but really, I don’t even need the wine. Words rush and tumble out of me without liquid assistance, but introduce alcohol, caffeine even, and my tongue’s audacity quadruples. More often than not, it's been my careless, fluid speech I lament the most. 


I pencil a pro and con list. The  pro row is pitiful. The against column is pregnant, late term for sure. All I can praise is taste and relaxation. I speed read the cons: killer headaches, gnarly stomach, embarrassment, calories, hypocrisy, embarrassment, sugar (another familial issue), the risk of losing everything. There wasn't much to lose before, but now?
            “I should just quit,” I told my cappuccino one morning. “Forever.”
            “Then why don’t you?” something, someone in the house whispered.


My mother’s vice is sweets.
            “Come into the kitchen with me,” she says after supper.
            I watch as she feeds the leftover peach cobbler to the garbage disposal. Wince as stainless steel blades gobble the treat. I almost ask why but I know full well why. What I wrestle with is how. And when.

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