Daily Drunk (one more)

the bongo man of new orleans

Daily Drunk (one more)

I’m not saying she’s an alcoholic, that’s really between her and her higher power. But, I remember a conversation with my therapist at the time, “She hasn’t had a drink for two days. It’s like I’m finally going to know who she is without alcohol in her system.” It didn’t last. It was more of an experiment or a drug reaction.

My long-time tennis partner said, “She doesn’t have a problem with drinking. You have a problem with her drinking.” He was spot on. When someone else’s drinking becomes an issue, it’s an issue. The issue may be that you need to leave and mind your own business. Another possible issue is you have shit to work out, like your alcoholic father and brother, maybe you’re sobriety will change this one too. Just like it did with your dad and brother, NOT.

“You’re good for me,” she said in a semi-sober moment. “You’ll probably save my life.”

She was referring to my “not a drinker” mode. I’d often have a beer or glass of wine when she got home with her classic refrain, “Cocktails!” It was cute. It was alarming. It was endless. I was losing my grip on my hope for a change. It was not coming.

“If you’re waiting around for someone to change, you need to move on. It’s not going to happen.”

I said that so many times to friends, it was odd I couldn’t quite self-medicate, as it were, in the middle of the buzzed life that was careening off a cliff.

The last moment, the very last second I had empathy for her struggle, was the New Orleans Escapade. Her dear friend was meeting her at a bar for happy hour. We were there for my girlfriend (fiancé during some earlier hallucination) to run the Rock n’ Roll Marathon. Around seven that night, I got a text that they wanted to me to join them. I never found them. Around 2 am the doorman of the hotel called my room. “You’ve got a visitor. She’s in a cab in front of the hotel and they need to be paid.”

“Have you ever dated a marathoner?” she asked me early on. She certainly had the body, the legs, the amazing ass, of a distance runner. I think I became somewhat addicted to her highly-tuned body. It was the medicinal infusions every night that was giving me digestion trouble. I was starving to death right next to the one person who held a lifeline. But she was too self-absorbed to pull me back to shore.

In the end, it was her idea that we split up. I had “nothing” to do with alcohol. At least, that’s what I tell myself now. It’s not up to me to define her relationship to alcohol, only her relationship to me. And that was no longer viable. “If I have to pay for you on every trip, I’m only going to be able to take half as many vacations.” It was a loophole. An escape from the one person who was tethering her to the sober objectives of love, life, and stop trying to drown yourself.

I hear she’s married now and living in New Mexico. He didn’t have money either. Funny, he’s also a musician. I wonder if he’s also a lifesaver. That body though…

Read more Short-Short Stories from John.

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