Dual, a testimony

growing up with alcoholics is living in a dual singularity

some days are the best and every one laughs and the party feels like it shouldn’t even end, everyone loves everyone and life is as good as possible, my job as waiter and professional beer fetcher is one, as a child, i took pride in

some days are surly and angry and i try to make myself invisible, the issue is i am the fat kid and instead of invisible i hide in my room, listening to word cow uttered over and over, now i am a waiter still, waiting out the dearth of hastily rambled words

on the happy days we do things together, we play catch and go fishing and he takes me to work with him to work on arcade games, i see the others that form this tribe, one people united in the love of man and barley and hops

on the bad i see the same tribe, the ones who came back from serving their country only to be served notice of eviction, only to be served another round, the smiles replaced by the angry shouts of their fathers so they become the same angry fathers and shout

no matter what they will drink

no matter what

the first beer at seven in the morning poured into a coffee cup, foamy head just at the edge of the glass, sometimes second and third on the same drive

your dad didn’t drink as he took you to school, strange

when family was in town they would go hang out at the library for hours on end

it amazed me that they would choose to talk at a place it was discouraged and come back stumbling hours after it was time to leave

the bar was a block away from the library, when it was explained that this is where they went it all became clear

some holidays were spent alone, waiting for the trip to the library to end, others spent doing the cooking as the master chef was passed out on the couch

so the minute drinking was brought up in my group of friends we all took a solemn vow to never do it

until we could get it

not understanding this is how a cycle continues, evolves, revolves we began drinking every chance we got

remember stumbling in as he stumbled in and he called me a cow and i punched him in the chest and he went backwards down the stairs and for a moment i thought i may have killed him

i stood staring and saw his chest rising and promptly went to bed, room spinning and leg on the floor as an anchor

i was born defective and never got the ability to black out no matter the amount consumed, his years of drinking eroded any sense of memory so one of us knew why he woke up dangling at the edge of the basement

this should have been a warning to me not to let the age of alcoholism continue but it was too freeing to get wasted and swim on the misery that had been like a stuffed bear my entire life

too easy to let go and throw the empty bottle against the wall

shattered glass like giving up a bad memory

at sixteen i went to the gas station and it was almost my birthday, the lady at the counter had sold me cigarettes for the last three years, mentioned my birthday approaching in hopes for a date, the date she gave was thinking i was twenty five, the greatest present of all was buying whiskey and cigarettes from her

now i was flush in the throes of my own dual singularity, i could go without but how boring and contrite that felt, or i could drink and have a blast

so the next thirteen years were spent in a haze, drink until i saw double and smoke a joint to balance out, then drink until i saw double again, repeat as many times as possible until closing time

luckily i learned from my father and uncles and aunts i didn’t have a problem

driving home in single digit weather, able to blow at least the temperature if pulled over, head out window, bowl in mouth one eye closed until the seven mile drive to home was done

it isn’t until you are done that you see

no one ever questioned if i could make it home, they watched me clear twenty shots through a straw three separate times that evening, and then we sang

my family used words, good or bad, to accentuate the nights drinking

i used more

and more and more and more until it was just constant

coffee cup in the car filled to the edge, but i used coffee

and whiskey

got popped for a friend that would lose everything if he got popped and he learned nothing while i learned court costs and suspended license and no driving after dark

so i tried to stop

he ended up losing everything and never did stop

i moved, had to, could not let the cycle continue, found heat and dried out

dad died and i got so drunk at the funeral slash party at his bar that it was a hangover the entire way home and swore that day to never drink again

thirteen years later i fell backwards into whiskey and vodka

now i get hammered and a couple hours later it has burned off and all there is to show is thirteen sober years gone

been a month sober now, everyday i want to go to the liquor store, everyday i don’t, i think back to being a kid

i know what i am drinking away when i fall into that bottle

what were they drinking away

i know now i don’t have a problem, i have a myriad of problems and dependency is just one, but the biggest is knowing you were the reason someone else drank

i drank because they drank and it was the only time they could be honest

i drink because i don’t want to be honest and honestly i don’t want to be me

a dual singularity, the similarity is striking

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s