Tag Archives: alcoholism

The How & Why Of It

Yesterday I talked very specifically of oblivion,
of how that desire trumped any of the niceties
or the fantasies. Here
is no portrait of a lady in her cups.

Here is oblivion, smeary-eyed and shrieking,
yielding only to torpor and remorse (perhaps)
when there’s nothing left.

I talked of my gratitude for the fact that,
thus far, this is all I can summon
when I think about it. If I thought
it might be nice,
it might be different.

Day 13

Everyone knows about the beer shits. You solo

a case of whatever’s on sale, then scarf down

half a dozen 60 cent tacos—the ones filled

with sour cream, shredded cheese, day-old lettuce,

and a beef-like mix of ground meat. You probably

lose some in the sink when you’re swishing

Listerine, too lazy to brush your teeth. Then,

in the morning, you spend 20 minutes on the can,

reverse-slurping out your ass.

What you don’t know

is how much that fucks up your intake: about 3/4 liquid,

1/4 solid…no, my intake. My intake’s that fucked up.

That’s why, after week of solid food and zero booze,

I’m shitting boulders.

No, really, I’m not

physically capable of passing this fecal quartz,

these intestinal stalactites. They’re inhuman.

Never thought I’d want a drink just so

I could have a normal shit again.

Day 9

Finally got a Sunday off,

spent it with my brother.

Good kid.  Ditched


Church with Mom

to hang with his alkie

black sheep brother.


Neither of us likes the house,

but our pale asses can’t take

the great outdoors, so


I drove us to the arcade.

We hadn’t gone there since

I was in high school.


He didn’t ask about

all this shit—like I said,

good kid—just kept


dropping tokens for

twenty dollars worth

of air hockey.


We were stupid with

that game, too intense,

knocked the puck


all the way to the

skee ball alleys.

He kicked my ass,


and it was the closest

we’ve come to normal

that I can remember.


Last time we hung out, last year,

I got him wasted on whiskey and

he took it like a champ.  Like no kid


should have to.  I mean,

I didn’t force him, but

he wanted to match me


shot for shot.  Getting drunk

was easier than talking.


Day 8

You know, forget the nausea.

      Forget those jittery,

over-caffeinated   /  under-rested

tremors.  Forget

                        the detox sweat

                                             that makes me

        smell like a dying goat’s ass.

What kills me

      is not knowing.

          What to do,

       what comes next,

 where I’ll be tomorrow.

I miss the hangovers.

There, I said it.

I miss waking up with

       that swaying headache, cloudy

with a chance of

      puking in the shower.

Waking up sober

doesn’t compare to that first breath

       when I leave the steamed up bathroom,

   when I know everything’s out of my system.

  The air tastes

 that much cleaner

after I’ve put my liver

through the wringer.

                                                            Of course

I don’t like being hungover,

but it makes more sense than

                                      the vague grogginess

     I’m wading through right now.

Day 7

Friday night.  Everyone’s at Happy Hour.

They better be my goddamn friends again

in three months.  All we do together is drink

and play Smash Brothers, and no way I’m

picking up a controller with the rest of them

belching beer in my sober face.  They’re

a bitch to hang around when I’m shitfaced,

can’t imagine how obnoxious they’d be now.


Fucking amateurs, still keep tequila in the freezer.

Don’t even know how to get drunk right.  Why

am I hanging out with a bunch of kids anyway?

Not kids kids, but barely-legal-to-drink kids.


Better question: why the fuck am I home

by myself on a Friday night?  After 27 years,

you’d think I’d land myself somewhere

better than this.  Steph might still be up.

I can’t handle that tonight, though,

can’t take the just-friends-and-occasional-

drunken-fuck charade.  Why she took so long

to bail is beyond me.  I guess I could call

my brother, but then I’d be with an actual

kid, a sixteen year-old, and how pathetic

is that?


No, I’ll stay in tonight.  Alone.


Thinking about everyone else is

such a fucking pain in the ass.

Ocho de Mayo

A holiday binge may be monumental—
you might be a week on the mend—
but those limes in your beer are sentimental.
My drinking’s perennial, friend.

Yearly many acquaintances recommend
I toast eggnog with the nation,
but truly dedicated drinkers transcend
such holiday limitations.

I don’t need St. Pat to bless my libations
when I’m drinking from St. James’s Gate.
No Puebla excuse for Patrón hydration;
amigo, I’ve no need to wait.

Hit the bar with no date to commemorate
I’ve got nothing to celebrate.

After “Hitchin’ A Ride”

This is exactly what it looks like.  Yes, this is a beer, and that was a bottle of Jack.  It is now an empty bottle, hence the beer.  I had a bad day.

About an hour ago.  Yes, this is a recent development.  Why?  I told you, I had a bad day.  And you say I’m a bad listener.  No, there’s not more to it than that.  Look, grab a glass and join me, or leave me alone.  I’m fine.  I’ll go to a meeting and turn in my six-month chip when I’m hungover tomorrow.  Or I won’t.  I don’t really care at the moment.

Yes, I’m getting another beer.  Are you going to follow me to the kitchen?  Wonderful.  Cold one?  Okay, more for me.

For Pete’s sake, not with the crying.  That doesn’t get us anywhere.  You keep asking why.  Why, why, why.  Why the hell not?  I’m almost thirty, feel like I’m fifty—yes, I know I’m actually 27.  I’m buzzed, not retarded.  My point is, what exactly is everyone afraid I’m throwing away?  A dead-end job that barely covers my bills?  Dashing good looks that have never gotten me laid?  Look, I didn’t ask you to come over here, and I never asked for anyone’s help.  If I make you so goddamn sad, go cry about it with Mom.  You’re being less of a sister and more of a buzz kill right now.

Coming back to the living room?  Hello, anyone home?  Silent treatment, huh?  Always the mature one.  Well, join me if you decide you’re ready to stop sniffling and want to watch Army of Darkness or whatever else is on.

WHAT THE FUCK?!  Stop breaking the goddamn bottles!!  Jesus, and you’re the sober one?  You couldn’t just dump them down the drain?  Get out.  Yes, you got beer and glass all over my kitchen and I’m asking you to get the fuck out of my apartment before you break anything else.  Fine, tell Mom I kicked you out.  Just leave.  No, don’t bring her here.  What are you thinking?  She’s not going to change my mind.  What?  That doesn’t even make sense.  What are you going to do, break Dad’s urn over my head?  Yeah, that’s going to solve a lot.  Tell her whatever you want.  I’ll call her tomorrow.  Maybe.  I don’t know.  No, don’t tell her to call me.  Please, just leave.  Stop crying and leave, or leave and stop crying, whatever order you want to do it in.  Please just leave me alone.  One night, I just want to be alone and not worry about cleaning up after anyone.  When have I ever cleaned up after anyone?  Well, there’s the mess in the kitchen that’s waiting.  There’s all the times I bailed you out behind Mom’s back.  There was Dad’s funeral.  Look, I don’t want to talk about this now.  Jesus fuck, Laura, stop breaking shit!  You’re going to hurt yourself.  God, and you say I’m the one with a problem.