The morning started out innocently enough, but went downhill as the sun rose high in the sky. I found myself standing in the line of the convenience store with four green bottles of Thunderbird wine in hand and an uneasy feeling. I almost felt nauseous knowing what I was doing, but the urge to drink was just too strong. It is a compulsive urge that is hard to describe. You can't think farther than the moment at hand -- an acute lack of foresight and conscience.
"Did you get them?" Clara asked me anxiously as we walked back up to the shopping center. She had been waiting outside the store for me.
"Here," I replied as I handed a bottle of wine to her.
Impatiently, she unscrewed the cap and took a long drink after looking around for the police. I walked quietly drinking my wine, as well, feeling defeated. It was far too early in the morning to be drinking, but I always was a morning drunk.
"What are you doing today?" Clara then asked me.
"I am supposed to take my mother out to eat to a new restaurant tonight," I replied. "My father is in Florida for a football game."
"Doesn't look like you are going to be doing that!" Clara said with a laugh which only further deepened my surly and foul mood.
"Why do you drink?" I abruptly asked Clara in a moment of candidness.
"I just get bored and it passes the time. There is nothing to do when you are homeless," she said. "How 'bout you?"
"I drink to hide bad feelings and emotions. I drink to hide my pain," I said, finishing a bottle of wine -- that alcohol making my head swim.
I wanted to just go home and drink my Heineken and my last bottle of wine. I left Clara to trudge the thirty minutes home drinking wine as I walked. I didn't even care if someone saw me -- imbibing in broad daylight -- garnering many steely stares from passing motorists. I just no longer cared about anything. I was kind of hoping I would get arrested so I would have to stop drinking.
As I passed my mother's Catholic church, I said a prayer looking at the cross out front -- a prayer asking for healing and to cure me of this inescapable urge to drink. God didn't answer me back though. I was only consoled with an empty feeling. At least, the pain and the turbulent emotion I had been experiencing and feeling all morning were gone. I felt like a blank slate.
Sometimes I get winded by the truth. Suddenly, just out of the blue, every now and again, it hits me hard. It did just then, on my walk back home. This is normal for you, I thought. You're an alcoholic and alcoholics drink. Remember what they say in A.A. about being powerless over alcohol and you are. I never thought I would use a twelve step from A.A. as an excuse to drink. I chuckled to myself at the thought. I stepped into my bathroom upon arriving home to look long and hard at the man staring back at me. Sad eyes. Weak smile. So much history in the lines upon my face. It suddenly occurred to me what I was doing, how I was living -- how completely insane it is to be living like this, drinking my life away still, after all this time. And I almost just turned and ran in repulsion. I just couldn't bear it.