“I outta go ever there and kick your father’s skinny ass!” George exclaimed when I told him about me having run out of food and having to wait a day for more. “He would never be doin’ that to your haughty taughty doctor brother and sister!”
I told George everything as we sat in his Caprice, listening to the radio and smoking. The mental illness flare up. My bingeing constantly on food. The pacing of the floor till I was exhausted. Smoking until my throat was raw. The drinking of two large bottles of wine until I was blitzed. I shouldn’t have told all I told, but I needed a friend to talk to. And isn’t that what friends are for?
“I drank a pint of whiskey two weeks ago,” George then told me, catching me off guard. “That’s why I wouldn’t allow momma to throw me a sobriety party. I was so ashamed. I didn’t tell anybody and it has been eating me alive!”
We both grew very quiet – this congregation of fallen men. The hazy blue smoke from our Swisher Sweets filled the car as a gospel rendition of Amazing Grace played on the radio. I thought it was fitting for the moment.
“Come on,” George said, opening the driver’s side door. “Let’s get momma to fix you some cubed steak sandwiches for today. She had plenty left over from last night’s supper.”
Mrs. Florene fixed me four steak sandwiches and then put a bunch of potato chips in a big Ziploc bag. She gave me a big hug as I was leaving.
“Don’t tell your mother about us drinking, okay?” I asked George as I was getting in my car with the bag of food. “It would devastate her.”
“I won’t,” George replied. “And me and you both are getting back on track. Deal?”
“Deal,” I said back with a weak smile.
I drove home feeling better having spilled my guts. It is going to be extremely comforting to me today to have some of Mrs. Florene’s steak sandwiches to eat. I feel much better today than I have in over a week.