Friday, December 3, 2010

Where you don't want to be

I sat in my car in the liquor store’s parking lot, digging through my purse for the pain pills I’d been on for about two weeks. Tears were streaming down my face as fast as the raindrops hit my windshield. You’re about to toss this back with a tiny bottle of rum at 4pm before you skid back into the office just 100 yards down the road...seriously? I asked myself. Did this make me an alcoholic? In college, I found out my mom’s father was a raging alchie who made life miserable for his kids. Maybe I was about to fall in line. Mmmmmm...this would push Mom over the edge.

I wasn’t really worried. I didn’t have the discipline to be a serious drinker. My laziness would result in me not keeping booze in the house, and I wouldn’t make the effort to leave and visit a bar or liquor store. Sloth would keep me sober.

But my lazy streak won't stop a mental collapse, and when your meltdown occurs between meetings which take you past a liquor store in the afternoon, airplane bottles are not far behind. 

Rap rap rap! My heart, which has almost stopped anyway with the realization of how stupid and extreme my actions are, seizes completely and sits like lead in my chest. If I turn my head and see a cop, what will I do? Is it a moving violation if I'm not moving? Will the sobbing help or hurt?

But it's the cashier with the bad dye job who's run my scarf out to me. As the window slides down slowly, she eyes my tear-stained face and pill bottle and pauses a moment in the rain. She's not one to get involved, her face tells me. Still, her hand grabs mine a moment as she passes my scarf to me. I stare as she trots away, feeling sorry for myself, and my heart starts beating again. I regard the pill bottle in my hand and feel stupid and self-indulgent.

Screw itI'm not wasting perfectly good self-pity just because a stranger gave me a kind lookand I unscrew the tiny bottlecap.

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