Drunk and Alone
On the side of the refrigerator spelled out were the Harrison family rules. Before I could read them, I had them memorized and I accepted the definitive discipline without hesitation. Hence, the name “Goodie-Two-Shoes” became my nickname, imposed upon me by my conspiratorial sister and brother who made it their daily business to break every rule as their mission statement.
If I saw a policeman on the street I would stiffen and walk a straighter line. If given a homework assignment in school, it was done before play. If there was no one watching, I did the right thing, until a demon reached down and grabbed me by the short hairs.
“Never drink alone.” I heard it as a rule. I don’t know who said it or where I was when I heard it but if it was said, even if it didn’t make complete sense, I always figured there had to be a legitimate reason for it to have been declared. Rules made me feel safe. Self discipline came naturally until I became acquainted with Miss Merlot and Sir Sauvignon.
When faced with the prospect of going to a bar as a woman alone, or sitting on my porch swing reading a book, the choice was easy for me. Home alone. Would it have been different, say, if I was not a single woman? Would it have been okay if I had a boyfriend or a husband that turned to wine with me to take the aches and pains of the workday, of life, away?
I remember the first day I made the decision to pick up a bottle of wine on my way home from work. The rationalization was convincing. “You work hard.” “You deserve to relax.” “Alcohol helps you forget what happened.” “What’s wrong with having one glass of wine after work?”
Until one glass became two, and then the glasses got bigger so I could rationalize having more than two. And now I have finished a whole bottle and I want more and I am home, drunk and alone, scared and defeated, knowing there is only one set of rules left I need to memorize.
Twelve to be exact.
The Twelve Steps.
#FICTION, although alcoholism is no stranger to my family