Look like rivers of flowing veins.
Strange people who know me
Peeping from behind every window pane.
The girl I used to love
Lives in this yellow house.
Yesterday she passed me by,
She doesn't want to know me now.
Can you see the real me, can you?
-- From The Real Me by The Who
Shopping at the supermarket with the missus this afternoon we found ourselves going down the liquor aisle.
She asked if it was torture to look at all the booze. Here’s what I said: It’s like seeing an old girlfriend. One you had a lot of really good times with but it was a bad break up and while you have a lot of fond memories, what ultimately sticks out is the pain that she inflicted.
I did sigh looking at the Guinness Stout. I loved that stuff. A bottle of it would be quite tasty and leave my body with a warm and wonderful glow and a sense that all was well in the world. The after taste would be sublime, the drinking of it divine. The completion of the bottle satisfying. Pure contentment.
Then I’d want another. I’d have to build. It wasn’t enough. That feeling had to be doubled. Tripled. And quadrupled. Oh of course sooner or later it would be something else. Maybe just a cheaper beer to keep the high going. Maybe a glass of scotch to intensify it. And why not a few lines of coke to allow for more and more and more. I would be feeling so damn good it would seem like utter folly not to keep it going.
I would fly. I would bounce up to the stars and dance in mid air and score rhapsodic touchdowns of unending glory. I would be in the perfect body using the perfect mind and every utterance would be poetry and my soul would soar around the planet and every ounce of splendid youth would course through my body.
Sure the world would be fuzzy. But I wouldn’t notice that I was talking too loud. Sure my gait would be unsteady. But I wouldn’t be sure what her name was. That beautiful girl I was talking too. Or even if she was beautiful. Sure my words would come out jumbled. But I wouldn’t care what secrets I was revealing. Sure I’d sway too and fro. But I wouldn’t see the way some people were embarrassed for me. I made perfect sense to me and I was the only person who mattered. Or ever did.
Drunk. Blasted. Toasted. Shit-faced. Wasted. Smashed. Bombed. Stoned. Ripped.
And the next day. The morning. Greeting the dawn with a “fglmshchx?”
That awful pain residing in my head. Driving though and around and within and without my brain which as it was felt covered in syrupy sand. Hello guilt. How are you today? Hello depression, I guess you’ll be around for awhile. Hello weakness and lethargy and confusion and wonder. And a great big hello to what-the-fuck-did-I-do-last-night. And who did I say what to and where and how much money did I spend and never again. At least never again that loss of self. Control always and forever. Changes are coming. Reform. You’ll see. Lesson learned.
So I did feel a longing going down the liquor aisle. But I have now drank deeply from the cup of memories that I keep six packs and pint bottles and jugs of in my house and wherever I go.
I need to always remember that shit and what I used to do to myself. Because I am still and always be recovering.