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Friday, September 26, 2014

How Am I Different?


Last evening at the nail salon, I watched a young lady entertain two glasses of wine.  I found myself studying her carefully, as if she were a laboratory experiment.

She drank the first measure while her feet were being addressed.  She sat quietly, watching the other customers have their needs met, occasionally glancing at her phone.

When her toenails were dry, she switched to a seat at the counter and chatted with her manicurist.

From what I could gather, her name was Lisa.  She'd just returned from a vacation to Cabo.  I don't know where Cabo is, but it sounds tropical and rather lovely.  As well, she'd been involved in the planning of a friend's bridal shower.  The arrangements did not go smoothly.

It wasn't as if Lisa's behavior was extraordinary or even noteworthy.  Her second beverage sat largely untouched for the remainder of her appointment.  She was not wasted or making a scene.  She was just a girl, getting her nails done.  Having a drink.

I would have liked to contribute to the conversation, especially since the mani-pedi technician spoke very little English.  But instead, I said nothing.  A part of me was afraid.  I didn't want to get too close to the action.  Another part decided I didn't like her.  I was jealous.  She could drink, and I can't.

I wish I were able to enjoy a glass of wine like normal people.  Do cocaine and amphetamines like regular folks.  You see where I'm going with this, don't you? There's nothing normal about the way I perceive these options.

I don't always feel this way.  For the most part, I function comfortably in social settings.  I seldom have the urge to judge others as far as their beverage consumption is concerned.  It's not my business.  I can attend a get-together and not hole up somewhere until all the booze and drugs are gone.  I don't have to consider selling my shoes just to keep the party going.

I have a mysterious and baffling malady.  I need to recognize and acknowledge this condition on a daily basis.  Yesterday, I was an alcoholic and an addict.  When I woke up this morning, it was the same.  Tomorrow will be no different.  I must never forget what I am.  It's okay.  Really.

But this week's weather was rainy, and we have a sick goldfish at the house.  These are as good an excuse as any to jeopardize thirteen wonderful years of sobriety.

That's just the reality of things.  It sounds crazy because it is.

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