Posted by: Laurel | August 18, 2009

Emma’s World Part I


I wake the usual way, nothing on my mind but the tall glass of ice cubes I left waiting in the fridge. Ready to go at all times. Another dandy day in store, I am sure. Richard stirs as I crawl out of the bed, grunting his usual greeting, “What time is it?”
“Six forty-five, give or take,” I answer, stubbing my toe on the snoring dog, “Damn fucking dog!” My morning drink isn’t too far away, only I’m not absolutely sure of my supply. Who knows what would be left on any given morning? I am pretty sure he wouldn’t dare drink it without my knowledge, but I am nowhere near positive. Not these days. Nobody trusts me anymore, and I trust no one in return.
I drag my 50 year old bones down the hall to the kitchen, anxious now to glimpse my alcohol supply. Truth be known, I haven’t been able to stomach much of the old Seagrams as of late. I need to drink some of it to ‘get steady’ but my belly is in some sort of rebellious mode. Up it comes, as soon as I taste it. Well here I go, today is new. I am probably all over that. A contrary stomach, that’s all it is.
My slippers squish softly over the kitchen tile, coming to rest in front of my favored cupboard for the whiskey, and reaching for the bottle, I find an unnervingly light vessel. I bring it up to the dawning light in the nook, squinting my eyes at the disappointing reality. “Christ,” I say, “Well, shit.”
Now for a plan, quickly before they wake. We have one vehicle in this household, only one, which can be a logistical pain in the ass when I am out of liquor. I stay home daily, tending to my self best I know how. And occasionally I tend to the others who live here, my hubby Richard and our 17 year old son, Michael. Since I still have about 20 minutes before they get up, I make my drink. The trembling is still there, though not as bad as it was yesterday. What I need now is one little sip.
“Hey Mom,” mumbles Mike as he reaches for the opened carton of milk, “What’s that?” I try to hide the empty scotch bottle behind my robe, but am unsuccessful.
“Damn it Mother…Have a cup of COFFEE for God’s sake,” and disappears around the hall corner. That went well, didn’t it? Oh, well, what can I do? Now for his father.
Shambling to my purse on the dining room table, I coax out my hairbrush and drag it through my tangles. Richard appears from down the hall grumbling and searching for something to drink. “Thirsty?” I ask as he downs a large bottle of chilled water. “Hey, is it all right if I drop you off at work this morning?”
“Why, what do you need, more booze?” asks Richard with only a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
“Well, as a matter of fact…” I reply.
“Emma, are you serious?”
“Well, what the hell happened to it last night? I did not drink all that on my own!”
“So you’re saying that I drank it?” “Why would I drink your whiskey?”
“Are you saying that I did?” I ask, appalled.
“Christ, Emma, do we have to do this every time?”
I let the tears fall. I am caught once again. Weak with the guilt of it all, I collapse into a kitchen chair.
Why am I so damned surprised at all of this? And I nurse my scotch, ice cubes tinkling their familiar tune.
“Go wash your face, hon, I’ll get the booze before work, just get cleaned up, won’t you?”
Off I go to take care of my face, defeated yet victorious as an alcoholic can possibly be.
Just another day.

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