The Trouble with Alcohol

Me and Alcohol will never be soulmates. No matter how hard I have tried to give it my adoration, it has always rejected me, leaving me feeling disappointed and regretful each and every time.

“Don’t touch me,” it says.

“But I want you,” I say back.

“I can’t give you what you want,” it says.

“But I love you,” I say back.

The easy solution would be to spare myself the heartbreak and take myself out of its picture entirely, but the exit has been challenging.

Everywhere I look, there it is; sitting in my kitchen, following my friends, trailing me at the supermarket.

It has taken some time, but I’d say that I’m about 90% there. 90% of the time Alcohol waits for me at the bar, flexing its muscles and begging me for attention. When I can resist, I usually end up down by the pool table, deep in conversation with another stranger who has faced Alcohol’s wrath, or at least, with the kid who is tripping on mushrooms.

But there is still 10% of me that wishes Alcohol wanted me back, and so I give it another chance, time and time again. I wait outside its door, begging it to let me in, begging for its delusion.

“Please hold me,” I say. “I don’t want to be alone tonight.”

“Ok, you can come in for a little while,” it says.

When I wake up the next morning, it has left me alone in its bed. There is no note. There is only a lingering smell on the sheets and a line of memories racing through my head, reminding me of why I should have stayed home.


Playing it cool

I don’t want to “play it cool.”

I don’t even know what thats supposed to mean.

Am I not supposed to say what’s on my mind?

Or text you first?

Or send you a message saying “Hey, where’d you go?” when you start a conversation with me and then just leave in the middle of it?

I’m infuriated by this game of cool.

Is it the reason you’re running from me like I’m the plague?

I’ve never been a game person.

But out of all the stupid games in the world, I hate this one the most.

You’d Never Be a Book

There’s the stories we tell other people, and then there’s the truth.

Tell me you’re an open book, and I’ll tell you you’re lying.

People rip books to shreds.

Maybe not right away, but eventually the paper rips, the inks fades, and the pages start to fall out.

You don’t want to be a book. You don’t want your cover torn off.

You’re a story, but you’d never be a book.

The Painter

I see you galavanting around Europe like a pony.

That smile so big, your eyes so bright.

With that pretty blonde-haired girl. She’s really beautiful-looking like you.

I can see that you love her, in the way you take her picture.

I bet you two have deep philosophical discussions in a language I don’t know.

She loves your loss for words, and in turn you paint her face.

The Lady on the Street Corner

In my neighborhood, there’s this old lady who sits on a curb.

She makes her way around; the curb on the street corner, the curb outside my window, the curb across from the parking lot.

At first, I thought she was homeless, but I found out from a friend that this lady lives in an apartment that her parents bought for her right across the road.

She looks like she’s 80, but I heard that she’s really only 50 or so. She’s so skinny, her legs are like twigs and her skin all shriveled up.

She’s harmless, though.

Every day and night she sits there and asks for a cigarette. To every person that walks by, she says “Do you have a cigarette?.”

My bedroom is right by the front porch, so when my windows are open, I can hear her coughing outside, picturing her curled up on the curb like she always is. It sounds like she has lung cancer. I think about how I would get her to the hospital sometimes.

What if she dies on the curb, I ask myself. What would I do?

I don’t know why she always wants a cigarette. Out of everything, why that? Why do our brains want any of the things they do?

I keep thinking that something must have happened to her a long time ago, and that she’s just looking for something to hold on to.

Maybe the cigarette makes her feel safe.

Maybe it’s the only thing she can rely on.

I want to help her, you know, I really do. I don’t want her to sit on the curb anymore and ask for a cigarette.

I think her name is Star, or maybe that’s just her nickname.

Every time I feel sorry for myself, I just look outside my window at Star.

If I gave her a cigarette would I be helping her?

I really don’t know.