American Drama Fiction

TW: substance abuse

Alchy- A lush, heavy drinker, a boozer, partier


Alchy- an alcoholic, continued excessive and uncontrollable use of alcohol.


Agghh…Ooooh…blaaarrgh!!! He woke up again with the familiar pain and sickness, not even running for the toilet. He had staged a small trash can next to the couch he passed out on, anticipating waking up. After a few hurls of black stringy substance and a few dry heaves, he sat up straight and grabbed a handtowel lying on the coffee table to wipe the sweat streaming from his forehead.


Whoooh..he exhaled a long breath, catching his composure. God, I’ve got to stop doing this! Expressing his feeling of guilt and anger at himself for being in such a state again.


A trimmer began to rise through his hands, and he felt the oncoming of shakes. The shakes were the worse; they made things impossible to manipulate with his hands. He could not write or barely hold anything. Grabbing his cell phone off the table to look at the time, he tried to steady it against the side of his leg. It was a foolish errand; the cell phone fell to the floor, his hands too unsteady to keep a firm grip.


Upon the table sat a whiskey glass containing a small dose of bourbon and melted ice water. The man reached out and grabbed the glass with trembling hands just to get the last swallow. His shaky hand caused most of the liquid to spill onto his lips and chin, which he quickly lapped up. After wiping his chin with the back of his hand, he placed it at his mouth, sucking the dribble from it.


He stood up without any problems other than feeling some sickness in his stomach. Just get to the fridge and throw a few ice cubes into the glass, then a nice pour of whiskey. He knew that would fix him right. He got to the refrigerator and opened the freezer door, cramming the glass onto a shelf between frozen vegetables and meat.


He stuck his hand into the ice bin that collected the frozen cubes of water like some mining contraption capturing ore from the ether. The cold vapor from the freezer bin drifted outward in a wisp of white steam, and it gave some reprieve to his current state of being. His left hand gripped a few cubes of ice within the bin while he supported himself with the right hand grappled onto the whiskey glass on the food shelf. He could feel the glass starting to freeze. His shakey left hand deposited the cubes into the glass with the willpower of its own making. The brain knew it had a mission to accomplish.


A 750ml whiskey bottle sat on the counter next to the fridge in which a quarter bottle of liquid salvation remained from the previous day. Removing the glass from the freezer and shutting its door, he made his way over to the bottle sitting the glass down next to it. Now it was just a matter of opening the bottle and pouring the drink.


Pouring a drink is an effortless task for an average person. Still, it’s a Herculean feat for a person within the beginnings of Delirium Tremens.


He gripped the bottle into his right hand and pulled the cork top from the spout, raising the bottle over the glass and tilting the nozzle toward the large mouth of the glass. It was a failure; his trembling hand caused the whiskey to pour out indiscriminately like someone shaking a water hose at a plant. Some whiskey made it into the glass, while a good portion made it all over the counter next to it.


Fuck this! He turned the bottle up and brought it up to his mouth, taking in a large gulp. Immediately he felt the warmth of the whiskey coursing through his entire being. It felt like rapture as he guzzled down one large drink. His hands began to steady, but the relief was broken by a sudden urge to vomit. He slammed the bottle back onto the counter. He rushed for the toilet, which he made just in time to began 10 minutes worth of vomiting, sweating, and tearing up due to the violent wrenching of his body.


Once finished with the toilet ritual, he went to the bathroom sink and turned on the cold water to douse his head and rinse his mouth. Water still running, he lifted his head to the mirror above the sink and stared into a red face with bloodshot eyes. Tears streamed down for a moment, How can I be like this? How did I become this? He just wiped his face and regained his composure, and sucked it up. You know what to do! Stop pussying about and get to it! he shouted at his self to whip himself out of melancholy.


He marched back into the kitchen and grabbed a can of beer from the fridge while heading for the whiskey mess at the counter. He opened the beer, took a swig, and sat it next to the whiskey glass. He filled the glass a quarter full of whiskey as he felt the shakes starting to come on again.


Holding up the glass of whiskey, This will fix that right up. He commented as he took a drink from the glass, followed by a swig of beer. He continued with this act for several minutes until his mind registered an alcohol level that it had become accustomed to. Once at the appropriate amount of intoxication, he began his routine of getting ready for the day: showering, getting dressed, checking the news, maybe trying to eat some breakfast. He would intermittently take a drink of beer or a sip of whiskey during his time doing all these things. Keeping the shakes at bay was critical to the success of finishing his tasks.


Tomorrow I will be flying out to get on ship, so I won’t be able to drink for 5 weeks. And this time, I will stay dry. He told his self while filling the whiskey glass with the remaining amount of whiskey. Well, mine as well run to the liquor store and make this an excellent last day before sobriety. Hell, packing up won’t take me 15 minutes anyway, and Josh will be taking me to the airport tomorrow no need to worry about driving once I get back.


He worked on a marine seismic vessel that did oil and gas exploration offshore around the world. It was a good job that paid well and required a lot of travel, which he loved. Most of the time, he worked down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana or Texas. Still, occasionally he would get put on a project in the North Sea or off the coast of Brazil. The hardest part of the job was that the work rotations lasted 5 weeks, so for 5 weeks, he would be stuck on a seismic ship offshore, working 12 hours shifts 7 days a week. This could get grueling to some, but for him, he enjoyed being at sea and had no problems like some of the guys when rough weather hit and the ship would toss like a toy in sea swells of 20-foot waves. But once the 5 weeks were up, a new crew would arrive to relieve them, and then he would be off for 5 weeks while still being paid. So the pay, travel, and schedule made the job enjoyable for him, but one of the extra bonuses was that there was no alcohol once on ship.


He would spend the first few days onboard feeling like dogshit, but he would feel like an ordinary sober person within a week. It felt great being free of alcohol, and each time he would tell himself the same thing. This time when we get off, I am going to stay sober, no drinking period! Each time the rotation was complete and the crew disembarked at the port. He would find himself at a bar that very evening. Whatever port the ship may be at, be it Houston, New Orleans, Aberdeen, or Bergan (to name a few), having beers with the crew followed by the whiskey. It was fun; how could he resist? To be in a different city or a foreign country for a night waiting for the flight home the following day and not go out to celebrate the end of another rotation with the boys?


After picking up another bottle from the liquor store, he decided to make a quick stop at a bar not far from his house. It had snowed the previous night, and the turn into the bar entrance was slightly icy as the sun had set and temperatures were starting to drop. His car slid somewhat as he made the turn into the parking lot. Whoa! Gotta watch the road after leaving; it’s beginning to freeze again, he commented as he corrected his turn then pulled up next to the entrance to the bar. I’ll have a couple, then get home before it gets icy or starts snowing again, is what he told himself.


“Hey, buddy, what’s happening? You’re usual?” the young bearded bartender asked him as he walked up to the bar and took a seat. He’d stop in this bar at least once a week while at home.


You know it, Brad, a PBR and a double bourbon on the rocks. Brad had already grabbed the can of beer from the fridge and picked up a whiskey glass from the rack of glasses behind the bar. Brad knew his clientele.


“Here you go, man,” Brad sat the beer in front of him, opening the tab, then placed the whiskey glass with ice next to the beer filling it with a double shot of bourbon.


“I thought you were quitting the drinking, man?” Brad asked him with a smile.


You know Brad, I am quitting, starting my next break. I’ll stop for sure then.


“It’s all good, brother. You’re family here. But you know what it is, Chris? It’s commitment. You’re a committed drinker. You’ve told me almost every time you’ve come in here that you are quitting. That takes surrender; at least, that’s what my brother tells me. He was a hard drinker for 20 years and has been dry now for 10. He said it takes surrender. But anyway, man, I’d miss you coming in. Just sayin, though.


Surrender? Hmm…I don’t like the sound of that word. He took down half of the whiskey in one gulp. Fill’er back up before you take off Brad. No sir, I have quit before, and I will stop again, and this time when I stop, I will control myself. No more of this drinking everyday nonsense. He nodded as Brad topped off the whiskey. An hour and a half later and several more rounds, he decided to return home and have a couple more before passing out. Tomorrow’s going to come really fast. Hey! Hey Brad! I’m outta here, buddy. Keep the change and see you next time.


“Alright, my man. Thank you and have a good trip. Hey, you going to be alright to get home, man?” Brad shouted from the end of the bar, but Chris was already at the door on his way out. Brad shook his head and went back to chatting with a female customer.


There was one long corner of the road about a mile from his house. He had taken the corner a little too fast, and his passenger front tire gripped snow at the edge of the road. The snow combined with the car’s momentum pulled the vehicle off the road and down into the deep ditch alongside it. There was no way to correct the course of the vehicle. The depth of the snow sucked him straight in. Even after the car came to a complete stop, there was no way to drive it out without a tow. He gave several attempts to break free out of the ditch, but it was a fool’s errand without getting a pull. He sat in the car for a few minutes, thinking about what to do and how to get the car home before it got too late. DIO played on the radio, “Do your demons, do they ever let you go?” when he noticed the flash of blue and red lights from the road above him.


Six Months Later


I stand here before you today, a changed man. When I was arrested, I blew a 0.25. A super extreme DUI, and I were acting as if I had just had a beer. I was lucky I had only gone into a ditch and not into another motorist. The officers that arrested me were even asking me how I was able even to stand. It was a commitment. I learned that from an old friend. I was a committed drinker. I could quit at any time that I had control. That friend also told me about surrender. I could commit to not drinking or control how much I drank and be ok. I didn’t understand that I am an alcoholic and that I couldn’t commit to not drinking. For me to quit drinking, I had to learn to surrender. I had tried time and time again to stop drinking. I did not know the full context of my problem, and it wasn’t until I did and surrendered to something more than myself, I was able to be here in front of you today sober. Not a drop in six months, and that is more than I have done in 30 years. I used to laugh and casually call myself an alchy as I partied until I was true to myself and admitted I was an alcoholic.

July 08, 2021 23:51

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