Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Day forty three...Absolution.

I think I'm going to be pretty messed up forever.

Not necessarily in a bad way. I'm not throwing in the towel. It's not like I plan on going back to the former me. That would be predictable and stupid. And I'm done with doing stupid things that are predictable, preventable, detrimental, and downright baffling.

No. I'm talking about the things that are beyond my control; the subconscious knee jerk reactions to everyday situations. The situations that, if happened upon by someone who is how you say, not addicted to everything, might not even draw attention.

I had to get back to work at the Gallery today. I set my alarm for 8 am and got my lazy ass out of bed.

I had a delicious cranberry muffin split lengthwise and grilled to perfection in a copper bottom skillet.

I brewed myself a cup of green tea and served it to myself in my "F is for Fred" mug. I love that mug. It's so true.

I enjoyed both of these delicacies in a civil manner at my kitchen table while flipping through the latest copy of Guitar Player.

I headed downtown.

It was cold; freezing even.

I got to the Gallery at 5 till 9.

Upon arriving, I did my usual check around the entrance for litter that may be accenting the natural beauty of the almost 100 year old former bank. Most of the time there will be a pizza box, or an aluminum to-go container. God knows how hard it is to throw things away these days; what with trash cans littering the streets every 20 feet and all. Sometimes, the discarded pizza box is turned into one of those signs that bums use to remind us how fortunate we are. To remind us that there are people out there surviving on pizza crusts. To remind us that, because of our choices in life, we can afford the rest of the pizza. One man's platter is another man's billboard I suppose.

But today I saw something different. It was a small, brown Dixie cup. It was pretty clean. I picked it up and looked inside. It had an inch of clear liquid on the bottom; frozen solid.
Anyone in their right mind would have just thrown it away; seen if they could make the jump shot from mid court. But not me.

I did what my head, heart and liver told me to do.

I smelled it.

I honest-to-christ smelled it like I was expecting it to be booze. Expecting it to be my favorite; vodka.

What the hell did my subconscious think I was going to do? Did it think I was going to bring it inside like a baby bird with a broken wing and nurse it back to health? Was my brain telling me I should let it melt and enjoy it languorously while sitting next to the dumpster?

I mean really. It was fucking frozen.

Back in the early nineties, I lived with a few people out in a farmhouse in Sunderland. The Farmhouse. It was a famous party house. And I made life a living hell for the poor bastards who I fooled into letting me sign the lease. I remember one guy named Steve.

Steve didn't drink much, but he did occasionally buy a bottle of Absolut.

They have posters up at the post office which show the men wanted by police for various, serious crimes.

In a more perfect world, there would be pictures up at the liquor store informing unaware shoppers of who might drink all the booze left over from their dinner party.

One night, after I had drank all my rum, I thought I'd try to outsmart Steve. Each time I opened the freezer to pour my dwindling supply of Captain, I'd notice the bottle of Absolut, 1/4 full. Soon, that was all I could think about because my rum was gone.

I had a plan.

I'd pour a nice glass of Absolut, and then replace what I had 'borrowed' (read: stolen) with some fresh Sunderland tap water; which is exactly what I did. Then I passed out.

I woke up to the sound of a very disappointed and perplexed Steve.

"Awwww...this vodka froze."

Like I said, Steve didn't drink much.

I never did tell him what I had done with his vodka. Neither did I fill him in on the physics of liquor at minus zero temperatures. I would hazzard to guess that to this day he keeps his vodka safely at room temperature.

By safely I mean far away from me.

So I ended up throwing away the Dixie cup I had found at the Gallery almost as quickly as I had picked it up.

But not before this scenario played out in my mind:

Two bums are hanging out together. One bum has poured the last of his Popov vodka from it's handsome plastic vessel into a nondescript Dixie cup. His 'friend' takes a big pull off his companion's brown Dixie cup when he's not looking. He thinks fast. He pours a little water from his canteen into his buddie's cup and lets it sit. They pass out. Upon waking, the first bum, who is a social drinker, picks his Dixie cup up and is overheard uttering in a disappointed and perplexed tone of voice...

"...Awwww...this vodka froze..."

Like I said: I think I'm going to be pretty messed up forever.


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