It’s been a bit of a weird time lately, drinks-wise.
Selectively missing the afternoon beer binges. First of all, I’ve been just sort of missing the beer of old. In the early days of quitting alcohol, I had these horrific cravings every afternoon. After a few weeks, they stopped. I remember being surprised at how they didn’t fade away, but rather stopped abruptly. Okay, I thought, this is how it goes.
The last couple of weeks, it’s changed — here at 160-ish-plus days, and I’ve got this low-grade nostalgia. Same time of day, mid-afternoon, and I feel myself wishing I could check out in the manner that I used to. (Selectively missing just the first beer and a half. That old addict bullshit of clinging to the good memories and deleting the awful stuff that was only minutes behind.) It’s nothing I can’t decide against, but I find myself resisting its presence, wishing it would go away. And wondering why I’m feeling this now. Just a wave, I suppose. Trying to inquire inside myself and find out what the real desire or need is, but nothing’s coming.
Figuring out the layout of the table. A while ago I wrote about the awkwardness of sitting around a big table lined with dressed-up people having a formal meal, with the table dotted with wine glasses, and hating how my big green bottle of sparkling water stood out. It was hulking there. I didn’t give a rip that anyone knew I wasn’t drinking, but for some reason that bottle irritated the hell out of me. (I should have taken a picture, now that I have a little tradition of posting pictures of my drinks on this blog. Can you imagine me whipping out my phone to snap a shot of the table?)
Well, I’m on another one of those trips for work (same group of people), and this time I didn’t add the hulking green bottle to the table. I just lacked the wine glass next to my plate. It worked beautifully. There was a jumble of water glasses and wine glasses on the table. I sipped my water. Ah, the tiny little things that make this sober life smoother!
Finding myself without access to the fake beer I thought I needed. After the meeting was over, I made up an excuse about why I couldn’t join this obnoxious guy for dinner and went out by myself to an Irish pub and read the Sunday paper from home. The temperature was perfect for sitting outside, and I got a table on the edge of a balcony and settled in for some shepherds pie.
I asked the waitress for a nonalcoholic beer. She said they were out. Aagghh! I really needed that motion of having a beer. My mind flashed lightning fast past the idea of ordering a real one. (These longings, remember…) Arg. She listed all of the other drinks available and all of them were sweet, and boring. I then had this brilliant idea of ordering my stand-by drink from home, out on the road. I described to her the sparkling water, ice, and cream. She was lovely. Thought for a moment, and said, yeah, I can do that.
It felt like love. On many other days, out and about after a stressful day of work (stressful for my introvert), I would have been out having a few glasses of wine to forget about it. Pouring harsh alcohol into my system.
Now they’re bringing me my drink. Sometimes the world takes care of you if you let it.