Day One is always the easiest, at least for me. I’ve had lots of Day Ones where drinking is concerned. Day One usually consists of either waking up with a massive headache, or waking as I did yesterday morning, feeling like someone was burning a hole into my stomach. I do not know why I have a weak stomach where alcohol is concerned. Just lucky I guess. I have a weak stomach and I dehydrate easily. If I don’t drink a gallon of water while I’m overindulging in booze then I’m certain to wake with a headache. The headache triggers the stomach, and the next thing that I know I’m praying to the porcelain God. The last time that this happened I was in Paris, so it was a special vomit. I got lucky yesterday, if you call four hours with a burning stomach, lucky.
What got to me, and as I stated, caused me to do this vain blog, was that the burning stomach caused me to be unable to write. I sat at my desk yesterday morning, head down, after sketching out two poems. I listened to the radio and “ripped” CDs onto my iPod. My usual morning dj wasn’t even around to comfort me. Maybe he was off nursing the same thing. But like I said, I cannot abide missing a writing morning. I can cause all the damage I want to, but I need to be up and ready to do it at 5 a.m. I wasn’t. So I punish myself for it.
Day One could’ve been bad. It was my first day back to work after a week off in L.A./San Diego, touring Southern California and taking in the Bukowski exhibit. The minute I returned to work I was informed of all of the problems I’d missed in the last week, the bad kids, the incident reports, people calling off, etc., etc. I was reintroduced to all of the miserable faces of the work world, faces that I had forgotten completely during my week off. Had I not been sick with a burning stomach, I would’ve wanted a drink right then in there. In fact I thought about it for the better part of the early afternoon….until I created a blog that is. Now most people will find this blog dumb and most will not read it, and that is fine. I’m doing this to keep me honest.
And it worked, I think. Got home from work and immediately wanted a drink. Wanted to sit back with my wife and bitch about the work day, and have one, two, three scotch and waters while the AL playoffs played low on the tv, the neighbor’s television hummed through our walls, and people shouted on the block. I could feel myself getting anxious and nervous. Something was missing in this shit swirl of the after work world. I’m Pavlov’s home drunkard. I looked at my wife and “fucking blog,” was all that I could say. I started sliding, making up reasons why I could have a drink. Why I didn’t need a break even though I could not remember the last time I went without a drink. Even that vomitus day in Paris, I was sipping on red wine by the middle of the afternoon. I was primed.
But the feeling passed. Day One. I had water and lemonade instead. I let the booze and wine great me from within in the cold, yellow comfort of the fridge, and I did nothing. I thought, shit, if I can’t even make it one day with this then what good am I? I figured I had plenty of other days to fuck up. There was tomorrow, after the reality of the work week really set in. There was Halloween in two weeks, or maybe even this Friday night when the work week was over and I had nothing to do with myself until Monday morning. Plenty of time to have this business come crashing down on me.