Rise & S-high-ne

The sad, lonely morning routine of a struggling alcoholic.

It is 5:45 in the morning as my eyes crack open from yet another dreamless night. The sounds of smooth jazz playing from the TV still fills the parlor as I slowly begin to rise. I have zero chance of falling asleep naturally anymore so I go back to ole’ faithful; jazz music. My mother would play Kenny G to put me to sleep as a child and thankfully he still does the trick for me during my adult child days, along with whatever sleeping pills I am prescribed at the given moment. Oh, I almost forgot the half empty warm alcoholic beverage that is left sitting on the coffee table alongside a few empty nips and a small plate. How could I ever try to fall asleep without that delectable concoction?

That is the bare minimum needed to help put at ease a mind racing like the Daytona 500 from the dozen or so pain killers I consumed throughout the day. I wish it could be like the old booze filled nights when I would just pass out like any normal person who drank too much that evening. But my mind, body, and soul are far beyond any amount of alcohol to cause such an achievement. Those nights of passing out are farfetched dreams these days, that is if I ever did dream. Spoiler alert; I don’t, remember?

My excessively shaking hand finds the clicker and instinctively changes the tunes from saxophones to the talking heads on Sportscenter. The dark room lightens up from the new channel and lucky me, I notice one of the nips isn’t empty after all and I remove the red cap and guzzle down the remainder. Even in the early dawn hours the rush of warm cinnamon whiskey into my body completely unphases my uber-tolerant throat. The foggy haze that is my mind clears up just enough to get me off the couch so I can put that warm half empty malt beverage into the freezer. I still have around two hours to get through until the packies open so every ounce counts until then. These shakes must be tended to somehow, right?

On my way back to the comfy sleeping habitat I call my couch I alter my route to where a normal person sleeps; the bedroom. I know there is half a pill left from the prior days exploits carefully hidden in my “medicine” drawer. Its concealment is in case someone burglarizes my house in the middle of the night and artfully sneaks past my two massive dogs, I still know it’s in a safe place. I rescue the broken pill and soon have it crushed into a fine blue powder on the coffee table back in the parlor. As the said massive dogs lie on both sides of me, oblivious to my actions, I breakthrough my congested nasal cavity and a slight euphoria fills my brain. Ahh, normalcy! I lay back down between my dogs into my sunken crevice of the couch staring through the TV screen playing highlights from the previous nights’ sporting events. The sun begins to slowly shine through the plethora of windows in the adjacent room as the countdown to eight am continues. Tick tock.

With the eight o’clock hour fast approaching I put on the everyday attire of a true alcoholic; sweatpants and a hoodie. Fortunately for me, I have enough hooded sweatshirts to keep a baseball squad warm, so the locals can't tell how disheveled I really am when I venture out into public. My pups are now up and ready for their morning excursion down the stairs and into their grassless abyss I call my backyard. One day I will turn it into a luscious oasis for them to roam, I keep telling them and myself. But it's 7:57am so I must tend to Jason’s needs as their puppy eyes watch my jeep speed off into the distance.

A half mile later I arrive at my destination, stop number one of many for the day. Once I enter the store the owner acknowledges my entrance meaning its 8:00am on the dot and he turns the cooler lights on. He knows my routine better than I do and has the change ready for my usual; a malt beverage, the local paper, and the daily numbers ticket for my nana. After we exchange pleasantries I head out with the mutual understanding of seeing one another in precisely 24 hours.

Once home, my eager dogs patiently wait at the gate, tails wagging enthusiastically as if I just arrived back from a long vacation. It is 8:05am. I walk into my nana's first floor dwelling to hand her the paper and ticket in which she gives me three dollar bills even though I insist she don't every single morning. I then head upstairs to pour my pups their morning meal and before they can indulge in some fine dollar store dog food I am already back to my crevice wetting my pallet with a delicious fruit punch flavored malt beverage. All inhabitants are now happy.

Enjoy what you read? Check out the author's bestselling book Stop Thinking Like That: No Matter What for much more motivating, inspirational, and gut-checking stories that will help you find yourself living your best life, too!


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