Now I understand why she absolutely hated nights when we didn’t drink.
There were those innumerable nights when we’d end up going at each other’s throats just because she wanted to drink and I didn’t. We’re not talking about your usual Friday after-work rinse here or the scheduled weekend liver beatdown. Believe it or not, we’re talking about Tuesdays or Wednesdays–even Mondays.
I’d notice it early in the day. Like she’s not comfortable with how the day’s turning out. As if she knew where this was all heading. I knew where. I knew I’d end up in bed, watching TV, which was exactly how I wanted it to be night after night after night. And I made it clear to her. I made it clear that the only thing I longed to do after the work’s done and all the clothes were thrown on the floor or barely hanging on the edge of the bed was to lie back, relax, and watch the goddamn TV. Maximize the use-value of that wretched, silver box of pictures, which weighed a freakin’ ton. Almost broke our backs when we carried it from Recto onto that plastic table where it sat for quite a long time.
But she wanted no part of it. No part of TV watching. No part of lying on the bed. Heck, she begged to be left out of cuddling or anything mushy for that matter.
She had to drink.
And you know what? I really understand it now. Why we had to fight over this simple thing.
It doesn’t seem absurd to me now to be walking to the office, feeling uncomfortable with how the day’s turning out. Because I know where it’s all heading and, the truth is, I don’t wanna be there.
And another truth is that I don’t really miss her–well, not as much as somebody who’s supposed to admit that he misses someone should miss that person. What I mean to say is that tonight, with these feelings in my heart and the thoughts in my mind, I still don’t have the right to say I miss her.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand her ’cause I really get it now probably more than ever.
This thirst for alcohol is the thirst for something different. It’s the desire to grasp father time by the beard and say, “Wait a fuckin’ minute, bozo!” To mark this day as this and tomorrow as that. To chop up life into little, potently intoxicating chunks of memories that you could admire when you’re sober and sitting at a coffee shop somewhere. This thirst is a faint whisper as loud as a scream in the middle of a busy crossroads to make everyone stop for a bit. Or, you know, hypnotize yourself into thinking that they’re indeed stopping even when you know deep inside they’re not. Nothing’s stopping for anything.
In other words, the whole point was to avoid this crushing feeling on the train home that you did exactly what you did yesterday and it’s utter madness. Utter madness.
I always thought she had a twisted childhood development that made her long too much for friends, acquaintances–drinking buddies who won’t be there when dawn broke. But why would she want anybody else? I was there.
But I get it now. It doesn’t work that way and watching TV, relaxed on a bed with somebody in your arms doesn’t fix jack squat. Even when I was there, she was lonely and kinda tired of tomorrows.
And you know what? So am I.