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To live forty years in a haze, looking
back on superficial relationships that
crumbled under the slightest strain,

I look for “fault” like the rainbow her
rain, and I stumble on Alcohol, C2H5OH
ethyl, again and again and again.

I think it’s fair to say, that I am an alcohol
baby, am lucky to still be here, but while
some can point behind them to

relationships made, sexual experiences and
love, then to Now at children, grey-haired
husbands, heading toward grandparenthood

and heaven above:

I have my twelve steps, amends to make, no
child in sight, a virgin until thirty-three;
dysfunctional at intimacy, I drank alcohol

instead of expressing each feeling, the devil
within me living and breathing, since that
first fateful sip I wish I never took on Dad’s

lap at five, evil and all bad incarnations of fear
and escape becoming my day-to-day, thinking
all was fine as I stepped up to every sport (a

must-win), girls were not to be tried as the prize
was not in my eyes, everything was an achievement
to achieve, love no place to penetrate,

I convinced myself that tenderness was an unnecessary
dream, I’d get there eventually with the right
mix of booze, the right lie of fools—I had no

idea I was spinning a coil of pain, still uncoiling
today, fifteen-plus years after walking away from
the devil alcohol, what a horrible wreckage my past

is, full of empty achievement and missed love
connections, the glory of the young female body—
missed, maybe forever, as I gray and sag more

everyday.  Time doesn’t wait for the sick, and the
healthy move on to create the next generation of
what we make—let’s hope they stay away from

the flammable liquid that tempted me, let’s
hope they can avoid the suicidal depression that
almost killed me in my twenties; let’s hope

they put God and Love ahead of human doings
and “achievements,” which are nothing without
love and God to fill the cup of certain joy.

Love, sweet love, was not for me when young
and strong, body firm and beautiful—yes I used
to be!!  A body wasted to the alcohol chase,

fear and escape, having the love instinct but
squashing it under fearful feet, I was spiritually
dead, now look around the ghetto where I live,

and have not one single friend from the “good
old days,” because it seems they could handle
a drink or two and have nice families!

There’s no self-pity or sorry at this time, and if
this poem started to sound that way I’m sorry for
the confusion, as I would say that my feelings

on being an alcohol baby are good in that they
reflect proper, healthy Regret, one I can use to
teach any of the next generation I have contact

with, maybe even the children of my old friends
who avoid me, have no time for me, have no need
to pause for as they sign the chit on their

social club bills… Haha, what a thrill, until it all goes
away and you join me when alcohol sneaks
up behind you, keep an eye on your kids but

you first, show an example of what and what
not to do, rethink the drink of colorless, flammable,
volatile liquids, in fact I’d avoid it and feel all

your feelings a ‘natural—even the pain!!  Yes,
the pain, that short term kind, even the nagging
chronic variety.  Better to feel it all, than to run

away into your medicine cabinet, the liquor bar
going down in ecstasy, coming back in double-time
pain, headaches, bad tummy and dehydration—

Joy is dependent on pain’s triumphant overcoming,
so the next time you are tempted to flee your
life for a night in toxic “drink,” steer instead

directly into the storm of your pain, and welcome
that rainbow coming soon at the heels of
victory, joy does not exist without it, let

God instead of lower powers heal you, but in
the end, there’s nothing we can sometimes
do but try to tell the truth, recognize when we

were wrong, try to turn around, do right. Pick
up the disaster debris, and hope