27 May 2011

Another night... same barstool

For so many years, I thought I was "somebody" when I'd walk into a bar and the bartender would know where I'd sit and have my drink waiting for me. It wasn't till after I quit drinking that I finally was able to look back at all the years I wasted - being somebody. The reality was that I was a somebody that nobody wanted to be around.

September is "National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month." My story was one of those profiled on the government website for this event in 2006.

Life became more spiritual and meaningful after I admitted that I am an alcoholic. By the Grace of God I now have some substantial time with sobriety. Something I never dreamed was possible years ago. Miracles do happen everyday. If you don't think so, just look at someone you know who is a recovering alcoholic or addict.

Another Night... Same Barstool

the phone rings
shaking my head
the bartender calls my name
anger rises as I finish my drink
it disappears in two swallows

whispering… I rage at the wife
“I’ll be home later, don’t call again.”
returning to my seat
making eye contact
“another scotch and water”

staring at the glass
slowly with the straw… it’s stirred
juke box playing
people laughing
a rage is building

an unshaven old man slumped
in his chair at the other end of the bar
stares at a baseball game on the TV
a handful of barstools separate us

everyone else at tables
enjoying their own little get togethers
liquid courage lets me join in
where in a short time… I’m not welcomed

from table to table I go
ending up with the same results
disgust… with the obnoxious drunk
bouncing into people
stumbling around chairs

finally back to the comfort
of a barstool… sitting next
to an unshaven old man
watching a baseball game

“barkeep, give me another”
with a cold stare… grudgingly he pours
another scotch and water
“who’s playing? who’s winning?”
in a quiet voice… the old man
shares the game with me

that’s not enough…
my voice raises as I say neither team
could shine the Yankees shoes
he quits talking… trying to watch his game
I won’t be ignored any longer

every pitch… every foul ball
is a reason to attack his game
quietly the frail unshaven old man
finishes his glass of beer…
picks up his two quarters and a dime
and heads for the door

the bartender goes to the end of the bar
and now I sit… with a scotch and water
surrounded by empty barstools
with tables full of people…
and I’m not welcomed

finishing my drink
I leave a dollar on the bar
“see ya tomorrow, Jack”
and the crowd relaxes
as the door closes…
and I’m on the outside

but… I’ll be back

1 comment:

  1. thoughts from "Authors Den"

    Reviewed by Regis Auffray 8/27/2006
    Congratulations, Dave; and thank you for sharing this "slice of life" so honestly. All the best to you. Love and peace,


    Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 8/27/2006
    Thanks for sharing this!!

    Stay strong mate!!
    Love Tinka

    Reviewed by Ed Matlack 8/27/2006
    It sounds a lonely life...glad I gave it up...ed

    Reviewed by ... ... 8/26/2006
    Good to pass on the lesson.

    Reviewed by Sue Hess 8/26/2006
    dave, you hit it so perfectly, i can remember buying a round once after way too many and i caught a couple of the people enjoying my generosity but sharing a look that said, boy is she drunk...and i knew it was time to go home...that night anyway. i haven't had a drink in 17 years but i remember their smirk like it was yesterday.

    Reviewed by Felix Perry 8/26/2006
    Good rite filled with basic truth of life lesson. Fee

    Reviewed by Dove JoAnne Cromp (Reader) 8/26/2006
    Dave, I think your so brave and couaragous...The 12 steps are a God given steps by God to Bill W. and Dr. Bob to help the world..Thank you and look, we all slip..
    Peace & Love, Dove

    Reviewed by Gloria Buono Daly 8/26/2006
    Congratulations and thanks for sharing your prose and story. Hopefully this will inspire many others to recover from alcoholism. I'm wishing you a very happy and meaningful anniversary. Keep up the good work. My best, Gloria