Whiskey Cowgirl

We were two whiskey cowgirls in the concrete desert

We had cowgirl hats, boots and southern drawls, but what I remember most is the whiskey

She introduced me to that now-familiar burn

I shot it back like I was born with a bottle in my hand, playing it cool as my esophagus was scalded

I later came to understand the influence of my genetics (coming from a long line of alcoholics) and my environment (growing up around drinkers- it was the norm)

We left our small towns for the big city when we were young and pretty. I was 18 and she was 19 when we met.

She put me on a first-name basis with the four horsemen of the apocalypse: Jim Beam, John Jameson, Johnnie Walker, and Jack Daniel

We were fresh as we poisoned our flesh on the brink of young adulthood

We were roommates in a poor neighborhood, clawing our way toward a better life through education as we strived to save the world along the way. We thought we were so clever.

She recognized in me what can only be known through personal experience; the effects of childhood abuse and neglect

She likely survived worse, although trauma is immeasurable

We never talked about it outright, but I reckon all that booze was our way of drowning out the pain, an ineffective anesthetic and amnesic.

I didn’t know that instead of filling the howling depths within us, we were only digging them deeper with each drink

Years passed. We used to share a bed, and now there is a continent between us.

When I speak with her, she is drinking still. She has transitioned from whiskey chased with cheap beer to fine wine, has her life in line with a successful career, loving husband and bright children, however I fear she is slowly drowning herself with the same toxic habit born of the same pain- the gaping wound of childhood

She will always be my older sister, though I walk my own path and see my own way

I wish healing for her and for all beings today

Regret

I have a rum-soaked regret

I spent a night lying in a bed next to you, wanting you and warmed by the feeling of you wanting me, without getting closer to you, without holding you

We passed out immediately upon contact with the mattress as a result of all that we had imbibed, as we were serious about celebrating my last night in town

You lingered after the other guests had gone

As the party went on we gravitated together and let each other know in lover’s language our shared desire, finding reasons to touch each other without a reason

I remained unconscious to the world until I woke up, still fully dressed

You were gone, taking with you my only chance to physically express admiration for you

To this day, you are an ocean away

Maybe it is just as well

Why endure a one night stand, only to be followed by regret as I worry about sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy

Your presence was intoxicating enough

We both drank too much

The bridge of alcohol became our wall

Thank you for the fond farewell

Made fonder still by unrequited romance

Cocktail

 

Even though I’m a feather-light lightweight
Out of practice with drinking like I used to when I lived with heavy alcohol users
My tolerance still seems to be high
Perhaps because my anxiety is so high
It takes a drink or two just to get my heart rate down to a normal range,
It takes a couple of drinks to get my nerves to simmer down to a normal level of inhibition, before I can start to be uninhibited
Perhaps that is why even when drinking
I am good at keeping secrets
And skilled at seeming sober

Or at least I think I am                                                                                                                     Perhaps the only person I’m fooling is myself                                                                     Maybe I should clean up my act and let the toxins stay on the shelf                                            My body deserves better; it has already endured enough                                                            I am ready to feel smooth; I already know what it’s like to feel rough                           Maybe being a lightweight is a gift                                                                                                    If I listen to my heart and stop drinking, I’ll gain a spiritual lift

Alcohol takes from me far more than it could ever give

I’ll trade date-rape and hangovers for a vibrant life to live