I’m spending a night alone with my computer and my kitten. I made Beer Braised Brisket the other night and am complete satiated with meat, mashed sweet potatoes, beer and Nat Shermans. I don’t smoke, although it’s been my MO since my birthday. I don’t normally drink this much-again, it’s been my MO since my birthday. You’d think that turning thirty would be one of those life changing, mature moments where you take a look at your life and start to make concrete decisions about your future. Smoking and drinking on a nightly basis isn’t one of those great decisions. I’m pretty sure that I’m depressed. Actually, I’m quite confident that my PhD. student girlfriend would diagnose me with some form of mild depression if I let her. I deny it, of course, and still here I am at 8PM on a Monday night completely full of food, booze, and cigarettes.
I’d like to point out, though it makes no difference, that I don’t inhale when I smoke. I also insist on smoking very expensive, therefore in my mind, better for you natural cigarettes. I don’t fool myself into believing as much, though. I’m fully aware that eating like I’ve been doing has created this bulbous body I don’t quite remember. I like to pretend that I blame my girlfriend for that one. When we met I was training for a Half-Marathon-I haven’t run since then-and that was over a year and a half ago.
I am aware that smoking will most definitely kill me and although I like to pretend that I’m not doing my body as much harm as those that inhale, that not inhaling-but sucking smoke, fumes, blah blah blah into my mouth could, in fact, cause cancer of the tongue or cheeks or what have you.
I am aware that drinking 2 bottles of Smutty Nose Pumpkin Ale a night under the guise of “but it’s seasonal and if I don’t drink it now then when I want it in December it will be gone” doesn’t really count or classify as “addiction” it’s still not good for my health (or the gut)
I do it, though. I make myself wonderful meals each night. Meals most definitely made for two, often shared by two, but sometimes, like tonight, just eaten by myself. I drink beer and lately this amazing bourbon made right here in NYC. And although my kitten, Oscar, disapproves I smoke a cigarette or two of the Nat Shermans that I “hide” in my freezer. What for, really? It doesn’t take my soon-to-be-doctor girlfriend or the therapist I’m desperately seeking to tell me. I’m not quite sure, even, why I’m seeking a therapist-because I know what’s wrong. It’s my sister, Patrice. Always my sister.
I spoke to her the other day, on Halloween. She was celebrating at her Rehab center with other mothers and their children and family members. My mother took my two nephews, who are in her custody, to visit their mother in rehab. When my mom picked up the line I remembered the plans and immediately tried to end the call to avoid her putting my sister on. It didn’t work and before I could protest or hang up my sister’s voice was on the other end. She asked if I still loved her. Told me her life was incomplete when I wasn’t in it. Told me that she knows I’m upset with her, that I hate her.
It pissed me off. It should’ve made me sad, right? I should’ve cried? Felt sympathetic, or compassionate but I felt nothing but anger. I’ve heard it all before. I’ve heard those very lines time and time again-right when she’s coming out of rehab, right when she’s been talking to god, asking him to make it all better again. Her selfish and desperate need for what? Sympathy from me? Me telling her that it’s all okay. It’s okay that she’s a failure as a sister, daughter, mother. Okay that our mother, my mother, is in her mid fifties and raising a 3-year-old and a 3 month old. Okay that my only sister on the planet earth cannot be depended on, that she’s been a disappointment as a sibling since I was 20.
I told her; I don’t hate you-I hate what you do a who you do it to. I have to love you, because you’re my sister. I don’t like you, though.