Today, I filled out my FAFSA application for Financial Aid. Today, I also decided I should really start working on that whole “aspiring alcoholic” thing. This was before the FAFSA business. So now, in a tingly, merry state of mind, I can hold my head up. Should I be ashamed? Probably. Am I? No, not really. I figure, I’m a failure in every other aspect of life, why not give my nagging blood the thing it craves and succumb to my heredity? My family is full of failed dreams and alcoholism. And hey, at least I’ll really have something to write about, right?
I already make myself miserable by trapping any happiness in thoughts of doubts and insecurities, so why not weaken such a cruel structure with some liquor? Hell, at least then I’ll have an excuse other than sheer laziness for my lack of accomplishments. And my family will look at these days, here, as the days when I really could have been something.
It’s like giving in to my destiny.
You see, after my grandmother died (the smoking alcoholic she was — to give you an idea), my mother found a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of whiskey hidden in a drawer in the kitchen. My grandmother, Nanny, fought cancer for about 11 years and claimed she’d quit drinking after her first visit to the hospital in those 11 years prior to her death. She battled with smoking and had weened herself to the point of being able to not smoke in front of other people, but we all knew she still smoked. I told my mother to let Nanny live her life in a way that was comfortable for her, but my mother nagged her about it anyway because well, daughters need mothers. The same cravings course through my mother that course through me, and we both inherited our “desires” from my grandmother and grandfather. My mother had successfully fought off the demons until she lost both parents last year and now she spends her weekends in a drunken stupor from wine. Last week, I flew home for Christmas and stayed 7 days, 5 of which were spent drunk with my mother. How wonderful it felt to rest in the bottoms of bottles 1,700 miles away from my problems.
And now, with flushed cheeks that greet saddened cheekbones, I have continued my grandmother’s legacy. Only, she was brave and stubborn and confident and she died living up to the bold letters of her name.
Sure, she was sad but I’ve come to accept that we’re all sad, we’re also all happy. We’re a mess of every emotion tangled in to a single, conscious vessel, obligated to ignoring certain things because, well, we have to if we want to be happy. I simply have problems with putting on my blinders. It’s not a bad thing, necessarily, but it takes it’s toll. And tonight, I drink to all of those thoughts and problems and to my grandmother who was certainly brave, honest and genuine until the day she died.
I’ll get through my problems but it will never be below me to drink some of them away.