HE SEEMED RELIEVED

So my buddy’s girlfriend started drinkin’ again. I mean, I thought somethin’ was up a month ago when he wouldn’t look me in the eye when he said, “She has the flu…or something.”

The flu, it has been my experience, is often code for “she’s drinkin’ again.” But, yesterday, when he called me, he confessed, “I had to kick her out of my house. She’s drinking and she won’t stop.”

I didn’t say, “No, shit.” Or, “Any fool coulda told ya it was a matter of time.” I didn’t say anything but, “I’m sorry.”

And I was sorry. I know what’s in store for any alcoholic who goes back. I know what happens to the people who love them. And he loves her. And I like him so I console him over the phone and say, “Maybe we ought to meet tomorrow for lunch.”

That was yesterday and we met for lunch today. Soup and sandwich time. The old boy didn’t look all that bad. I said as much when we sat down to our table. Turns out his girl relapsin’ was just the icin’ on several crumbs of day old cake. He hadn’t been workin’ for 2 weeks due to the government shutdown. He had a lead on work that would take him out of town but he didn’t know if he could find someone to care for his 5 dogs if and/or when he left. And some other petty aggravations of daily life that plague us all…especially during times of emotional distress. And, though he looked to be in better shape than I had expected him to be, his girl choosin’ drink over shelter was workin’ his insides over.

I listened and worked the humor angle effectively. He had a smile on his face when we left the restaurant. I shook his hand and said, “Let me know if you hear anything.”

20 minutes ago he texted, “Her friend found her passed out on his couch.”

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About joefingas

I am a songwriter, poet, blues singer, and a boogie woogie piano player. I have a grandson but I have no children of my own. All my women have wised up and left me. I was a bum, a wino, a drug/alcohol counselor, a prevention/intervention specialist and a pretender. I have no more time to pretend.
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