Dear Alchohol

Dear Alcohol
We have had a long and bumpy relationship, but thank you for the haze. The half-oblivion when total oblivion seemed attractive.
We’ve had trial separations before, I know. But this time it feels different.
We had good times, people tell me so. (Though I can’t actually remember if I was having fun.)
I do know you’ve been a keen presence, hovering, leering, when all my decisions were made. Enveloping, squeezing out the feelings, the difficult reality.
I was faithful to you, mostly. Just those times when we broke up, I turned to chocolate, weed and casual sex. It was OK but I didn’t really want to get fat, paranoid or embroiled in stressful affairs -emotional stuff. You were easier.
This time I’m just going to be with myself. Walk with that. Sit with it, sleep with it.
The truth is also, my body is screaming NO. The nausea, insomnia, headaches and exhaustion. I’m getting old, can’t handle it. “Can’t hold my liquor.” Lightweight.
We’ve been on and off for a decade now – I’ve seen life from both sides of the bottle top.
And I’m choosing to leave you.
We used to be good together, but now it feels sad and desperate, not cool or rebellious at all.
I think I want to live.
So Goodbye Old Friend, and Worthy Adversary. Fare thee well. I love you, I hate you, I will miss you.
But there are some other things that I think I want now. Calm, order, time.
Serenity? Is that possible??
I think I want to live.
Of course, it’s a wrench. We’ve been together since secondary school, you’ve seen me through my youth, kids, jobs, break-ups, break-downs, triumphs and disasters. Always there for me, by my side.
I shan’t forget you, how can I?
You’re there in the faces of others, in their gaits, gestures, voices. The things they bloody say. I smell you from the pubs and from their mouths. My envy and disgust mingling with their boozy breath.
I hear you discussed endlessly, with joy, regret, anticipation, despair.
I feel sad and I must grieve.
But, my eyes are already clearer, my mind stiller and my purse plumper.
I will buy a bicycle and ride it all the way to the sea, Southend, and look at the beach and the fair.
I will get myself a fancy notepad and write every day, so I have a book of poems to leave behind me.
I will practice my accordion and learn to dance.
I will buy a train ticket to Scotland, and visit mountains and lochs.
I’ll be alright. Don’t worry about me.
Not yours any more,

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