I’ll Have Another
“You doing okay today?”
A well intended question in passing, casual. I respond as expected.
“Yeah! Happy it’s Wednesday.”
A true response, but not honest. No one, save one or two, in this office wants to hear my emotional (or at this point, spiritual) hangover. They don’t need to hear that I drove to work in silence and thought this morning. That I slept horribly. That my self awareness, faith, and romanticism have served me a cocktail of love and frustration, and I’m pretty sure there was a drug in it but I chugged that motherfucker before it had occurred to me. So now, I’m watching the clock hands twitch until I drop, unconscious.
No one wants to hear these things. I don’t even want to hear these things.
It’s difficult to face, sometimes, how at the mercy of our own emotions we are. We can push them down, avoid them, even act like they don’t exist, but much like a drugged cocktail, they’ll affect us eventually. And there’s nothing we can do about it but brace for impact and hope that what’s left of us after is enough to let us order another drink. And if we’re running with this metaphor, I’m, unfortunately, an undead alcoholic.
I’ve made attempts to act as if I’ve never been drugged; that I haven’t been unexpectedly date-raped by my own emotions, but I have. For the longest time, even by the same drink, at the same bar, out with my emotions and ordering from that infamous bartender that no one else thought I should. The definition of insanity, by expecting a different outcome of my repeated actions.
We are all haunted by nights like these, by our decisions when intoxicated by the gleam in someone’s eyes, hoping that we may voluntarily fall asleep and wake up next to them. We dread fainting in the Uber ride home, and waking up in bed, sore, soiled and alone as many have and do.
But it’s that same aforementioned hope that tells us to try again. With each drink we receive drugged, there’s one less bartender or barfly to trust. The hope that we’ll eventually find ourselves sitting at the counter in deep, leg-locked conversation when the lights turn on with someone who seems as captivated by us as we are of them. Someone who will go drink for drink, showing us every level of vulnerability we show them, matching and trusting.
Someone willing to admit they might slip a drug in our drink, but they aren’t sure yet, since someone else seems to be spiking theirs, too. It’s a sick and twisted game of love telephone that makes a hell of a lot more since when it’s pointed out, at least.
I’m not proud of all of my decisions. I stand by them, as they are my instinct and I can’t do anything but honor what my heart tells me to do, but they aren’t all great. I can be reckless, especially in the worlds of love and liquor.
But honestly, all I need is that last part. The hopeless romantic I am says that if someone is willing to admit to what will or may hurt me, that they value me. That their intentions aren’t to trick me into bed, sneak drugs into my system, or take advantage of me. That there are others who have drugged them, too, and their intoxicated actions are never meant to hurt me, though they might.
That’s fine. I can nurture you as you work through your withdrawals, your authenticity deserves someone who will do that, even if that someone keeps drinking from you. We can cure our symptoms the next morning with coffee and a kiss.
So yes, I’ll have another.