This is Rehab Day 15:
And you’re sitting on the Renfrew community couch writing your best friend a letter when Lilly comes in and lays down beside you.
I’m bored, she mumbles- her limp hair falling in her face.
Got a book? You ask, barely looking over.
Read them all.
Wanna play a game?
God no. She makes a face. But I do wanna get drunk.
You grin. Me too.
Like stupid drunk, she says. Like blow some shit up drunk.
You put down your letter. Okay, well that escalated, you pause. But yes, I’d love a Pinot Noir.
She scoffs. You and your rich girl sorority shit. She sticks out her pinky and pretends to hold a champagne flute. Oh yes sir, she mimics. I’ll have a touch of the Rosé if you could ever be so kind.
You can’t help but smile. It’s not really like that, you know. I drink the same way you do, Lil.
Out of a bag?
You snort. Okay well no, not usually. But it’s happened.
You think back to college frat parties. Slapping the Franzia bags.
It’s all the same, you say. Everyone just trying to reach some place they can forget.
She waves her hand at this. I just mean you don’t really strike me as the type to get all that drunk.
You’d be surprised, you admit. Got myself a DWI a few years ago. Bet ya didn’t know that?
Her eyebrows raise. That’s actually pretty shocking- yeah.
Was for my parents too.
So you’re a drunk then?
No, you say. Not conventionally anyway.
Ah- more like a desperate housewife?
Something like that.
One too many glasses of wine a night?
A medicinal drunk, I’d call it. I don’t really need it; just prefer it.
A medicinal drunk. Nice, she grins lazily. I’ll use that in our next AA.
Go for it, you say. I’m taking a break from it once I’m out anyway.
From AA, she asks. Or alcohol?
Both, you say- scratching your head.
God, you think to yourself. You’re almost positive this couch has lice. You just know it.
I need to anyway, you say- trying to forget about the lice. I drink to not eat so it’s not really something I should keep doing.
She rolls her eyes. Yeah- alright then, she says- plopping her hairy legs in your lap.
You look down. Have they literally not let you shave since you got here?
3 months, she says. But yeah, we’ll see about that no alcohol thing.
What do you mean?
I’m just saying it’s hard, she pauses. I’ve been in and out of treatment more times than I can count and it’s hard to give up all your vices. You’re already dealing with your eating shit, she says. And you’re doing a good job with that- so just go with it.
And I’m not smoking, you add in smugly.
Yeah well, she pauses. Don’t get all holier than thou. She lays her head back on a pillow- her tangled headphones on her chest. I just think it’s harder than you know, to be back in the world and sober. She nestles one of the earbuds in her ear. Even if you are some yuppy bitch from Dallas, you’ll want to go out with your friends.
You smile. Thanks for the advice.
But she’s already lost in her world of Wu Tang Clan.
Leaning your head against the wall that day, you wonder if she’s right.
You wonder if you even mean it:
It takes you 2 years to realize, you didn’t.