story teller vol. 3: remedy for the quenched


surviving the past. drinking. alcoholism.

Two shots of pure vodka, and my brain freezes temporarily. The manifestation of what I think I ought to do is rationalized by my diminishing capacity to tell the reality. I shout and then take another hit but that’s not a cure. Sometimes it feels like I’m pounding my head against a concrete wall. I know that has been said many times over but truly that is how it feels. But how would I know when I’m incapable of telling what’s real?

Sip… sip… sip… The sensation of fainting overtakes me, but I bounce off the floor and bark one loud laugh. I mirror myself to myself and in the vagueness of what I believe are my fingers, I shimmer through space. Before the night, I dose off and the effects of alcohol wear off. I take a snippet of hard bread dashed a moment before underneath the table. I crawl to scavenge the last of its crumbs. I am famished as I haven’t eaten since yesterday.

The taste of vodka lingers on my breath. I miss that burn once again. Two shots, that’s the protocol. One for each leg, so when I walk I balance myself out. As if the left leg and right leg only absorbed the alcohol from the dedicated shot. Otherwise, limping is what I get. None of it makes sense. Reality is the fabrication of what I manifest. I pour the liquor and cross my amen. “To the glory!” I shout, yet no one is in the room.

My stomach growls and realizes I truly must eat. Grab a cigarette. I know it’s a cliché. And my ten-year-old stench leather jacket. To the market, I head off. Crumpled ten-dollar bill and some loose change. Enough to get me another loaf and some preserves.

“Hello,” the grocer waves and says.

I return but a meek grunt and head for the jars. Pickle juice, they say, cures all ailments. I doubt that witchery but do not question the outcome.

Stumbling and shaking hands have become routine. After another grunt and goodbye, I leave the residents of the market and its shoppers with a heavy and throbbing head. The curse hasn’t been lifted yet. The brick wall seems like a good place to rest. The ragged spikes of the bricks prick my back like needles and I welcome the pain. It’s soothing. It’s a good morning and a salute to the sun.

I am breathing after all. I am still alive. That’s all that I should be thankful for. Another night of heavy drinking hasn’t killed me yet because the screams and all the blood is hard to wash away with another gulp and another bottle spinning on the table or falling off the edge.

© Jacob Greb — 2023

return to Story Teller

Originally Titled: Remedy for the Insane Date: October 29, 2011 Original Source: (00b) Black Book

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