Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Full Bodied

This is part of Creativity Boot Camp, my medium is fiction. Prompt: Full bodied. I normally put this disclaimer at the end but this pieces is not sitting right with me so I want this to come first. Throughout this I have tried to stretch myself, and be intentional in my writing. this prompt said two things to me, wine and alcoholic and pregnant and I just could not do the pregnant thing today, and I didn't'want this to turn into another body image post since I did that yesterday. I have friends and family who have struggled through addiction and I pray that I have been respectful enough and true enough to their struggles, Remember this is fiction. I'm doing photography too, these are my best shots, you can see more photos at my Flickr stream

She can see the clerk approaching her out of the corner of her eyes and she quickly shoves her hands in her pockets so he can't see them shaking. She didn't want to come to this fancy wine store in town, afraid someone she knew would see and question what she was buying it for. The drinking didn't bother her as much as the lying, she wasn't good at lying. She didn't want to have to pretend she was picking up something for some nice dinner her and her husband wouldn't be having.

The only reason she is at this store is because it's bad, real bad. The anxiety of kindergarten registration and all those perfect mom with their perfect children lined up, than there was the screaming child who didn't want to go to the sitter and the crying kid who wanted to start kindergarten, right. that. minute. He would not go into preschool making her look like that mom again, the one that can't keep it together. So she's here at the fancy wine store in town instead of the seedy one across town because she is on borrowed time and she just needs a drink, one small drink she tells herself although she knows it's not true. She thought a bottle of wine for dinner would make sense to the sitter, the usual fifths of vodka would not and she doesn't have a purse to hide it in today. 

All this is swirling in her head, which is already full and feels like it's submerged underwater when she hears him.

"Can I help you with something? Are you looking for something in particular?" It was the sales clerk. Either he was exceptionally friendly or she has been standing here long enough to look confused. Great, nice way to not bring attention to yourself she thinks. 

"No, no, I'm just looking to pick up a red for dinner." She spits it out hoping it didn't come out as shaky as it sounded in her head. 

"Well I'm sure you'll like this one" he says picking up one the higher priced bottles. Of course, he'll push the pricer stuff,  she thinks "it has a great full bodied flavor" she hears him, mid-sentence.

She smiles a stiff smile to him, "Thanks, I think I'll go with this one" as she picks up the cheapest bottle and walks to the counter. Full bodied flavor she thinks with a laugh. I don't care of the flavor, I just need to fill the void in my body.  Quiet the noises in my head and stop the shakes in my hands. I could care less if it tasted like battery acid. 

She pays and leaves the store trying to briskly walk to the car with out looking like she was running. But she is running, running from her life, this crazed women she has become. Running from her fears, from her worries, from her anxieties. She gets home, not really knowing how her mind off in some other place and fumbles with her wallet to pay the sitter. 

"You alright?" the young girl asks "you look kind of sick, do you need me to stay so you can lie down?"

The women considers this for a minute. She could take her bottle to her master bedroom and lay down. That would be crossing a line though wouldn't it. That would make her a real alcoholic hiring a babysitter so she could drink herself into an oblivion. Drink herself to a place where she can be the me she was, confident and present, not scattered and hurried. Where she relished the hugs and attention from everyone around her instead of prickling at all the touches wondering when everyone will stop needing her, stop hanging on her, even if just for one minute. 

Than she hears it, that high pitch wail from her daughter, again. Her chest tightens and her skin starts to prickle. 

"Yeah could you stay for an hour or two? I have to pick up Jack at 3 could you stay until then? I just need to lie down."

The babysitter agrees, although she gives her a look that the women is sure is a knowing one, before she heads up to get the screaming child. Before they come back down she grabs her corkscrew and a glass ans heads up to her room. She sinks into the cool tiles of the bathroom floor and she opens her bottle. That first drink is like a taste of heaven. She let's it sit in her mouth, taking in all the flavors as it melts away the stress and anxiety and immediately relaxes her. 

She takes another drink and than another. She looks up and catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror and starts to sob, quiet tears at first, than stronger. She knows, knows that she has just stepped of a ledge and is falling into a dark place, took the final step into that black hole of addiction, but she can't stop herself. She lays on the tile, full body empty mind and lays her cheek on the cold tile awaiting the oblivion that is quieting her demons and allowing to her to sleep. Knowing she is now lost, and not really caring if or when she will be found.


This Heavenly Life said...

Oh, Melissa, this was hard to read. (Which means, you wrote it well!) While I don't struggle with an addiction, I was pulled so deeply into her story that even I started relaxing when she took her first sip.

Well done, friend.

Mary Lesh said...

Very well done. Sorry I have been so behind on my reading. Had to take a little trip out of town and this is the first chance since I got back. Great job!