You know, I don’t miss you. I don’t miss the dandruff or the bad breath or the violence but I have to admit I still think about you. A person can’t have a relationship as long as we had and not have it affect them some way or another. There are hundreds of people who never saw us together yet, sadly, you are still how I am defined today.
Before my lips ever touched you, I had a premonition that you would be part of my life. I can remember the innocence of the the first encounters, in a dimly lit garage or after a game. It seemed natural that a testosterone filled teenager in the 70’s would want you. The allure of venturing into the forbidden zone was a rite of passage and once I started working and you were there every night, we just took off from there.
We were together for 12 years and like every story, we had a beginning, a middle and an end. The middle was when it became more like a job. The longer we stayed together, the more you became a priority. When choices were made and the stink of embarrassment started cropping up. I chose you over jobs, over family, over the very things that nourished my soul. I gave you all I had and by the end I didn’t have much to give but it satisfied you. The mini-breakups were inevitable. A few days here, a week there served only to have me break my resolve and come running back to you, usually with a vengeance. My life, filled with such hope, such potential and promise reduced to ruin.
Yes there is an official date that we parted ways. 20 years of your absence hasn’t always been smooth sailing but it has allowed me see things differently. I haven’t been in jail or have I been in a fist fight. I do have to stall when using the word “end” or “over” or “done” because you are still there. An old photograph from my college days or that sneaky little voice that always shows up in a moment of weakness. Since my divorce, you’ve tried hard to become a viable option but I looked past the sweet taste of your whisky kisses and remembered the pain and guilt and shame of your maintenance. I will fight you again, I am sure but for now I can truthfully say that I have been sober longer than anything I have ever done, with the obvious exception of waking up every morning and if I, by chance, don’t wake up tomorrow then it can officially be said that sobriety won