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     “Hair of the Dog”
 
He had
one of those
nights
he couldn’t
remember
much of anything
waking up
face down
on his living
room floor
only five feet
inside his
front door
with his
apartment keys
tossed onto
the center of
his back
probably by
some good
Samaritan
who had pulled
them
from the lock
and closed his
wide open
front door
he knew this
because it wasn’t
the first time
it had happened
to him
if he finds out
who did him the
favor
he’ll leave a
6-pack
at their door,
he lifts his
head
as much as
he can
without moving
his body too
much
to see the
time
on his cable box
unable to do so
he slowly turns
on to his side
he can feel
the weight of
his keys
drop from his
back
his eyes adjusting
to the distance
of the clock
and the blurry
green
LED light
squinting
till it comes
into focus
7:49am,
he thinks about
the time
in relationship
to the day
which was Sunday
and comes to
the conclusion
there’s no place
he has to be
on this day
it’s 8:11am
when he finally
decides
he can move
again
dragging the
weight
of his body
to his knees
he pauses
his head
tilting to the
left
and then
to the
right,
at only
three feet
off the ground
his mind is
trying
to get it’s
bearings
at this new
altitude
he grabs the
edge
of the counter
at 8:17am
pulls himself
up and over it
not yet ready
to go to full
ascension
at 8:19am
he’s standing up
though wavering
even with
both his hands
on the
counter
for support
he takes half
steps
along the counter
till he’s around
to the other
side
and in the
kitchen,
he grabs a
tall glass
and a tray
of ice
from the freezer
his hands
unsteady
and shaking
as he tries to
guide the ice
cubes
into the glass
it takes the
whole tray
before enough
of the cubes
get lucky bounces
and end up
inside the glass
the rest
soon to be
little puddles
scattered about
the kitchen floor
he reaches back
inside the freezer
pulls out a
bottle of Stoli’s
vodka
fighting to get
a grip
on its small
elusive cap
before it catches
on his thumb
with too much
force
and spins off
the top
of the bottle
finding its way
to some hidden
corner
lost for all
eternity
it’s 8:23am
as the ice
starts to crack
from the vodka
and room
temperature air
he stirs the
two part
combination
of ice and vodka
letting the ice
melt a bit
before reaching
into the refrigerator
and grabbing a
bottle of Bloody
Mary mix
and pouring it
into the 2/3
full glass
again
stirring the mixture
with his finger
till it starts
to go numb,
looking down
he notices
the digital numbers
on the oven
clock
show 8:27am
he takes a
breath
and a moment
as if he
is thinking about
what he’s about
to do,
but he’s not
its just that
his head is
spinning
and his stomach
wants to
dry heave
its empty
contents
on to the
counter,
he takes hold
of the glass
already sweating
condensation
on the outside
he puts his
pinky finger
underneath
the glass
helping to
keep it
from slipping from
his hand
he tries to
moisten his lips
before he takes
a drink
but his mouth
is dry
and his
tongue feels
swollen
so his dry
chapped lips
go unmoistened
as they reach
for the glass
their cracked skin
sticking to the
glass
as he starts with
small sips
that turn into
large gulps
as he works
at getting that
thick liquid
down
he sets the
empty glass
on to the
counter
a small bit
of skin
still attached
to its rim
the ice cubes
inside
the glass
looking like
they were pulled
out
of a bowl
of tomato soup,
his vision
already getting
clearer
his balance
coming back
into form
he picks up
the Stoli’s bottle
fills up
the glass
an inch from
the top
the Bloody Mary
mix
that coated the
ice
turns the vodka
a watery red
he adds more
mix
till the consistency
of the thickness
is right where
he wants it
he carries his
glass
towards a
side table
by his recliner
picking up
his cell phone
off the floor
on the way
it reads
8:33am
he takes his
chair
as he starts
to feel
the buzz from
last night
coming back to
life
he settles into
his chair
leans back
and closes his
eyes
taking slow
relaxed drinks
as he thinks
about
how it all
went wrong
for him
last night,
he was
working towards
thirty days of
sobriety
slipping up at
seventeen and a
half days
maybe he’ll start
again
tomorrow
he already knows
he’s not stopping
his drinking
today
he takes a
few
bigger swallows
glass never leaving
his hand
eyes still
closed
he had forgotten
how much work
it takes
being an
alcoholic
as his appetite
starts to
return
and he thinks
about
switching back to
bourbon
straight up
his drink of
choice
from the night
before
he sits up
in his chair
opens his eyes
the overly bright
numbers
of his cable box
clock
look back
at him
it’s 8:47am…
 
     Tom Allen…01-06-2017…