I hate to admit to it, but I think my ambrosia would be alcohol. I don’t feel this is uncommon. Alcohol gives everyone a chance to sleep in my bed, gives me the ability to think no place is off limits (like Lake Michigan, naked in July), and if I drink enough no one is old or really young for that matter. If I get a tummy ache, I buy whisky to numb or “cure” the pain. If I get my heart broken, I drink Sailor Jerry’s to “cure” the pain and maybe to ﬁnd someone else to bore my heart and soul to. When I am drinking, I am in a free fall. I can go on forever in a world where wants come before needs. Or maybe it is just ampliﬁed.
When I am drunk, I try to jump fences, tall fences. A couple of summers ago I jumped a fence to break into a public pool after hours. I bruised my heels (which is a very painful ordeal) and swam anyway. I decide no matter the time of day or distance I have with someone, the time to call them is always great. I call exes, new lovers, friends I haven’t seen in years, just to check in at 3 am. Everyone does these things when intoxicated. This is not entirely unique. Even if one does not break the law as much as I do (petty law breaking, mind you), they know someone who does when intoxicated. Would I be so brave and out going with out alcohol?
When I was a teenager, I did similar things with out a drop of my ambrosia. As a teen, I was also very, very bored. I lived in a town with a population of 10,000 or so in Iowa. We would go out attempt cow tipping which really ended with ﬁve kids standing around while cows stampeded along circling us. We would also hike through corn ﬁelds until we became directionless, make a bond ﬁre, and then try to ﬁnd our way back. I am not bored in my adult life, but I am more likely to go to a bar before I just start the adventure.I am also more likely to reach for a bottle of whisky when I am having gastric problems. I am not condoning or advising this action. Ever since I can remember, I have had severe tummy aches which cannot be explained. They feel like some one inserted an acid ﬁlled balloon just under my ribcage. The pain has been so bad that I can’t sleep through them much less leave the house and function. I have been to doctors about it and did ultra sounds and X-rays. No explanation has been found for the pains. The nurse technicians usually go as far to compliment me on my healthy looking organs, “that is a a lovely gallbladder.” Generally, I have found if I stick to healthier food options, the pain stays at bay. Occasionally though, it is not enough, and I ﬁnd myself pining for some Jameson to literally numb my insides. I am not a fan of my romanticized relationship with alcohol. I have a friend that jokes whether or not she has a new boyfriend when she drinks because she knows the night started out as fun, but she wakes up full of bruises. I have watched a loved one punch a mirror while intoxicated resulting in a necessary major surgery to repair his hand. So why do I gravitate to this ambrosia? Why not just quit and say hey no more hangovers and heart aches? I do detox from time to time. Near the end of the detox, I think I can do this all the time. I don’t need to drink, but those thoughts diminish as soon as a birthday happens or when a friend says, “I just need a drink.” I ﬁnd myself never actually needing alcohol as much as considering it as a pleasing additive. Alcohol is a bonding agent added to celebrate whether if it is a hot day in July or to let go of some one who will be missed.