Updated: Sep 25, 2022
I wish that I could drink like I used to in my twenties
Sucking down whiskey shots
Lapping up Scooby snacks
Burning my hair as I lean in for a flaming Dr. Pepper
With my hands gripped tightly behind my back
And funneling every buttery yellow ice-cold brew in sight
Swinging from the rafters with my friends rooting for me from below
And my dignity stuffed snuggly in my pants back pocket
But I’m too old to handle the hang over
For the shame of wearing sunglasses inside CVS
Searching wobbly for the infant isle where the Pedialyte lives
Proves to be the most depressing part of my booze-soaked, mid-thirties morning.
As I meander past the cotton balls and laundry detergent
Passing ever so unsteadily around the mouthwash and Vagisil
A mother with her newborn cozy in his stroller staggers down the baby isle
Her stares are like daggers toward me
“Thank god I’m not like that anymore” she thinks
As she stabs me with eye swords of pity
Her dirty looks slash through me like a samurai sword dripping with derision
I turn to the shelves of glory
As I reach my trembling hand with vibrating fingers towards the magic juice that will bring me back to life
I glance at the baby
In an instant, I am a child again
At 35, I am relying on the same apple flavored concoction as a slobbering milk-guzzler to save me from dehydration - or worse.
We share a second's worth of wisdom
And in the blink of an eye we are one
And the baby feels my pain
For in a few decades, he will know what it feels like to traipse the florescent isles of inconvenience
Up and down the cold half hallways with your coattails unridden and dragging far past your ankles.
Drab and bleak.
I grab the wizard’s drink, pay the lady at the counter and scurry back to my overpriced Chicago hole.
Empty and Dark.