After 4 Years of Sobriety, I Want A Damn Drink
Exploring if sobriety deprives me of pleasure and weighing the risks and rewards of relapse
It’s Christmas Eve. I lead myself on a run through Boston. Along the Charles River, through Harvard Square, south down Mass Ave., and along the esplanade up until Charles Street.
Near the Boston Garden, my fingertips begin to tingle. I remind myself to get better gloves and tuck into a cafe on Boylston Street for tea. It’s 11 am.
The table of 4 to my right is finishing brunch. They’re at the stage where the server has their card, and its owner is sending itemized Venmo requests. The omelets are gone, some hashbrowns remain, their coffee is cold, and the champagne bottles are empty. There’s still some orange juice left in their carafe. The server returns with their card and wishes them a happy holiday. Scarves wrap necks, hats cover ears, and the group exits. I leave shortly after them.
I travel home passively listening to a podcast. Something about the future of work. I undress, shower, slip into an all-grey sweatsuit tucked into a pair of red socks, and sink into the cushions that form the L on my couch. I’m sipping Jasmine Green tea, a cold second cup from the pot I brewed this morning, scanning pages of Range, a book advocating for being a generalist. A walking tour of Paris is playing on the TV. We have 5 pm dinner reservations tonight, the first full family dinner since before the pandemic. Then we’ll go to an Aunt’s for an immersive Italian celebration. The Ricotta cookies will test my discipline, the games of left-right-center will lose me money.
I’m passively listening, passively reading, and passively watching because the true focus of my mind is what it would be like to have a drink right now.
The sun is peeking in through a front bay window, highlighting the dust on my coffee table. Several candles burn, a cheap one crackles. I’ve fully embraced Hygge, the Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness. Today is a rare opportunity to do absolutely nothing.
How nice would a day buzz be right now, I allow myself to say out loud. Chilled Vinho Verde or maybe Mimosas. I can’t stop thinking about how well it would complement this…