Friday, April 21, 2017

What A Coinky Dink

So the other night I was reading lurking through the posts of some of my Facebook friends and I spied a pic my friend Wayne took of a book. Turns out, it's a just published memoir by his cousin David Leite recalling the ups and downs of everything from his southeastern Massachusetts ethnic-household upbringing to his adolescent and then adult struggles with bipolar disorder, sexual identity struggles and his ever-fluctuating waistline. David is a successful food writer, cookbook and cooking website creator and now, non-fiction author.

Here's the coincidental part though: The Smashing Glass Incident, which I touched on in the last post, and disclosed fully here, took place about a week and a half after Wayne and I stayed with David at his Brooklyn Heights brownstone rental for a long weekend. And events that occurred during that trip were a big part of the build up towards the Smashing Glass Incident. All this, exactly 25 years ago this month.

The last link above will bring up the FLASHBACK post (aw, remember them?) I wrote back in 2009 about this New York visit. I detail quite a few activities we enjoyed while there. (And, a little unsettling, a few of those details I don't recall anymore now that eight years have passed from that post. Thank goodness for this blog!) But I do remember a couple of the not so enjoyable incidents that happened on that trip as well. And, I frankly have only myself (and my habit) to blame.

On one of the nights that weekend, we had dined at a cozy, neighborhood restaurant near David's apartment in Brooklyn. I think it was Indian? Not really clear on that. But I do remember it was a place where alcohol was strictly BYOB. I remember feeling secretly pissed that I couldn't order a drink with my meal. "I was on vacation, dammit!" I was overcome, quietly, with irritation and anxiety at being "forced" to get through a nice dinner without booze. This reaction was quite a bit unusual.

Back home, I'd been slowly getting into sneak drinking, as I mentioned in past posts, but I wasn't a bar hopper at all. So my intense craving in a public establishment was a bit of a surprise. I think David and Wayne sensed something was off with me but I managed to fluff it off and get through our meal without revealing my inner irrational rage.

As we were leaving, I noticed another table, which had just cleared out minutes before us, had on it a half empty (or was it half full?) bottle of wine that the patrons had abandoned. I knew it'd soon be dumped away in the trash once the table got bussed so I told Wayne and David I was going to get it and drink it. The look of horror and revulsion that they simultaneously beamed at me was truly unexpected. I really thought that I was being rational (and even ecological...waste not, want not).

But, of course, they saw it for what it was: a seriously troubled and desperate grab at someone's garbage for a drink. Though I didn't see it that way then, I must have spilled the beans in that one expression of depraved lust for alcohol that likely put up a shitload of red flags.

Wayne knew I was an alchy, but I think, at that time, he thought I had it under control. I usually was able to cover up the true depth of my disease pretty well. I don't know if Wayne had shared the story of my addiction with David, but he surely knew about it now. Naturally, I turned away from the discarded bottle and it was an awkward walk back to David's.

But this wasn't all.

The next morning as Wayne and I were getting ready to leave for the train station to go back home, David, looking a little concerned to say the least, asked Wayne aside to talk with him privately. It turns out, one of his roommates had discovered that a bottle of vodka they had on a kitchen counter had been used up and the vodka had been sneakily replaced with water.

Yup. Being deprived of my table-scrap vino, I opted to chug the vodka down. And, figuring it wouldn't have been noticed 'till Wayne and I were gone, I filled the empty bottle up with water. Not the first and not the last time I'd pull idiotic shenanigans like this.

How Wayne actually continued to still be my roommate after that I don't really know. It could have been that I, like a lot of alcoholics, talked the "good talk." I don't remember what I said to make the stain of that go away.

But, as we know, Wayne would be tested once again less than two weeks later, having to sweep up the broken shards of glass off our kitchen floor and pry open his heart to once again forgive this sorry soul.

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