Huntress of the Lens


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Kicking Foot

While I was still drinking, if I needed to express huge anger (which I rarely did, angry kids get sent to their rooms to be alone) I would kick things. I've never been a wall-hitter, even as a young drunk I knew that my left hand was where the art lives and my right hand is just stupid and inaccurate. So I kicked. I'm left-handed, but apparently right footed, because that one has been my kicking foot for as long as I can remember.

Kicking things like cardboard boxes or other things that lack substantial weight is not only unsatisfying, but if I'm drunk enough to be kicking in the first place it increases exponentially the odds that I will fall down. I can fall off a stationary chair when drunk, it's one of the more embarassing things that happens to me, so I usually tried to avoid activities that might induce gravity to suck me right to the ground. Sitting, walking or going to the bathroom were all quite dangerous in this respect.

When I kicked, it was always to make a point; always huge in importance or really needing to be underscored by some dramatic punctuation. "What do you mean you think I should leave now?", "Why does he get to do it too?", "You're such an asshole!" are all things that when said drunk, just lack a certain emphasis if you just slur them loudly. Something must be kicked!

In much younger years I tried breaking for a while, as in breaking every dish in the cupboard or throwing glass things at a wall. This wasn't such a good strategy when I realized that I was breaking my own things and that it was stupid. I ate off paper plates for months once, having broken every plate and bowl I owned, even the little saucers that come with the tiny little coffee cups in the set. I tried breaking the offender's things for a minute, but then after sobering up I felt such regret, and usually didn't need to add to the list of things I would regret tomorrow. 

In my kicking career I have taken on brick buildings, truck windshields, regular walls, a refrigerator and a coffee table (which I missed and you guessed it, did that cartoon half-flip that landed me not only on my ass but pretty much flat on my back.) The object of kicking when drunk is to A. Make a super dramatic point, and B. Kick till you hear the crunch. Unfortunately the crunch is the kicking foot breaking it's teeny tiny little bones or tearing ligaments, but that never occured to me in the moment. That sound of a raw chicken being torn in half is SO satisfying when it says "See how mad I am?!!" to all bystanders. 

Since I did all my big drinking during the decade where I had no health insurance I never had any Xrays or casts, never had any of the little bones set or the ligaments repaired. I would just sheepishly crutch around for a couple of weeks or months and mumble "I fell down." if asked how I hurt myself. After a certain amount of time, my ankle would fold in half if I just stepped wrong, or into a hole, or like I did 20 days ago off two steps in the dark instead of one. (That one I blame on the darkness and the bifocals, I wasn't drinking.)

So the kicking foot hurts really bad right now, and has for twenty days or more. We went to the local clinic this morning (6:45? really? who needs medical care that early?) and they said I'd have to go get Xrays at the ER before a doctor could see me. We are "underinsured" which means that our current medical insurance is more like a 10% off coupon at Hancock Fabric. I just wasn't down to rack up more medical expense, so we came home. I think I'm old, and a previously injured body part is just bound to take longer to heal: I'll be fine.

Now, lest you think I was an angry drunk prior to my last drink (and that was on November 30 2003 thank you very much) I really wasn't. That leg would have been cut off by now if anger was my usual drunk state. I can sum up what happens every time I drink in four easy steps, and it goes this way without fail every single time, unless something makes me REALLY mad:

Step 1. I'm attractive, I'm funny, I'm really smart and a fascinating conversational partner. You want me, there has never been another woman like me, I am wit personified.

Step 2. Oh my GOD! I love you! You are really the best friend I've ever had, we must have been best friends in a former lifetime! I can't believe I just told you that, I never tell anyone that! We are going to be friends forever!

Step 3. I am sex on wheels. It's totally relevant to show my boobs in public to whoever will look at them. I make extravagant sexual promises and predictions, and since we've been so close since step two you're the lucky recipient of all my porn-star attentions. Let's get out of this place, better yet, let's just do it right here; they've known since step one that I am the most amazing woman in the room.

Step 4. I cry about my mother, and then I pass out.

Unfortunately, there is only about a 45 second gap between step three and step four. I have rarely (if ever) come through on any of the promised activities, whether or not I've already started taking off my clothes. Even though you might think so, this is not sexy. Somewhere between step two and step three I usually fall off something, like the chair, or my feet, or the floor, but it's still funny at that point. I'm thinking you can see the wisdom in my decision to just drink at home, alone, where I knew I couldn't embarass myself.

Oh, but the phone. When drinking alone there is always the phone and that one or twelve people that need to be called and told some very important things. Things I will have no memory of saying the next day. "OMG Laura, I can't believe you said that last night!" is received with puzzlement and a quick calculation of your tone of voice. Did I piss you off? Tell you I love you? Say I was plotting a crime or planting a garden? At the very end I kept a list by the phone so I could take notes about who I called and what we talked about. Those lists were both sad and funny, and often undecipherable.

The night of my last drink(s) we had most of an 18 pack of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (breakfast of champions) before going to the bar. All beer consumed before reaching the bar does not count. I only had two pints when we got there, because I was practicing moderation. Then I saw these women drinking lemon drop martinis out of those really adult and sophisticated glasses. Being so classy and sophisticated myself (I was still at stage one) I decided to try one. Basically, it's three shots of straight vodka, a sugared rim and a lemon slice. It has never been determined for certain whether I had four or five of these before the end of the evening, but one is too many and a thousand is never enough.

We had gone to the bar, my boyfriend at the time, myself and the wife of a friend of ours. I looked over and she was licking something off of his face. There are only three possible responses to something of this magnitude: Walk out, how dare she? Slap that bitch right in the face and kick something, or go make out with both of them. I opted for number three, and have no memory of arriving home that night. 

The next day I had a case of alcohol poisoning so bad that I couldn't even drink water, much less finish the rest of the 18 pack from the night before. I was poisoned, and wanted more poison. It dawned on me that I am absolutely INSANE, and the following day I went to my first AA meeting. I'm not sure why I have been so fortunate, but I still haven't had another drink since that day. 

I still have that weak ankle though, and right now it hurts like a bitch.

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