by Barbara McGaughey, Senior, Writing & Linguistics
My car is an island. It’s New Year’s, and the parking lot smells like cardboard and glue, alcohol yet to be spilled. It’s Christmas, and the parking lot smells like the fat that lives on the cusp of tin foil. It’s Thanksgiving, and the parking lot smells like cream and liquor, a tobacco
thickness. It’s Halloween, and the parking lot smells like artificial coloring with that chemical kiss. I won’t open the door until the last bit of will surrenders.
The lot looks the same, and my fingers continue to tick. I can hear my breathing above the radio, mouth open, the lines of my lips drying out, my tongue topped with rot. The scene beside me holds modicums of change: mother, friend, no one. Sweater, small, medium, large, medium, large. Full bottle, open bottle, empty bottle. Receipts, straw wrappers, burger bags, acid re-flux syrup, and boxes of cloves; full, empty, cashed out.
I’m here for wine. Liquor. Booze. Cake. Cookies. Bread. Booze. Bread. Liquor. Cake. Booze. Cookies. Wine. Receipt. Receipt. Receipt. It hurts to say the deep G-L of gluttony just as it hurts to swallow the bottle, the box, your promises. Addiction is a loose thread in my double helix; the gait in my walk; the sugar that lights me up, and turns me off.
I slam the door behind me, leaving the door jam shattering like it has teeth. I see a lean, jittery man smoking, and I know without asking. I never expected to make it to the meeting, today. The chairs fall into a soft circle. This is an island; this is our personal shipwreck; this is where people wash-up; this is the land I intend to toss my bottle off. I came hungry.