Reminiscence

Two strawberries lie on a wood cutting board, one has been bitten in to. The man who has just bitten in to the strawberry wipes at the drops of juice that have fallen on the piece of paper he is writing on. He drinks a bit of wine, thinking that the wine has real character. He stops and wonders if he should think about his life, but decides it isn’t necessary. Another drop of wine. The strawberries are quite delicious. He lights a pipe of hashish, inhaling deeply and holding the smoke in his lungs. Recently he’s been told he may have cancer, but he doesn’t really believe it. Even if he really had it, it wouldn’t  phase him. Cancer is mostly curable, so he thinks. His chances are good. And he always has been lucky with important things. He eats the rest of the strawberry, there’s just one left.
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Wine. Smoke. The fact is, he doesn’t have cancer, but he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t care, even if it turns out he will have to die… because he has children. Beautiful children that make everything whole. He knows, without thinking of it, that he can leave them and they will survive. Even if he dies he has given them power for life, strength to keep on. He is sure of it. He bites in to the last strawberry; it’s amazingly tasty for this time of year. He decides to save half for later and takes a smoke. It’s not like I want to die, he reflects. Fuck no, I want to live, and enjoy it as long as I can. Might be five weeks, might be 50 years. He grabs the bottle and pours another glass. He doesn’t know what to write anymore, so he goes and takes a piss. The children are snug in bed. He flushes the toilet by mistake, but no one wakes up. He goes and drinks some more wine, and smokes some more hashish. Half a strawberry is looking up at him from the cutting board. First more wine. Should he get some bread and cheese? No, somehow, the remaining half a strawberry will have to do. Wonderful. He eats it and takes a mouthful of wine afterwards, letting the taste mingle in his mouth. Heady.

Borrowed Time

I am so drunk I’ve spilled my wine. I have heard that a true alcoholic is never so drunk that he spills his drink, which is a consolation to me: I spill my drink ever so often (God help my carpet). It follows that I can’t possibly be an alcoholic. Alcohol, you son-of-a-bitch. In my youth I would have nothing to do with alcohol. I drank my first drop at the ripe age of 20 years. I was afraid of it, because I had seen what it could do to a man. I knew a true alcoholic, bless his soul. He beat the alcohol, but he’s dead now, a victim of cancer… and who’s to know if his cancer wasn’t a result of his drinking? Liver cancer.
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This was a man I loved and respected. He was a mentor to me. Later he told stories of his drunkenness, though he drank no more. He told all kinds of stories. He wrote too, though he couldn’t believed anyone would ever appreciate what he wrote. He burned most of it. He was a beautiful person. I can remember stroking his hair, as a child, as he lay with his head in my lap. Well. We’re all living on borrowed time.
Bunkhouse Theme from Bob Dylan.