Monday, November 16, 2009

1969

This was the year I should have graduated from high school. The rest of my class graduated. But it wasn't like it was heartbreaking to watch my friends graduate, my friends were all gone, they had dropped out. I was stuck in school with a bunch of people I didn't know or care about. I was laser focused on my goal of graduating in 1970.

I found the perfect recipe to get me through my days. I would get Ripple (69¢ a bottle) wine by the case and hide it in the attic, each day I would take out a bottle, wrap it in a paper bag and put it in my purse. I would drink it all day long at school. I really don't know why I wanted to drink a skid row bum's drink while living in a nice suburban home and attending a nice suburban high school. Maybe it felt more authentic to my state of mind? A cheap bottle of wine, wrapped with a paper bag. And I thought it was funny.

My prince charming was morphing into something not so charming. I have never really gone back and thought much about this relationship because it is such ancient history. As I wrote yesterday about him not going to college when he was supposed to, it occurred to me that he was probably going to resent me for that. I think he did resent me for that. I think he showed early signs of being a total control freak when he directed my life out of the gutter, but I was so happy to have someone steer me out of the gutter that I wasn't looking for signs of a control freak.

By the end of 1969, I was almost done with high school. I had been attending night school, day school, summer school, and had compacted 4 years of school into 2 years of time. I was wearing an engagement ring, I think we had some vague plan to marry after I graduated. He was working at the post office by day, and attending community college sometimes at night. But his real job by this time was a very lucrative marijuana business. It kept him in enough money and pot so that he was an overweight, slovenly man.

I was very depressed, but had found a way to maintenance drink my way through life. I learned that I could keep a steady flow of alcohol into my body all day long and not appear drunk. It would help me to be able to cope with the demands of life. I know that occasionally I would get "drunk," but for the most part, I just drank every day.

I think of this as a time so dark I can barely remember it.

9 comments:

♥Shann♥ said...

such painful and lonely times

Lou said...

Remember Mad Dog 20/20? Boone's Farm?

This is sad. At least you found a way to move on with your life. Other than to tell your story, you are not using your youth as an excuse for all the bad decisions you ever made.

Ed G. said...

mmmm - Ripple, Sangria, MD 20-20, Boone's Farm - all those quality party drinks - or, failing turning up a party, they did pretty well by themselves.

I'd forgotten my wino phases (there were 4-5) of drinking. My mouth is puckering just remembering. oh well...

Blessings and aloha...

Pam said...

Oh girl. Our paths are so rugged aren't they?

garden-variety drunk said...

i hear so many people speak of the ripple vintage- i missed it for the equally fine 2 buck chuck.

so glad to have that dark chapter finished and to be living in brighter times

Scott W said...

I had Mogen David once, it was so gross I couldn't drink any more than one sip. Never had the other stuff mentioned here. But I made up for it in other areas.

Syd said...

I also drank ripple, MD 20-20 and thunderbird. I just didn't like the throwing up part. I was not a successful drunk.

Mary LA said...

That awful maintenance drinking, the necessary steady flow of cheap anaesthetic -- I can so identify.

Just Another Sober Guy said...

I did have an a love affair with that MD 20/20 for a while. There is something about that cheap ass-kickin that just sucked me in. The daily drinking I can relate to, but it was more often daily drinking to get drunk for me. A very lonely place from where I was able to push everyone I cared about away from me.