I met a bartender that in my past life was a busboy, and he says things that made me dig deep within myself to find my corresponding stories. Did I remember the bartender with the kids, the line cook with the lisp, the one with long hair that is at a new restaurant, that time he had a seizure in the kitchen and woke up with Mickey holding him. Mickey...which one was Mickey, oh he was the nice one, the tall one.
I don’t remember being drunk, but I hate being drunk. I get tipsy so easy so I even try to avoid that. But there was always beer, and harder, in styrofoam cups. For a while there was always red bull and vodka, so much red bull and vodka, the thought of which makes me want to puke, so I must have, once. Right?
Do I not remember, or did these things not happen?
Now on my way to pick up Lena I drive by restaurants that we used to have friends at. The owners have changed and I wonder if the bars are the same, remember the time we took a bottle of tequila and drove off. Remember the laughing, filling our styrofoam cups with margaritas, drive away, laughing.
I couldn’t have been sober, so I must have been drunk.
Lena has been gone one day, and my days are empty, without structure, without purpose.
Was this my life before her?
This is not to say that people without kids have no purpose, but I have found so much purpose with Lena. I think this is a reflection on me. I’m a little weak, on my own. I lack direction and motivation. This must be how I floated through a year not sure whether I was drunk or sober, most likely somewhere in between.
And maybe I would have found something to hold on to---poetry, writing. Maybe science. I hope science. And yeah, so I cheated. I didn’t have to find something to hold on to, find something to ground me. I’ll never know if I would have been strong enough to find it myself. Instead, it was handed to me. Wiped clean and swaddled in blankets, Lena.