Hurricane Season



When I was drinking, there were no crises. My coping strategy was to drink more and expect things to turn out okay. I operated with a set of blithe blinders to anything unpleasant or dangerous; I was as incongruous and outrageous as a standard poodle walking on its hind legs in the middle of the expressway. In fact, I once halted six lanes of Atlanta traffic to double back and pick up a pompom that had fallen off my cute stiletto. The commuters were too surprised to even honk their horns…


My disregard for danger extended to force majeure. Remember Hurricane Floyd? We had a mandatory evacuation in Jacksonville, and Dee, Kim and I rented rooms inland, packed up our children and assorted house pets, and left most of our belongings behind. Kim was crying, Dee was stoic but concerned. After I threw the yard furniture into the pool, battened hatches and packed, I was actually excited for the road trip.


When we arrived at our hotel, Kim unpacked provisions like bottled water, party bags of snacks, family photographs, important documents, and industrial boots and work clothes should we have to go back to decimated homes. Dee brought hearty leftovers, books, games for the children and a few priceless family heirlooms.


I had packed changes of clothing for the kids, their favorite toys and a cage with the mice we had rescued from becoming snake food. When I looked at my suitcase (honestly the night before I had been drinking, watching TV and hoping for the best) I did not know what to expect. When I opened it, it was like looking into someone else’s madness. I had packed several bottles of wine, a few little black dresses and like thirty pairs of thong underwear. That’s it. I guess I thought we’d have to become street walkers or hostesses in restaurants if we lost all our worldly goods in the storm…


Hurricane season is definitely over for me. I just don’t have it in me to be outrageous any more. The stories I have to tell now, do not begin, “Oh my Godone time I ended up…” as if I operate outside myself, looking on as a member of an amused audience.


I am trying not to be scared. I am trying not to be too cautious. The problem is that these days I know, “Everything’s gonna’ be alright” is a catchy song lyric – that sometimes things don’t turn out the way you’d expect, and that it is always prudent to mind the shifting winds. The fingers of God…


Today I’m not drinking because Hurricane Season is OVER

How come you’re not drinking?