Scotch burned my throat on the way down. Finally. I’d waited hours for my favorite bar to open up and it wasn’t even noon yet. I couldn’t deny it anymore. My drinking was out of control and I was scared out of my mind.
“How are things, Jim?” asked Betty the bartender.
I shrugged and looked around the bar. The place was dim—none of the customers wanted to see anything too clearly.
I could make out a few faces against the wood paneling: A man in a rumpled coat hunched over a tumbler of whiskey. A woman with dark circles under her eyes. A guy with no teeth sipping a beer.
Compared to them I looked great in my designer jeans and expensive haircut, my BMW waiting outside in the rain. But inside I was just as miserable as they were.
I knew I should be happy. I was smart. I was a good salesman. I had my own business selling sunglasses. For a while I’d even been successful. But none of it made me happy. Once I’d asked a doctor about it. “Don’t you have any pills I could take to feel better?” I’d said.
The doctor shook his head. “Pills aren’t your answer. You need to find some peace in yourself. Exercise might help. Or meditating. Do you go to church?”
I hadn’t been to church in years.
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