His hands shook.
The bottle sat next to the glass. The glass was empty, for now. His hand print was clear in the dust on the bottle neck. He sat at the kitchen island, trying to be quiet. His eyes were closed. His right hand running through his hair above his ears.
Two months, 14 days.
His chest felt heavy. His breath long and labored. It was a bad day. The kind of day where you wake up in a bad mood. The kids were hyper, loud, and wanting to hang all over him. He had a fight with his wife about something she had bought. It felt just like old times, except he was sober and the day had penetrated his head like a nail. Even now it felt like a spike was running from the top of his head through his neck, causing his shoulders to be tense, and into his heart. Which felt like it was dripping blood into his stomach making him queasy. One sip. The fire would melt the iron spike. Burn close the hole in his heart. Warm his stomach until he felt the comforting blanket of alcohol wrap around his mood. Just one, maybe two drinks and he would feel good.
Two months, 14 days. His hands shook, lifting the glass to gaze into its emptiness. He could see the carmel colored liquid flow from side to side. He licked his lips. He reached for the bottle. It was a bad day. Just one, maybe two drinks. It was the first bad day in over a month.
A picture of his little girl, holding out her latest coloring attempt for him to see. He blinked. The reply of his son turning to him with a foul ball clutched in his hands, smiling from ear to ear. "I caught it!"
"I know, that is awesome."
"Wow, what a good day."
There had been some good days lately. In fact there had been some good weeks.
Two months, 14 days. His hand shook as he reached for the bottle.
Today was a bad day. He felt lost. He didn't know how to handle this. How to remove the spike on his own. He knew he should call his sponsor, but he had always done things himself. His lips thinned out as he confronted the truth of his thought. He had always done things with a drink.
It started his sophomore year. He knew now how much of his life was just another cliche. High school and college were the same story. Not excatly a bad story, he was in the popular group. Got A's and B's. Played sports in high school and went to college on some academic scholarships. Met his wife at college. But everything seemed to simply be something you got through until Friday or Saturday night. He smiled as he added Thursday nights to his memories for college. It was just what everyone did, it was just what everyone lived for. He let his hand drop.
Two months, 15 days now, he thought as the clock switched to the a.m.
He stared at the bottle. He had hid it in the garage as a reserve. His children's faces flashed in his mind again. His eyes swelled. The last two weeks especially had shown him how children could break your heart with joy. His little girl was always waiting for him to come through the door with something in her hands that she had made at daycare. His son would ask him for help on his homework, or even to play a video game. And his wife seemed to be looking like her college self, again.
Today was a bad day. Yesterday he reminded himself. He held his head in his hands, letting them roll to the top of his head. It felt like life was scotch taped together and he couldn't hold it back from falling into a million pieces. Just one, maybe two or three. It would put the picture of life back to normal. No tape, no edges. A clear view of what life meant. A drink is all it would take to go back to what everybody did, how everybody lived. Just getting through the week until Friday or Saturday night.
He grabbed the glass and the bottle. Two months, 15 days he thought to himself.