Poof— Open a bottle and release a magic spirit to do your bidding. What seems like a good idea at the time— can soon bring regret. News flash, there is no genie at the bottom of a gin bottle, this— I know for sure. If you happen to be an occasional regretful drinker like myself, I can save you a great deal of nausea, and bed spins, by reminding you to pour your own drinks, be involved in keeping track of your alcohol consumption. If you let others do it for you, it can cause unwelcome side effects. This is the best advice I can give you this week, probably even all summer. Especially considering, I’ve just killed off more brain cells, than I grew all of last week.
This lapse of judgement occurred visiting our step-mom in Castlegar, B.C. Fortunately, I’m too old for the corner, but I would have enjoyed a time out. The eleven-hour truck ride home after trying to free the Genie proved challenging. In the first hours I kept my teeth and fists clenched, determined to be stoic. I would not succumb to the feelings of illness through the curvy, windy, ever-changing elevation of mountain passes. The sun shone down on me in the passengers seat, as though lighting up an overexposed turd in the backyard. I curse my god given fortitude to drink, and eat whatever people put in front of me.
Five hours into the trip— more like four hours, fifty-three minutes, and six seconds— but who’s counting? We roll through the picturesque little town of Fernie. A green light on a traffic standard flickers orange, and then blazes into red. Rick jams on the brakes. We fly forward. Our seatbelts grab us tightly around the midsection. My queasy tummy flip-flops initiating fountain protocol. I frantically search the truck for a bag, an old boot, or anything to keep from redecorating the new company truck with pavement pizza. I find a gift bag containing a present for our granddaughter; it has been lovingly packed by our step-mom. I rip out the contents, and hover over the bag. I huff and puff, and blow away the idea of being sick.
Rick gives me a concerned look, “Are you going to be okay?“
Green is not a color, it’s a feeling, “Pull over when you can, “ I groan.
I watch the road ahead, focused, “I am not getting sick, I am not getting sick.” It’s a mantra in my mind. I hold the colourful birthday bag wide open between my hands, in case the bile geyser erupts.
Rick pulls over just outside of the quaint little town— probably full of very wise non-drinkers, and wise moderate drinkers.
I fling my door open, and tumble out of the truck. I bobble over to the edge of a gravel bank overlooking a rolling river. It’s swollen with spring runoff from the majestic mountain ranges. I am whiter than the peaks of snow. I lean forward, my hands on my knees. My body refuses to give anything up, except a few masculine belches— the ghosts of drinks gone past.
If only we had gone dancing last night. A bit of busting a move could have exorcized the demons of gin.
I crawl back into the seat of punishment for the rest of the trip home— The long, long, trip home.
This is your friendly reminder for sweet summer outings, there is no genie at the bottom of a bottle, and pour your own drinks my friends.