Drunk

Just yesterday she’d said to herself: “Never again!”

And now look what happened. She swore under her breath.

Minnie sat herself down on the john and put her face in her hands, while the room spun around her. It was late. Danny had gone to bed more than an hour ago while Minnie sat up pouring “just one more”, blearily watching TV. Somehow she would have to straighten this drinking thing out. Get squared away. Find some inner strength, some self-control. She held the wall while standing up, and the dinner she’d consumed hours ago surged up into her throat. She spun around and bent over just in time.

That didn’t take long, she thought, after she gargled and brushed her teeth. Drink for hours and loose it and your dinner in a minute. Her head was clearer anyway.

Linus, her cat, settled himself on her chest as he did every night when she got into bed, until he bolted, launching himself with a big push just as she was falling asleep, the suddenness practically giving her heart failure. Before the launch he purred, kneaded her throat, and tried to get her to sing to him, but since Danny was asleep Minnie kept quiet. She drifted off. Linus bolted.

 In the morning she didn’t feel too bad. The good side of loosing your cookies she thought. Her hand shook slightly while she drank her tea. Minnie contemplated calling Ralph at rehab, but the last time she met with the group he threatened to send her to Drunk Person Day Camp so she stopped going. There was no time for day camp. What was he thinking? She needed to work, after all.

“What time did you get to bed last night?” Danny asked, walking into the dining room carrying his laptop and a cup of coffee. “I see you polished off another bottle.” He sat down opposite Minnie, opened up his computer and started to type, after slurping some coffee. Minnie wished she’d remembered to throw away the empty.

“Maybe around two. I was finishing a movie.”

Danny rattled away at the keyboard, working on another screenplay, his brow creased, his eyes focused on the monitor. He paused for a swallow of coffee, leaned back in his chair and contemplated Minnie.

“Going to work today?” he asked. “Or are you going to call in sick again?” Minnie had taken a sick day yesterday because she was hung over from her binge the previous night.

“No. I’m going. I’m fine.”

“You don’t look fine. You look gray and wasted.”

“Thanks a bunch.”

“I worry about you Minnie. You’re drinking way too much. Again.”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m working on it.”

“How?”

“Look. I’d better get ready for work, don’t you think? I don’t have time to talk right now.” Minnie stood up, collected her mug and cereal bowl, and headed for the kitchen. Danny watched her walk away, then went back to his work.

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