Living With Alcoholism

I am no stranger to alcoholism. Most of my maternal Aunts and Uncles were alcoholics. My only American cousin is recovering. So is my ex-brother-in-law. I probably know a bunch of secret alcoholics too. There is one alcoholic with whom I have to spend a lot of time.

My new boyfriend.

Just to be clear, he does not drink anymore. He went to rehab about seven years ago and hasn’t fallen off the wagon. He’s not a “book carrying” alcoholic. He doesn’t preach. He doesn’t go to meetings. He simply doesn’t drink. He smokes and gets “impaired”, just not with alcohol. I’m proud of him. He saw that alcohol was ruining his life and relationships and did something about it.

Selfishly, I must admit, sometimes it sucks. He doesn’t care if I drink. In fact, he has an excellent knowledge about wines and cocktails and doesn’t give a shit if I drink a bottle or two on a Saturday night. It’s awfully kind of him. What does suck is that it almost puts a very thin invisible wall between us. It separates some of our interests.

Bars are out. I love bars. Dark, empty bars with good jukeboxes. I love a beautiful wood bar with a footrest and a hook to hang your bag. I love to knock back a couple of beers in an environment other than my kitchen. But alas, no bars for him. I mean, why would he even want to go to a bar? Sometimes I almost catch myself saying “Wanna meet at ______?” only to realize what I am about to ask. So no bars for us.

Parties are a huge deal. I get invited to a party, tell him and then the questions roll out. “Is it a big drinking crowd?” “Is it going to be rowdy?” “How long do these parties last?” After the inquisition usually come the assumptions. “I’m really not into large crowds with blaring music and drunk people blabbing all night.” Sigh. Dude, I’m almost 40. My friends aren’t a bunch of heathens, in fact, I’m probably the wildest of any of them. And weddings. I love weddings. So much fun! He recently received a “Save the Date” for a wedding of a guy he bar tends for (I know, funny, an alcoholic bartender) and he agonized over it. I mean, he just wouldn’t stop. “I don’t think I want to go.” So don’t go. It’s really not my scene to be around 400 drunk people swinging towels around on the dance floor. I’ve never been to a wedding like that.  “Maybe I should just send money.” IT’S A SAVE THE DATE!!!!!! STOP IT!!!

Finally, there is the fear. The fear that he may start drinking again. He’s had sips of my wine and I don’t see a problem with that, but the last thing I want is for him to fall off the wagon and his family blame me. I think I’m also scared of what he acts like when he’s drunk. I’ve know him for a long time, but I didn’t know him during his dark days of drinking. I don’t want to know that man.

I love him. I accept him for who he is and what he’s been through and who he has become. I know I can go to a bar with my friends and most of the people in my circle are already married or divorced. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s like wanting to visit a beautiful vineyard with the love of your life and knowing that can’t happen.

I’ll give up the vineyards.





The Departed: Part II (Kurt and Courtney)


If you missed part one, you can read it here.

Summer was coming to a close and The Departed was thrown out of college with no aspirations to enroll in a local school, find work or doing anything other than drink and do drugs. I was entering my senior year of high school and only had a few classes to finish up before I earned my diploma, so I had a fairly short schedule. I was considered part of the “stoner” crowd in High School” (this was after my short stint as a cheerleader during my Freshman and Sophomore years) and I didn’t mind at all hanging out with The Departed and the rest of his junkie friends. They were fun and adventurous. We did some crazy shit…

The Departed and I began to become super close. We started spending all of my time after school together until about midnight each night. It was becoming increasingly harder for me to concentrate on my school work, but I said “fuck it!” It was my senior year! We smoked pot all day, drank a few beers, and dropped acid or ate shrooms and just laughed and wandered and fucked our teenage brains out. (

The Departed and I taught each other how to fuck. Fuck. Smoke. Fuck. Smoke. Fuck. Smoke. Acid. Fuck. Smoke. Fuck. Shrooms. Fuck. Acid. Beer. Fuck. Smoke again. Fuck again… You get the idea…

Before The Departed I had never really FUCKED. We experimented like sexual scientists. We played games. We made bets, the loser had to do this, the winner got that. Since I had my attic “apartment” and a Mom in the early stages of MS who would never venture up the two long flights of stairs to check up on me, The Departed and I turned that attic into a drug and alcohol infested love den. It wasn’t long before I was ditching school altogether just to hang out with him. His parents worked, so we could hang out in his house or outside during the day and in my love den at night. Of course, we went out a lot too. I had friends with similar drug and alcohol interests and MB was still dating The Departed’s best friend, so we weren’t locked together in solitude. We had our circle, but everybody knew that The Departed and I were tight and together we were in trouble.

It was a cold night in the late fall or early winter of 1994 when we were hanging out at the teenage dive bar Vic’s.  The guys all wanted to take a walk and The Departed asked me to tag along; he wanted to show me something. We arrived in a backyard or an alley when one of his friends pulled out a small bag of white powder and a key. They passed it around, each taking two scoops–one for each nostril. When the bag came around to me, I was scared, I had never done cocaine before and as adventurous and fucked up as I was, I knew this was big. I shook my head side to side when the key came around to me. The Departed pulled me over and asked me what was wrong, didn’t I want to have fun? The sex would be so good and he promised me (I will never forget this), he promised me that he would never do anything to hurt me. I took the key. I took the blast up each nostril and from that night forward, we became Kurt and Courtney-holding each other up in a drug and sex fueled relationship that was, looking back on it, wild and dangerous.

It wasn’t long before The Departed and I added the white powder to our regimen of weed and booze. We still fucked around with the hallucinogens, and we still kept our friendships with our respective friends somewhat in tact, but that white powder had us handcuffed to one another. His good friend Toby, was a major coke head and had all of the connections we needed to get our fix whenever and where ever we were.  As two unemployed teenagers it was difficult to afford the white powder. A lot of of it was “gifted” or shared, but most of the time The Departed just stole money from his parents. They never noticed, and if they did, they didn’t said a word. So many dollars up the nose and filling our lungs, fucking with our brains and transporting us into a world of beautiful illusions.

Back to the sex. We fucked like rabbits and in our 420, white powder, boozed up, hallucinatory state, we became increasingly less cautious about our lives. One night we after a few straight days of powdering my nose, I started riding him in my twin bed. I had just done a few lines right before I hopped onto his cock and started writhing and pressing and moaning. I dropped my head down to find his lips and we swirled the taste of the powder around each other’s mouths. I threw my head back in ecstasy, still grinding my pussy into his cock when I looked down at his face. It wasn’t a face of ecstasy. It was a face of fear. “Baby, baby, stop, stop…your nose…” I reached up and touched my nose and felt a small drip of blood. A few seconds later it was a gush. His dick was still inside of me and my nose was splattering blood all over our naked bodies. He gently lifted me off of him and laid me on my back, propped my head up with pillows and squeezed my nose with one hand, frantically looking for anything to stop the bleeding with the other. It WAS the scene from Pulp Fiction, only my heart didn’t stop.

“That’s it, baby, we gotta stop. This is outta control.” He said to me with blood splattered face and a bath towel pressed up against my nose. I nodded weakly. We were gonna stop. We were gonna stop. We were gonna stop.

For two weeks.

Two weeks in the life of a teenager is like two years. The inside of my nose had healed up, we were being very good–just smoking weed and fucking and holding hands and loving each other, but the addiction was there. We 17 and 18 years old and drug addicts. Fucking drug addicts. And we were known for it. We were revered for it. It was 1994 and we were Brooklyn’s own Kurt and Courtney. Everybody knew when we showed up, the party would be a good one. Everyone knew how much we loved each other and everybody knew we were fucking junkies. They loved us.

For all the wrong reasons.

Stay tuned for the ending.  “The Departed: Part III: The Departure” coming soon.