It is approximately 11:35 a.m. on Sunday morning, and the House of O (mi casa) smells like beer. To be precise, a local brew called Ray Hill’s.It doesn’t get much more offensive or blasphemous than a beer-soaked kitchen on the Sabbath.
No, O is not drunk this early on a Sunday morning.
About three months ago, O’s grandmother – Nanny – gave him two bags full of frozen, freshly-caught catfish. O has racked his brain for months, trying desperately to figure out a way to use these treats other than the obvious fried fish.
And last night, around 8 p.m. it hit him.
O was going to make beer-battered fish tacos with pineapple salsa.
After thawing the fish, and preparing the batter, O’s kitchen smelled like a brewery.
This time last year, O’s kitchen often smelled like alcohol, but for an entirely different reason.
The relationship had ended. The first one. The one with Denver – the one that was supposed to last forever. The one that didn’t.
And O – along with his friends Atomic, White Gold, and Dishy Dyke – who had also ended long-term relationships, hit the bottles hard. Nightly. For a period of months on end.
Following a frightening period of coming to work hungover on a daily basis, thus performing at a standard that was far beneath O’s usual work ethic, weekends that were wasted by sleeping in until 5 p.m. only to wake up and get ready for the next adventure, and a checking account that always seemed to be operating in the red, O came to a realization.
Alcohol is great – don’t for a second think that O is about to give a sanctimonious “don’t drink blah blah blah speech.” But it seems that the more one consumes of it, the less exciting it really is.
A year ago O’s kitchen smelled like booze. The trashcan was full of bottles, and seemed to scream “Guns and Roses was here.”
Now, things are different. O is happy. He doesn’t need to get obliterated every night to get by.
He has his health. He has a great job. He is surrounded by a fantastic support group. His checking account has been in the black for almost a year now. His relationships are far more real – and meaningful.
And now when he sips on an occasional Midori Sour, a great glass (or sometimes bottle :: wink :: ) of Alamos Chardonnay, or a bubbling flute of champagne, he appreciates it.
He savors it.
Back then, life, like all the alcohol O was consuming at the time, was too fast. And after awhile, it all tasted the same.
Now, life is consumed slowly. Responsibly. Glass by glass.
Cheers! By the way – the fish tacos were GREAT.