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I Want To Be An Alcoholic
by Foster Richardson

I want to be an alcoholic.
I want the dreamy, slippery confidence
            of someone who's sure that his place in the world
            is exactly where he is.
I want to celebrate my publication,
            family and friends gathered at Kelleher's,
            guests buying and laughing and excusing,
            because this is a big day. After all, he's a writer,
            now.
            You know how they are.

I want a few drinks after work to become a few too many.
I want to charm co-workers and ignore calls from home,
            and decline ride offers,
            and decline and decline,
            until I accept with grace and gratitude.
            Then excuse myself to the restroom and sneak out the back.

I want to sleep through getting-ready time and shake an arm from the bed at the confused frowns.
I want to drive to work at 10:00 am and keep driving and call in sick over the bar noise,
            as they bring me towering, breakfast-sized Erdinger drafts,
            lemon juice streaking from the rim.
And I want them one
            after another
            after another.

I want to listen to the Pogues too much and have my own stool at Kelleher's,
            so when someone asks, "How's the book coming?" I can say
                        "Just doing some research!" or
                        "Working on it now!" or
                        "Go fuck yourself!"
            enough times that it's not a joke,
            for anyone.

I want to forget the rotting windows and three-digit bank balance
            and the parent-teacher conferences and the union contracts.
I want to get fired after my second DUI and empathize with my liberators
            and drive distraught and thirsty to Sullivan's
            (because Kelleher's won't have me)
            and put down a pint or eight.
I want to get in a huge row with the wife,
            and not blame her when she packs up her things and the girls'
            and defects to Inlawvania.

Then,
at last unencumbered,
at last undistracted,
I'll retire to the page.
I'll drain a couple tall-boys
and unleash the full force of my literary knowledge, skills, and abilities.

And it will be soggy, dreadful, derivative garbage.

And in the morning I'll realize it for what it is
            and what it's not
            and I'll crack a beer because I won't know how to do anything else.

Romantic.



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Midnight Picnic
a novel by
Nick Antosca

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The Suburban Swindle


More about The Suburban Swindle
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