L.E. Flinders's Blog

March 18, 2021

A glass of wine

Sometimes, I want a glass of wine. I hear someone else mention one, or I see someone in a movie drinking one, or I thinly carve and eat a slice of parmesan cheese—which I used to always drink with wine. And then I think, I want a glass of wine. And I consider it. And I can taste it. And I can feel it in my mouth, and see it leaving little purple drip marks down the inside of the glass like the outside of a paint can. And I can smell the almost floral perfume-scented kick to it. And I can see the little bit of cork that broke off and fell into my glass, floating around at the top, but unwilling to be fished out easily. And I think about getting one, a bottle from the store, a single glass from a restaurant, or a bar, whatever.
But then I think, why do I want a glass of wine? It’s been so long since I had one that my tolerance simply doesn’t exist anymore. So now, a single glass becomes 10 minutes of drunkenness and 10 hours of a headache. Also, It’s a waste of money. Why would I spend $20 on something I won’t even drink all of? Also, It never feels as good as you think it will, even if it feels good for a bit. Also, you make terrible decisions. We all do. Don’t pretend you don’t. You do and say things you could regret forever. You wake up and check your phone in the morning with a pit in your stomach and a racing heart as you quickly search every call, text, and social media post for signs of inebriation. What’s more, it’s also a depressant, and I definitely don’t need that shit in my life right now. It destroys your kidneys, your liver, and generally wreaks havoc on your body in a million ways. And let’s not even get into the empty calories issue, I think, while simultaneously filling my mouth with M&Ms from a large Ziploc bag hidden away in my kitchen cabinet.
And the M&Ms remind me of the concession stand at a movie theater or a play. And I hate that it does for some reason. And that reminds me of every other memory of times back when I used to drink glasses of wine, back when I used to sit at a bar with a wine or a whisky, or order a bottle of wine for the table, or drink cheap box wine from a solo cup at a friend’s house party, just like everyone else, before I had no tolerance, before I had an oncologist in my 30s, before I worried about things like the inner workings of my kidneys and liver and how long they would last, or whether it could cause anemia, or affect my blood counts in some way, or my immune system. And then I take a breath. Because that was a lot for one sentence. And I try to tell myself that there was nothing good about any of it. I tell myself that I’m a better person now, with a better life, and healthier habits. I tell myself that I am a non-drinker now, by my own choice. Because lots of past cancer patients drink, especially this far out from treatment. So, it really is a choice. And a part of me believes that. Part of me prefers who I am now. Part of me can sit at a bar or a restaurant, or with someone who is drinking, and feel satisfied. Part of me feels no envy, at least, not for the drink in his or her or their hand. But another part of me, scans the entire room, undetected, feeling a deep dagger of envy, pressing heavy into my heart, one for each person holding a drink, like a collection of daggers struggling for room to fit and weighing me down. And I struggle to hide how much I miss that indifference towards the choice, towards the freedom to treat my body as so disposable, with no awareness of my lack of awareness of its significance and fragility. And once everyone has had too much, I’ll pretend that I’m merely jovially annoyed at being the only sober one, and not feeling completely alone by being the only person medically required to think about such things. Because being fake annoyed by the drunkenness of others feels a lot less isolating than what I’m actually feeling.
And then, I want a glass of wine again. But instead, I have another carefully portioned handful of M&Ms, re-zip and hide the bag behind other healthier things in my cabinet and try to stop thinking about it.
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Published on March 18, 2021 17:48

October 5, 2017

The Wolves Within Our Walls included in Best Books of September by IndieReader

See full details at HuffingtonPost.com:
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Published on October 05, 2017 11:57 Tags: indiereader-huffpo-books

August 7, 2017

Goodreads Giveaway

Thank you to all who entered my recent Goodreads Giveaway. You are all appreciated. To the winners, your books will be mailed out this week.
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Published on August 07, 2017 20:54 Tags: thanks

July 29, 2017

Aging Viewed Through the Bottom of a Bottle

More than anything, I'm still that weird girl in the back of your 3rd grade class trying to argue with an exhausted teacher that Stephen King's Pet Semetary is an in-depth, subtle, literary argument for the right to euthanasia in cases of the terminally ill, and that book report censorship in a public school violates the 1st amendment. Only now, I'm typically two to three whiskeys into my night before either topic comes up in conversation.
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Published on July 29, 2017 20:08