Lucky Number 7

March 7 will mark 7 years, 7 months and 7 days since I stopped drinking. Funny how numbers work out that way. All those sevens in a line feel ceremonious.

Realizing this has made me overly-emotional, sitting here at my regular table near the front of the coffee shop, holding back tears listening to David Bowie singing in my ear.

There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile

I was the 23 year old girl who married a Marine and turned out to be the alcoholic. It wasn’t long into our relationship when he told me I had a problem. Being an addict, it took me more than ten years to hear him.

My plan today was to finish an essay about me, my hair and a quote by the designer Givenchy. It’s been lingering for two weeks now. If I don’t finish the fucker soon, I never will.

Next to my coffee mug is a stack of books I’ve been carrying around since being knee-deep into this piece: Hair: Public, Political, Extremely Personal by Diane Simon, Rapunzel’s Daughter by Rose Weitz, and Ariel Gore’s The End of Eve (which, if you trust my taste in books, you should start reading immediately). It’s wet and snowy outside. The Lafayette Township fire department trucks just drove past on what used to be Old 150. Twenty years ago, they installed a stop light and a sign with the words Paoli Pike to mark the road that snakes from the top of the knobs down the hill to New Albany.

Now that I’m here, all I want to do is sit and listen to songs that make me weepy, while I suck down one cup of coffee after another.

I want to finish this essay.

I want to stop biting the hangnail on the side of my thumb, causing it to bleed nonstop. I want the fucking snow to go away. I want to accomplish something, but mostly I want to nap. I want five more hours in the day that are all mine. I want to be more grateful, but I can’t help wanting more stuff.

I want to not freak out if I miss a day of running, but I really, really want to run every day.

I want Pandora to stop making me cry.

What I don’t want is a drink. I don’t want to get high. I don’t want to dismiss how far I have come in the last seven years and seven months…even if I am sitting here at Hob Knobb Coffee, crying over David Bowie songs.

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