Empty Calories

That first night without her was the longest one of your life.

Those were the days you’d practice drinking gunslinger quick.

That night, you made it two before you knew what hit you, and you were definitely looking forward to more.

Always a beer guy up until then, you didn’t really know well what wine and whiskey could do.

So that night into next night, and maybe the next, you killed reds and whites,

not knowing which you might like best, and washed everything down with a quart back of Jack.

It was the first time you’d seen 24-hour convenience stores.

That revelation was like finding the holy grail.

So the beers kept coming, 24/7, like pineapple on the production line at Dole Cannery.

You wouldn’t, of course, say anyone drove you to drink.

Seriously, you’d already been riding along on the old beer wagon for a while,

but you definitely shifted into second, maybe jumped to fourth, for a long time after.

How you made it through all that, no joke, is a foggy recollection.

Everything from that time’s a little bit hazy, with good reason.

If we do kill brain cells every time we drink alcohol,

you were mowing them down like Sherman blowing through Georgia.

Nowadays you don’t drink much of anything anymore.

If you do it’s a beer or two, once or twice a month.

It’s an age thing, partly, having drunk so much you got tired.

Then too, there’s not much reason to do it anymore.

The kind of passion that pushed it, it’s pretty much passed,

like a real bad hangover does, slow, but thankfully sure.

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