Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bottle

When I opened up the storage unit before I moved this time, there were lots of things I didn't remember saving. Some of them were particularly useful--I found about four boxes of kitchen accessories, all well-wrapped and ready to go back to work. I had one panicked moment when I pulled out all of the parts of my futon and couldn't find the nuts and bolts that held it together. I did prove to myself that there are a few ways me-three-years-ago and me-now still think the same way when I figured the most practical spot for them would have been my tool kit, and lo and behold, there they were. Sigh of relief immediately followed that discovery.

I knew that part of that process would become one of those time-capsule-like experiences for me. I also knew that was really cliched and I hated it. Fortunately, I didn't find too much that brought back sitcom-like flashbacks for me. Most of it was an "oh, yeah...I remember that" set of moments. And, I preferred it that way.

One of the things I pulled out was an old wine bottle--Fetzer Chardonnay. I saved that bottle on purpose, and more than likely because I didn't want the details associated with it to transform into a mythical state they didn't deserve.

Three years ago, a relationship ended, and trust me, it wasn't my finest moment by far. The whole thing had been relatively short, and I would have been foolish not to think that it was going to eventually turn out that way due to a number of circumstances having to do with him and his life. Idealistic me had gotten involved with someone who didn't know who he was or how to make his life better. Instead, in many ways, he just drifted from day to day and suddenly, he was over forty and asking himself how he got there. He was smart, he had a lot of talents, but he didn't have the balls to deal with much, and anywhere conflict came up in his life, he backed away and hid in a corner. In my case, I was just unforgivably pathetic. And, that's why I saved that bottle.

He decided to leave. "Conflict" had come up and he just couldn't handle it. He had misled me to a huge extent, but even more sadly, he misled himself into thinking he was someone and was capable of something he wasn't. I am not going to pretend that I stood tall at that moment--I was emotionally wrecked. I am actually extremely embarrassed about it. After he unceremoniously marched out my back door without any compassion and only thinking about himself, the process for me had only begun. I had to work the next day, and rather than make the practical choice and call out sick, I picked up this then-unopened bottle of wine and consumed all of the contents. This was certainly enough to put me to sleep, and I fell into bed moments afterwards.

The next morning, I woke up on time but realized I hadn't slept off the effects of the alcohol entirely--and this, I must say, was entirely due to my own naivete. I had never gone to bed and woke up still tipsy. Again, my practical mind did not kick in and I still went to work. For a while after this, I went through a rough patch where I needed to pull myself out of feeling emotionally sunk, and lots of people helped me with that.

By the time I really started to regain myself, I decided to save that bottle. I wanted to remind myself what had happened to me--what I had allowed to happen to me.

I still have that bottle, and I remember. And it has not, and will not, happen again.

Now, if only the people down the street would change the volume of the music they are playing so the vibrations from the bass line weren't weakening the foundations of this house....

6 comments:

captain corky said...

I'm glad you were able to learn from the experience. A lot of people wind up repeating the pattern and most never realize it.

It's Me! said...

Anyone who says they haven't ever done something they regret in the face of a bad breakup is a liar.

M@ said...

Wow. Your experience sounds so tame compared to mine, if you'll pardon me for saying that.

On my 29th birthday after the breakup of my life, I passed out drunk at 11:30--in the morning. Well, you sound healthier than average, I think.

Trudi said...

What a good way to remind yourself of that moment. I wish mine was only one relapse after my bad breakup.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Bad breakups are always a scar that will be there.

Zero said...

My place is full of memory bottles...I could build a glass house.