January 5, 2014

The Voice

Sometimes, more often than not actually, I think that maybe after eight-and-a-half years of sobriety, I might be able to throw in the towel on the teetotaling, and enjoy a nice robust Chardonnay with the rest of the civilized people of the world when I go out to eat dinner on a river in the fading glow of a well-spent day. Or maybe, I too can "grab a cold one," with the other parents as we watch our kids frolic and swim in the pool with the pregnant South East Asian clouds simmer overhead threatening rain.

But then I think about what I just did to that bag of Salted Kettle Potato Chips, And I think again. 

image by appleswitch

I'm laying in bed, my fingers covered in grease, half the bag gone before I take my first breath. I hear that all familiar voice over the tender crunching of chips, "Man these are good. Can we eat them faster? There is no point in stopping now, there are not enough left for a satisfying session next time. You are more than half way done. Just finish the bottl...bag."

Addiction is about that voice. The one that pretends to be you, but really is only manipulating you to do the things you know you shouldn't. It's a familiar voice no doubt, one I hear every time I over indulge on anything: chips, batch of cookies, a vegan chocolate bar. I have never been able to moderate or negotiate with that voice. It's all or nothing.

As my vices dwindle with age, I am left wondering why I have to abstain entirely from the things I want. How do normal people just have a few chips? Or one or two glasses of wine, without the need to inhale, annihilate, devour, and.....see, just talking about it gets me excited. 

Perhaps my problem is that I know the voice too well. We have been through so much. He has saved me from many a painful realization, all the while making dousing me with shame and regret. Food for me, as of now, is harmless, so I will quell the voice with a bag of chips now and then, but I am still distrustful with the glass of wine on the river.

Sometimes at a party, while getting my wife a glass of wine I will discretely smell the aroma wafting from the glass. Fruity and light, the glass lightly moistened with condensation. It smells like a tart fresh apple with a hint of pear and, is that..... yes some pineapple sweetness. That is when I hear the voice, "You could drink that entire bottle in one sip like a cool Snapple and just be getting started." 

I hand the glass to my wife and reach for a cold glass of water and think about later in the night when I will binge on a bag of chips. Keeping the voice satiated once again.

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