I’m in the middle of revisions on Yellow Blanket again. I’ve been on sabbatical from Pinewood Table group since July. From January to June I spent most of my time bringing my complete revisions to the table. I’m about halfway through. This summer, as you’ve noticed from the lack of activity on the blog I’ve been busy with travel and other things. Here is a chunk from the middle of the manuscript where I’m hitting bottom with alcohol for the first time at age 20:
“In a few days I would go back to Wells and start the spring semester. I was anxious to get away from Portland, back to Robin and Shelly at Wells, and partying.
We commenced drinking and my crush on Gina came up again even though she had made it clear to me she only wanted to be friends. She was straight. On Valentine’s Day there was a big semi-formal dance and I got dressed up in a one piece black pantsuit that I found at Marshall’s on clearance. It was long, flowy and too long for me. If I didn’t hold the pants portion up when I walked I would trip. Robin, Shelly and I pre-partied in Robin’s room and got trashed on shots of peppermint Schnapps and Hershey’s syrup chaser. We danced our crazy drunk dances at Sommer Center and could feel the eyes of more sober people watching me from the sides. I thought the sober people were really missing out on being drunk.
It was twenty degrees out but by the end of the night I ended up crossing the lawn from Sommer Center to Main dorm trying to track down Gina to confess my undying love to her in my short sleeve pantsuit. I went up to her room on Main second and knocked on the door.
“Come in,” Gina said from faraway.
“Hey….how’s it goin’?” I opened the door and picked the legs up to walk into her room. The overhead light was on and bright.
“I’m about to go to sleep but you can come in for a few minutes,” she put something into her wardrobe.
“I think I’m in love with you.”
“Kelly I like you as a friend but that’s about it,” she sat down on her bed.
“Ok. I think I’m gonna go now.” I turned on my heel and picked the pants up again.
Outside it was still freezing and I decided with all my embarrassment I would run back to school. I had gone drunk running a few months earlier with a group of people late at night on a whim and it seemed like a good idea. Forgetting I had the dress on I started running and tripped on the bottom part. There was a hole in the knee and my hands felt skinned. I walked the rest of the way home.
In the restroom in Dodge, I pulled the dress down, sat down on the toilet and put my chin in my hands. There were drops of blood on the floor. “What’s that from?” I thought. I pulled the dress up and went out to wash my hands. In the mirror and harsh fluorescent light my face was bloody on the right side.
“Ohmygawd! Ohmygawd!” I whispered quietly to myself. It was 2:30 am and I didn’t want to wake anyone up in my dorm suite.
Something was different with my bottom teeth. I ran my tongue across them.
“What am I going to do? I’ve never had a chipped tooth before. Do I go to the dentist?”
Looking in the mirror to survey the damage I turned the water on and splashed cold water on my face. Blood splattered in the sink. It was the only thing I knew how to do: wash my face and try and take care of myself. It’s what I did during the trial when I had melt down after melt down and had to leave the witness stand to collect myself.
I collapsed into bed, fell asleep immediately because of the alcohol but woke up several times that night. Dreaming about a giant combination bus, train and plane crash the next morning I felt like I had a giant epiphany: I needed to stop drinking. At 10 am, I crawled out of bed and my cheek was throbbing. Touching the upper part right below my eye it felt tender and wondered if it was broken. Dragging myself to the bathroom I looked in the mirror again.
I was a bruised up mess.
It was time to call Mom on the west coast. She would know what to do. I pulled out my desk chair, sat down and propped my feet on the window ledge just let when I called Matt last summer and wanted to talk to him about Princess Diana’s death but couldn’t. Wrapping the curly cord around my fingers I knew she would be up.
“Hello…” Mom picked up in and it was her sleepy voice
“Mom…” I started crying. “I had a horrible trip last night.”
“Oh…” She got quiet. “What happened?”
“I drank a bunch with Robin and Shelly and decided to run across campus. I slipped on a patch of ice and fell. My entire right side was bloody, my cheek really hurts and I’m all bruised up.”
“Do you think you have a problem with drinking?” Her tone changed from sleepy to serious.
“Maybe…maybe I need to go to an AA meeting?” It was the first place I went because I needed to change something.
“I can make some calls to the Intergroup office in Syracuse, see if there are any meetings in your area and call you later today?”
“Ok. That sounds like a good idea.”