Enough of Nothing

Full disclosure; this poem covers some potentially difficult topics. Alcoholism, harmful coping mechanisms for stress... but it's also important to me not only to show that we're all human - because this piece is autobiographical - but also to show the role that Thor plays in my life. Calming. Not enabling, but not judging either. It's... a tricky topic, really. Especially to be vulnerable and to share it. But I'm grateful for him.

The storm breaks, a hand draws near and as you pour another round he wraps strong fingers around yours and asks - not with judgement - “Is it enough?” The question, at first, makes you pause; “Enough drink?” you ask, and sad eyes meet with yours as your companion shakes his head.

You drink, burning your throat as your eyes narrow in confusion and your nose wrinkles in frustration. “Enough of what?” you ask again as your finger traces the ring of condensation left in the glass’ wake like a guilty conscience.

A sigh, a smile, and an arm rests lazy across your shoulders as he wraps one hand around yours once more and tilts back the glass until - until you find it hard to breathe, hard to stop, hard to think and then. And then. He stops, observes,

waits to see if you have learned the lessons he is trying to share. The lesson that, if not the one you want to hear, is at least enough to make you pause. Coughing, you tilt your head to one side and - eyes full of reproach - ask “What harm is there in one drink more?” When you know well your limit, the way your mind will numb and the things you won’t know tomorrow.

The glass is prised from your grip and strong hands turn you, lift you, plant you unprotesting on his lap as his forehead rests against yours and the lightning burns your hair more strongly than the drink. And that taste - of him, of more, of burn, of make-forget - bids you deeper into nothing and closer to the warmth of not drowning in your cups.

He waits, patient, arms shielding you from the thunder inside, embracing you like a friend, a lover, a brother, whatever you need, and he is not slow, nor inpatient nor unknowing. You drink him in, and when you stop to take a breath a grin larks freely ‘cross his face and he plants a kiss atop your head and asks, just once more, “Is it enough?”

One day, perhaps, you’ll have the answer you know he wants and on that day he will not ask it. For now, he sits and stays and does not shout. And you pour another glass. And it burns. And you smile like novocaine, and he drinks from the bottle, keeping vigil over your choice of poison. You’re safe within the storm cloud, within those arms, and tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.

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