Aromatic Flashbacks

BeerThe smell was noticeable, decipherable . . .
I have known it since long before a child should know such things.
The aroma has permanently permeated my nostrils,
even now in my well-adjusted (ha!) adulthood
one whiff from the breath of a non-alcoholic drinking from that bottle
and I am once again 7 years old,
opening beer bottles with my small hands . . .
carrying them into the living room . . .
during commercials . . .
careful not to interrupt whatever football game is playing.

Sitting across from my casual-beer-drinking companion . . .
it’s not his fault . . .
still I feel the tendrils of rage
slithering their way through me,
disgust and resentment welling inside of me.
I am 8 or 9 and we are sitting on a bench outside of a hospital . . .
a special hospital designed to make everything better.
It’s pretty like the pinks and purples of the sky at dusk
and comforting like a stack of pancakes on Sunday morning . . .
things will get better . . .
until they don’t.

We’re laughing . . .
My own empty glasses of Long Island iced teas
spread out in front of me,
I’m tipsy like a toddler’s tower of blocks,
but I don’t drink beer.
Beer is the sound of beration,
that aural memory of ant-like status.
It’s wet as tears and cold as isolation,
it’s hours spent in front of windows
eyes glued to passing cars like an excitable puppy,
it’s forgotten birthdays and pseudo sorries,
lies and excuses
and angry words hauled at a recently motherless child . . .
it’s him and all my years of futile attempts at perfection . . .

the reason I don’t know how to love myself properly.

Photo Credit]

30 responses to this post.

  1. Wow! I’ve probably told you before but you write such powerful poetry. It really allows me to feel what you’re feeling even if I have never personally experienced the same.


  2. Posted by bnatividad on March 5, 2013 at 9:46 am

    You use some really great similes here. Nicely done!


  3. Wow…that is deep. I love this. I definitely can relate to this. TY for sharing.


  4. I relate to this so much. I never really drank beer, for the same reason. Very well written.


  5. I loved “tipsy like a toddler’s tower of blocks.” Great image. Great use of emotion in that phrase. AND, I adore alliteration.


  6. This is so beautifully written. I hope you made this up because it’s heartbreaking.


    • Thank you, Stacie! . . . They’re all real memories, but I’m still grateful for my childhood. There were definitely traumas, they’ve helped shape who I am . . . and without them, I would have missed out on some amazing people in my life 🙂


      • That is a powerful statement. Have you always felt that way or has that come to fruitation with you getting older?


        • I have Alateen to thank for that outlook. Without an alcoholic father, I never would have met so many wonderful people . . . to have had those relationships through my teen years, I am definitely grateful for that. . . . . Though I do need to admit that I don’t always feel this way. I have good days and bad ones and sometimes I’m heartbroken and resentful, but this is what I try to focus on 🙂

  7. These descriptive comparisons were very powerful – and this fiction contained so many ounces of sad truth. Very well expressed.


  8. Well done! I have some similar memories myself…


  9. Wow, such beautiful, powerful writing! I agree with Stacie – it’s heartbreaking. And I admire your attitude enormously. When you can see the good that came from the bad stuff, it means so much. Well done!


  10. wow this was pretty incredible– awesome, raw, emotional writing.


  11. Posted by debseeman on March 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    You describe the depth and strength of emotion so beautifully. Using the perfect words to describe pain, anger, disgust. Outstanding!


  12. Posted by iasoupmama on March 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Wow — excellent! So sorry that this is autobiographical.

    I’m not a beer drinker, either. Beer breath on college boys, ick…


  13. This has a really strong message. Very good.


  14. Wow, this is very powerful, especially the last stanza.


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