Stale air, dead trees, dry wheeze.
A man crossed out another day on the
calendar. With a grim stare, he saw it near.
A brand new year within three days.
Slowly and tense, he took a pen and stabbed
it down on fresh paper, writing the number
one. A silent sigh escaped his lips,
day one again, again, and
again. More? How many more? The last
time and the time before should have been the
last day one. His life he lived like a stopwatch—
reset to zero as if no time had passed at all.
Empty promises, progress lost, heavy cost.
The man’s dog looked up with lazy eyes, eyes that said:
“My bowl needs, filling feed me now.
It’s half past eight, walk me now.
I’m awfully lonely, love me now.”
With a blank stare the man looked down,
he saw his dog and caught himself in reverie—
to be a dog, how easy life would be. To be
taken care of constantly, no worries other than
the squirrel outside or the stranger walking by.
Sleep as long as you’d like and be able to wake up
To food prepared or loving arms ready for embrace.
You could go wild as a dog too, with little consequence.
Why not tear up the pillows on the couch? Why not
make a mess of the trash? Run around in an open field
and don’t come in until you’re gasping for air,
and felt you lived it all and chased all the cats.
A new day, new start, keep heart.
The man’s wife walks into the kitchen still
tired from night’s sleep. She yawned but said
“I’m proud,” pointing her finger to the number one
written down on the paper. “But you should
write the days on the calendar,” She said.
“Easier to see and remember.”
The man didn’t respond, he thought day one
so close to a new year looked unpleasant. An idea or
an escape entered his mind. Why not start on the new year?
Why not just make a new year’s resolution? Why not?
“How about I start on the new—” before he finished his wife
silenced the final word. She scowled with a look of ferocity and
love. A look void of pity but filled with care.
A look that said “I’ll always have my hand ready to
pick you back up, but that doesn’t mean I’ll watch you fall.”
Tired feet, journey long, body and soul strong.
“Don’t reduce this to a new year’s resolution,”
the man’s wife said, “losing weight, waking up early,
watching less TV, reading more, or learning new things,
those are new year’s resolutions. But staying sober? Staying sober and
wanting to stay sober? You don’t push that off, you don’t wait
to get it right tomorrow or next week or month, and certainly not
next year. Sobriety is a daily resolution. There are no cheat days, there
are no days off or breaks. Maybe sometimes you must start over,
but I won’t let you push it back. Even if tomorrow is New Year’s—
today is day one of sobriety.”
The man smiled and said, “Alright. Come on, I’ll make you breakfast.”
And if the days be a constant battle, even if today is
day one of starting over—
you’re still here and not there.