She drank far too much

and when the wine crossed her lips

it didn’t stop there


When she walked away from wine and from other sweet drinks that clouded her mind but loosened her body she started smoking in earnest. She continued at the rate of a pack and a half of Marlboro Lights for almost a decade, and even though it started as an accessory to the days when she allowed her legs to be spread before knowing anyone’s middle or even last name she held onto the cigarettes for far longer than she held onto wine bottles (she rarely used a glass, why dirty a dish when she was going to drink the whole bottle anyway?). When she found out she had life inside of her, she didn’t want the baby being cocooned in clouds of grey and yellow so she put away the Marlboro Lights. When the baby was a few months old she found that food was becoming a burden and a constant companion so she dug the Marlboro Lights out from their hiding place and smoked for another two years.

Outside, of course. Away. Which was how she had handled her wine consumption. Outside, alone, away from everyone and in private, mostly. Never old enough to relax in front of anyone (and because it was mainly illegal, of course) until 6 ounces or so was swirling in and out, pumping through her ruby red blood vessels. She smoked again and she got thin again and she prided herself on being on the low end of weight for her height.

When the baby was two and suffering from asthma (black and grey and yellow smoke can reach its fingers inside a home, too, even if the mama does her dirty calorie burning outside and away from the baby) she decided to quit and for good and it was actually pretty easy. Just as drinking had been. Just as easy as it had been to quit smoking when she was carrying her baby. Done. Over. Not alone anymore. You can flush the wine and the Marlboro lights away and they’re gone. If you’re lucky, they won’t rear their ugly heads again.

But food. Food is always there and you need it at least three times a day. You need to eat fruit and you need to eat legumes. You need to serve and provide food to your child and  your husband and you need it to sustain your body and your mind. Food is beautiful and it, luckily, for those of us who are lucky enough, is always around. Food might prove the toughest dragon to tame, after all, because it’s the one that I need to live.




"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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