Wednesday, December 26, 2007

only to be expected

Christmas Holiday Day One:

The corkscrew fits directly into the bottleneck and as I turn it down further in it breaks off completely. A small metal screw is sticking out of the wine bottle and in my hand is the corkscrew without the screw. I briefly imagine that the universe is telling me not to drink, that I can simply sit back and enjoy my evening with juice or water. I imagine smiling warmly at my family as they arrive. I picture us hugging and saying hello, sitting down and catching up sober and clear-headed. I look back at the wine bottle and regain my senses.

I try with a pair of pliers to get the screw out of the cork and when I accidentally close the pliers on my fingers drawing blood, I take them back to the toolbox. My eyes rest on my oldest, most trusted tool I own. A long-handled 4" hammer that has seen me through thick and thin since I got it ten years ago. I put the wine bottle between my knees and hook the corkscrew in the hammer tail and haul on it. Not much glass broke off with the hammer head braced against the mouth. After a few more tries the bottle opens and I can enjoy a glass of cheap, sweet wine secure in the knowledge that any family encounter that comes up will be well cushioned with fuzzy awareness and small shards of broken glass.

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