24 October 2011

A Fine Whine

I’ve slimmed down lately. For the first few months following my diagnoisis I was on the 'stress diet', which is as equally effective as my teenage ‘first boyfriend break-up diet.’ Ten pounds came off just like that!

Then came chemo, and the never before attempted ‘no wine’ diet. The weight comes off slowly, and miserably. Most boring diet ever.  Friends with kids say that it’s just like being pregnant, which just a big fat fib. My understanding is that pregnant woman lose their craving for alcohol. I, on the other hand, have not lost my craving one bit. I crave wine all the time.  Yesterday I went to the liquor store to buy some cooking wine (for wild mushroom risotto), and as I walked through the aisles with tears in my eyes an Argentinean Cabernet called my name. “¿Donde esta usted?”, it asked.

I miss everything. Selecting a wine that goes nicely with the meal, easing the cork out of the bottle, and the deep glug from the depths, as the wine leaves the bottle and splashes into my glass. And I truly miss a luxurious cambozola on crusty bread, washed down by something red, deep, and delicious.

The irony is, that I often wake up feeling a slightly hung-over. Chemo dehydrates, in much the same fashion of a 1980’s university hangover where you had so many Black Russians that you thought you can do the splits. Not fair to wake up wake up with a headache without a drop to drink. So to counteract, I drink gallons of liquids a day. Water is crucial to help flush out the toxins, so I’m dedicated to pouring as much as possible through my system. (My skin, which should be dry, is actually feeling pretty great).

Come the New Year, my treatment will be complete. By then I will have saved thousands of dollars on alcohol, and fit into my favorite old jeans. I’ll also have salvaged hundreds of hours by avoiding bars, and making drunken late night calls to Kathy Morgan, my oldest friend.  There’s a lot to being said for being sober – its kind of fun to be alert every moment of every day. And I enjoy watching my friends get hammered, or pouring Jim into the passenger seat. So there’s a part of me that thinks I could give up drinking forever, but then from the distance, I hear the sweet pop of a cork.  Jolted back to reality I remember what happened at the liquor store as I walked through the aisles gazing at my old friends.

When the Argentinean wine called to me, I called back softly.  “Amigo, me espera, I will soon return.”

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