Friday, December 05, 2008

Dear Alcohol

Dear Alcohol,

By the time you read these lines, I’ll be gone. It may shock you, but I've been thinking about leaving you for months—since that day at the beach last summer. But let's not go there. Not now.

Over the last few years, you slowly began to demand more of my time—time usually spent with friends or family. I was dependent on you, at a period in my life when I needed to be independent. I feel sad admitting I won't be able to be with you anymore. But I know I'll be a more complete person as a result. You will be angry. You will resent me. You have that right. I cannot stop that.

Alcohol, we have been through a lot together. Our romance was a whirlwind romance. When we first met in high school, you validated me in ways that no one had before. With you in those early days, I felt a sense of belonging--a belonging I had never felt.

In your murky depths, I saw a reflection of myself. You allowed me to be whomever I wanted to be. You listened. For a while, our relationship worked well for me.

But you changed. I changed.

By the end, we were all wrong for each other.

I just felt betrayed by you one too many times. The false hopes. The empty promises. I slowly came to realize that your smiles were placating and sycophantic. You turned into my enabler. Perhaps I was the real betrayer. I acknowledge this. I betrayed myself by allowing you into my life. You never forced yourself upon me. It was I who sought you out.

I don’t blame you for anything. I have no resentment. I only want to move on.

You may ask, "What about all those late nights? All the times we made love?"

My answer is that, in the end, I was just going through the motions. I faked it. I lost pleasure in our encounters a long time ago. Yes, I can admit that now. I don't feel good about it.

But I do remember the good times. I'll miss the laughter, the mirth. I'll miss our circle of friends- scotch, bourbon, beer.

And who could ever forget wine? Yes, wine with her purple eyes, her long, sleek neck.

But there is someone new in my life. Her name is Coffee. She is hot, lovely. She's also black. Does this surprise you? Coffee picks me up in ways that you never could. By the end of our time together, you could only bring me down.

Coffee and I are beginning to create more of a life together than I could ever hope to have with you.

I hope you can one day understand and come to terms with what I have done. I can only thank you for our time together, and for everything you have taught me about myself.

We'll always have college.

Please, don’t try to find me.




Luke said...

You had a love affair with her too?
This is wonderful post. It is sad and beautiful, light and profound all at the same time. Coincidentally, I have also been re-examining my deeply ingrained relationship with this sultry substance, so I can certainly relate to your words. Thank you.

Seth said...

This is a beautiful post, Steve. And funny, too.

If I wrote a letter like this it would have to be to my constant lover: chicken.

But that will never happen.

Mark said...

Breaking up is hard to do although the pain is ameliorated a great deal when you've got a babe like Coffee on your side.

I think you've made an excellent choice, Steve. May you have a long and steamy relationship.

purpledogstar said...

I guess that means there'll be more booze leftover for me then.

Jennifer Sowden said...

Hi Steve,
I read Beer Becomes Me and this post. I enjoyed both. Thanks for sharing. I, too, have ended my relationship with alcohol. Since, my first pregnancy (2004) I've only had a few drinks. I have craved a nice cold beer lately and reading your post from 2007 did not help my craving. Anyhow, enjoy the coffee. I do!

Seth said...

I've never drank a cup of coffee, ever, in my entire life. I drank espresso in Florence, once or twice. That was it. What am I missing? I'm afraid it will keep me up, for days. Black tea destroys me. Coffee might ruin my life. The only consideration: does it help you write?

Steve said...


Asking if coffee helps you write is like asking if steroids help you hit more home runs- there is no actual empirical evidence, but who can deny the results?

All of those users must be onto something...

Karen said...

Wow, I just read this post today, Steve. It is honest, well written and inspiring. It is also very funny in a "funny but true" way. I really respect the new stand you have taken for positive change in your life.

I raise my mug of French Roast to you!

Steve said...

Thanks Karen.

This blog is nothing if not cathartic for me.

James said...


Nice. I too am developing an affair with coffee. I am on a mission to brew the perfect cup. So far Peet's is my favorite. If you haven't tried it, do so.

Seth, coffee is not meant for people like you. What with your energy and such. If tea destroys you, coffee will only up the ante. Coffee is meant for slugs like me.


Suzanne said...

Congratulations on your decision Steve. And well-done for such a poignant and funny good-bye.

Steve said...


At this point my tastes are non discriminatory. I drink it all- even instant.

It takes a special kind of person to choke down a cup of black instant coffee. But that has more to do with my desire to cut all dairy and refined sugar out of diet than anything else.

Right now my only stipulation is that it be black, and hot. I'll admit that it does allow one to taste and appreciate it more- all that cream and sugar can easily mask a crappy cup o' joe.

I will try Peet's posthaste, though.


Seth said...

Black coffee seems sexy and romantic. I bet you India Jones takes his coffee black. (Harrison Ford probably takes cream and sugar.) If I drank coffee, it'd certainly be black, and hot.

Jeffrey said...

Dear Steve,

I have read your blog. Hey, good on you. I don't know how you did it, giving up beer and wine (and the year before, lady nicotine), but you did. These are serious addictions you are rolling over.

Anonymous said...

Well done.
your co-worker and co-combatant

Damon said...


That was awesome! I really enjoyed it.

daniel pyle said...

That's awesome! And it can be applied to other things too if people examine themselves. Thanks, that was a blessing. Have you published it elsewhere too?