About Me

My photo
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

For Kirk, By Request (Or At Least Upon Suggestion)

Blogging friend Kirk appreciates the beauty of a vintage neon sign against a dark sky and I knew that. I just didn't happen to be thinking about it when I last posted. I was daydreaming along Fremont Street in the car, fantasizing about the Lucky Cuss Motel in the sunshine. Kirk didn't complain. He simply commented that the sign would probably be amazing against the night sky. He was right! So here is the Lucky Cuss as it would be seen by some lucky cuss after dinner, drinks and a spin of the roulette wheel.
And, as added sprinkles on the top, these are Miss Vickie Vegas, the cowgirl (though I think she should be dubbed the Lovely Leslie Las Vegas - hey, I've got the boots and I can kick pretty high), and a view of the Neon Museum displays lit up at night.

I do not typically rely on pictures as the bulk of my posts, but my alcohol paragraphs run a little long this time. So I'll let the pictures tell a story and continue on with my real life one.

NO photo credits: Leslie Morgan (She couldn't do as well.)

April Alliteration - Alcohol
My month-long musing about my alcoholic journey
Happy ending ~ 100% possible
Installment 3
As a teenager, I consumed some alcohol, although pot and other substances were preferred by young people of the time. I am small, I share the genetic makeup, and I am foolishly mulish. The instant someone says "You'd better not drink any more," I'm off and running. Sometimes men who were not old but who were old enough to buy alcohol and who were certainly too old for me would ply me with liquor and, apparently, enjoy the "wind her up and watch her go" game. On my 18th birthday, an attentive young man bought me a pint of Southern Comfort, Janis Joplin fan that I was. I drank it very quickly and I was very ill for a great number of days. It was the last alcohol I would touch for a very, very long time. By 18, I'd had more than plenty to drink, and never anything CLOSE to "Let's have A drink." The memory of the Southern Comfort served me for decades. I attest: Janis must have had an iron gut.

Ex was full blooded Native American, of the Pima tribe from the Salt River Reservation in Arizona. The struggles of native peoples with alcohol is well-documented. I don't have to beat that drum. His parents and others of a similar age wanted to get off the reservation - considered a sign of progress and good fortune. They did get away. Right into the mean streets of Skid Row L.A. where they produced 5 children together, and she eventually produced 10 before dying of cirrhosis at the age of 32. After meeting Ex in my late teens, I heard and witnessed the most sorrowful and horrific stories imaginable, all related in some way to too much alcohol. I cried when I first heard the stories. The same stories and the ones that followed make me cry today.

I got Ex when he was 17 years old and already an entrenched alcoholic. In retrospect, it is shocking how quickly I fit into the mold of enabler and codependent. I was perfectly suited. If only I did ABC, then Ex wouldn't drink any more. Uh-huh. I believed that for more than 20 years. In our extremely young years, there were events I could relate in a humorous way. Except that right now I can't work up a cackle. Rare for me. I can usually work up a donkey laugh about most things - the more painful, the heartier the laugh. There was the time he went out in the rain to buy more beer before the stores stopped selling at 2:00 a.m. When he didn't appear after a couple of hours, I figured he was in jail and went to bed to read and wait for the bad news. I was startled when he burst through the front door, soaked. He'd stranded our only car in the mud on the train tracks and had spent awhile trying to push it to safe ground. When he finally had to give it up - that car was good and truly stuck - he came home. He had not failed to get into the store in time to buy beer and then return to the car on the tracks.

I am not blessed with a deep well of patience. While I continued to try to do things that would divert him from drinking - keep a perfect house, cook wonderfully - my tongue sharpened very quickly. I am quick with a quip, and was then, but it didn't do a lot of good things. He learned to turn off my volume a little sooner in an altercation. I became an embittered young woman. When I grew sturdy enough to snap, "Go sleep it off awhile before you go out again!", he sometimes didn't argue. Once he took matters into his own hands. Rather than have me follow him, bitching, to the door, he opened the kitchen window in our second floor apartment and leapt out. I blinked a few times and rushed to the open window when I heard a loud yelp from below. Had he broken a leg, cut himself? No. He had landed on the back of the landlord's very large dog, Chunky. Chunky was not hurt, but was very, very surprised to have a dark young man with waist-length braids fly out of a window and land on his back. "Shut up, Chunky, " I heard the landlord snap out of his own kitchen window. Ex got up, dusted himself off, jumped the fence of Chunky's dog run and went off to find some fun. One of his ankles remained fragile for the remainder of his life.

In my ears right now: Very poor quality video and sound take nothing away from Natalie Merchant for me. Scritchy scratchy is OK enough. Just for today.

Something that charmed me: This morning I got a double-yolked egg - the first one I've ever seen, I believe. I don't get away from home much, I guess.


  1. We got double background on this post, A new background and some old background of your life.
    I was just about to let you know yesterday that I couldn't read pink on pink and that your background wasn't behaving properly on your blog. I really like this new one!
    Oh, the metaphors!
    And a doubled yolked egg on top of that.
    xoxo KIm

  2. @ NuminosityBeads ~ You often say you're not good with words, Kim, but you are, actually quite wry and droll. I like that, you know. Background and background. I'm wondering about/working on metaphors for Ex flying out the window and landing on a dog. For you see, today I can giggle about the parts that were funny and cry about the parts that were not.

    I noticed on Sunday that my blog template had gone south and hoped it was something on my computer or monitor. I had someone verify it for me yesterday and it frustrated me that all of you were viewing it in that same distorted way. Not completely helpless, I went to Blogger Help. I was reluctant to post "Blogger Eats Boogers" again because last time it retaliated against me for my free expression. I got back advice that was Greek to me and didn't work.

    The new template is also a metaphor of sorts. You see, people with illness(es) like my own do not care for change at all, not in any way. Do not rearrange the furniture and please don't move my cheese. So my willingess - no, eagerness - to make a change to make it right shows progress and balance. Besides, I no longer feel so brilliantly, vividly, pinkly pepperminty. I feel a little quieter, a little OK with "let's try this on for size, Les". It's a wonderful world!

  3. I think the new background is pretty. Soft sparkles.
    I have *never* seen a double-yolked egg! Twins!

  4. @ Cramcake ~ Yeah, I'm OK with this template, thanks. "Good with it for today" is high praise, indeed, from oneself. ;~} Shite, just landing on "OK with a little change" is good!

    Some people would see that egg as double the danger, but cholesterol is not my enemy, so far.

  5. Aw, Les, you shouldn't have, but I'm glad you did. Yes, I do like neon signs. They just grab the eye a lot more than the more mundane electric signs they have nowadays. One of the things I really like about neon signs is how the brightly illuminated foreground against the dark backdrop produces a kind of aura or halo over the words and images. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go and look at that top picture. See that orange glow around the words "Lucky Cuss"? Cool! As for Vickie Vegas, there's a great 3D effect (well, it's not really an effect, it's actually in three dimensions. But, I think when it's dark, you get an added fourth)

    I keep looking for that neon sign that say, "And the words of the prophits are written on tenament walls..." Oh, well, maybe I'll come across it someday walking down a street of cobblestone.

    Like the new template.

    Didn't know Ex was a Native-American. Another interesting tidbit.

  6. Nice - liking the tone of this template.

    You have maneged to write about something very painfula nd which could have been filled with bitterness in a very balanced and sympathetic (even to yourself0 way, Les. I was deeply moved by all of it.

    We had a lot of chickens where I grew up - and ducks, geese, etc...double yolkers were among some of the less bizarre egg anomalies I saw - I haven't been able to eat eggs since I was a child.

    I thought only Brits said "shite"?! (The kiwis say "sheet").

  7. @ Kirk ~ I'm glad the photos pleased you. And I DO get it about the glow. I'd call it a halo. Ahh ~ the Simon & Garfunkel Memorial neon sign. I'll keep my eyes peeled for that one. Who knows? In Las Vegas, it could someday show itself.

    Yes, Ex was 100%. When Amber was born, we wanted to register her with the tribe. We were fortunate that the Pimas will (and did) recognize as members, persons up to 50% blood. So Amber qualified. There are lots of reasons why we would want her registered, the major one to give her a sense of pride for her heritage. This she has in spades. In fact, she has sometimes had to be reminded that she is 50% something else.

  8. @ Rachel ~ Thank you for caring for me that much. I am compelled to write about my experience with alcohol. No one is compelled to appreciate it. I'm glad that you do.

    Right this moment, I don't feel a lot of bitterness for any of it. I have certainly felt that in the past and may in the future, but right now I'm just sorrowful and looking for ways to take the next right step.

    Hmmmm . . . my mother has always used "shite". My father just says "shit". I'm bilingual, I suppose.

  9. You really have a way with the pen, lady. Your prose flows so easily.

  10. @ Erin ~ Thank you for that! That is meaningful to me, and particularly coming from you. I'm glad you stopped by.

  11. Double Yoked, hmmmm guess that's twins. Perhaps Ex and I would have been drinking buddies had we known one another in those days. But I'm happy you and I have walked away, at least for today.
    wv redfktiz - indeed

  12. @ Tag ~ Yes, I'm told that is twins. They were both tasty, too!

    You and Ex would have been well-suited drinking buddies. You're similar in age, music tastes and you could each bend an elbow. Yep, drinking buddies!

    I'm glad that is not my way today. Nor yours. Nor Ex's for his last 18 years. He was a dry drunk, never finding his way to any program. I'm still glad he had some sobriety, even if the white-knuckled variety