The Cruise-A-Fix


I’m a bar binge, blackout having, drink in the morning to get going, don’t know where I am half the time drunk.

I can afford to be one, you see.

Money has never been my problem.

Unfortunately, it has never been my solution, either.

As long as I have it, I can’t be down and out…..who is going to believe that I have a troubles with the drink when I don’t have troubles with the bank?

I can tell you who….this guy.

And it only took waking up on a vessel surrounded by miles….and miles of water to find out.
___________

Lets begin with the basics-

-I come from money…lots of it.

-Trust fund kid turned into a living off trust fund adult

-live alone…spend alone

-live big…spend big

-companionship by the hour…and by the dollar.

-flashing the green gives me the finer things in life….a constant flow of people who agree with me, want to be around me and drink with me.

-drinking is the one true love that reminds me that all the other basics are ok.
_________

Money has its advantages. It got me into 4 rehabs, 6 mental hospitals, and 1 “recovery retreat” instead of 2 prison stays. The family couldn’t bear having that kind of stain on the family name so they did what they always do. Throw money at the issue to make it go away. Now they are content with continuing to throw money at me to keep me away. It works for all of us.

So I just do what I do each day…

-drink a little when I awake to shake off the cobwebs and keep the shakes at bay.

-figure out where I am…and who I am with, and what it will cost to keep it quiet.

-chalk the latest adventure up to experience and drink until the next blackout

-repeat
_______

The funny (or not so funny) thing is I never knew my last hoorah was here until a woke up with violent shakes.

Alone.

No liquid remedy in sight,

With the room spinning and bobbing as if I was on a boat.

Turns out I was.
___________

The week before the end wasn’t anything special….from what I can remember at least. Drunk and having a good time. Yay. The last thing I do remember was waiting for my car in front of the hotel bar with this hot little number who promised me great things (whatever,how much) when I heard someone call my name from down the street. I looked over and saw an old friend of mine that I used to party with.

He said, “Hey man. I’ve been looking for you. Feel like losing the hooker and talking for a while?”

I began to reply, ” I haven’t seeeen you in yearsss.sure…
……
……
……..
B
..L
….A
……C
……..K
………O
………..U
………….T
____________

Next thing I remember is waking up in my own vomit. Dry heaving. Crippling headache, in some sort of hotel room.

My first instinct was the same as always. Crawl to the fridge and drink whatever I had it stocked with the night before. My standard was Amstel Light in the fridge and Absolut in the freezer.

I opened the fridge and I saw orange juice and water.

“What the f&:k. Who drinks this crap in the morning?” I stated as I held my head.

I looked around. I was alone and it was quiet. I stumbled my way over to the window to gauge where I was at. To my surprise all I saw was water….no land….

Now….I may drink like a fish but I prefer not to vacation as one. I picked up the phone and hit zero.

“Sober cruise information. How may I direct your call?” The operator said.

“Yeah….I need booze in my room. Can you deliver up…..wait….what cruise information?”

“Sober cruise sir. And I’m sorry be we obviously do not have alcohol on this ship…..”

I livened up a bit. “Sober cruise? Why the hell would I be on a sober cruise…..who wants to be sober…not me. Send the captain of this ridiculous ship to my room. I need to have him get me off this shipwreck….NOW!”

“Yes sir. He will he there shortly. Thank you for using Sober Cruise lines…”

I slammed the phone down before she finished.

A few moments later I heard someone whistling down the hall. Then the knock on my door. I opened it ready to start yelling about my predicament and pay my way to a bar….somewhere, when the last person I remember talking to stood before me…wearing a uniform.

“Ahhh…Sammy boy. You are awake. You should probably drink that juice in the fridge. It will settle you down some.” The Captain said as he smiled.

“Yeah. I’m awake and I need a drink. I know you have a bottle in your “cabin”, get it. I will pay you double for it.”

The Captain smiled even bigger and replied, “Actually….no. I quit drinking 3 years ago, but as you know money has its advantages. I’ve been keeping tabs on you at your parents request. You are a f@/?king mess, Sam.”

“I’m not homeless or broke. I’m fine.” I replied as I dry heaved again

“No , you are not. I know I can’t make you change or force you to stop. But I can do something for you that all your rehabs and hospitals and money can’t.”

“What is that? Completely put me out of my misery? Yup, this boat should do it.”

He laughed a hearty laugh, shook his head and looked me in the eye.

“You are stuck on my boat for about 3 weeks with nothing but people who ARE sober. Not the ones who are trying to figure out if they want to be or not. There is no way off the boat unless you can swim….really far…..and I know you…you can’t. This is my way way of helping out someone I care about. You can stay in this room for the remaining time we are at sea OR you can venture out and mingle with others who live a life without the crutch you use to call survival. Either way…your money will get you nowhere here. Only your willingness to walk out that door and see what life without the booze has to offer. At the end of the cruise…the choice will be yours. Your shakes should wear off in a few days. You are actually in my quarters. so make yourself comfortable. I will still be here when your shakes…and anger wear off.”

He left to tend to the ship. I sat in silence. Fuming. I drank most of the damn juice to get the dryness out of my mouth. Laid down on the couch and shook myself back to sleep.

I awoke 12 hours later. Less shaky and more clear headed. I went to take a shower. The hot water refreshed me and calmed my nerves. I got out put on clean clothes and looked at the clock.

7:36 pm

“I’m usually finishing off Happy Hour at this time. Do sober people even celebrate Happy Hour?” I said to myself as I looked in the mirror.

“Well, Sammy what’s it gonna be?”

My reflection had no response. It just stared at me with the same scared blank expression it always did.

I turned away and headed to the door. I opened it and walked into the hallway….and just stood there. I was about to go back into the room when someone said,

“G’day mate…names Jon….first time on a vessel without a pub?”

“Pub?…umm yeah…what do you people do if you don’t drink?” I asked the stranger.

“Crikey…found me a newbie! Come with me mate. I meeting some friends of Bill in a few. They will be happy to see you.”

I don’t know who Bill is or who his friends are…..but I went along away.

The fix was on.

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19 thoughts on “The Cruise-A-Fix

  1. But if you have so much money is there not something you want to do with your life? Be an artist, writer, director, open a restaurant, a gallery, promote street art, whatever? I hope you find your way soon (your brain will come back to you with sobriety,it does work!) because we are all lost to start with, but when you will find who you are and what makes you happy, you won’t have any issue realizing your dream! Good luck!

    • Thank you for the comment! This is a fictional piece. The character of Sam was born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. He has no desire to better himself. He has never had to work for or towards anything. He believes and has been shown that money solves everything. He cannot be an alcoholic because he is not living the life of a brown paper bag drunk. His old friend, the Captain of the cruise ship, puts him in a situation where his 2 symbols of safety, alcohol and cash, are worthless. Faced with only himself, he must try to survive without either. For a man like him, 3 weeks is an eternity.

  2. Wow! That was great! It’s not often something makes me edge of the seat into it. Your piece definitely did. And what a great idea, or do they already have sober ships? Wouldn’t that of made it easy to get past those months, hell even years, to learn to live without. You really are a gifted writer and I’m so stoked that we are now pals! I’m running with that, all my new blogging pals rock! Thanks for being you,
    B

  3. 6 years sober. I hear these things do happen. My wish is to see it first hand. Enjoyed this piece very much. I’d love to know whether he hurls himself off the side of the boat and attempts to swim to his vodka, or endures the three-week journey.

    • Yes they do happen. Life is stranger than fiction though. I can decide what will happen with the character in the story at any time. As for my own, the story is added to each day. One decision at a time.

  4. Wow, good2begone. Stumbled upon your blog checking out WordPress’s new layout and options. Staff recommended pick, yours. Been sober three years (though not perfectly). A wagon ride I enjoy more and more each day. Thank you so very much for this creative piece – put tears in my eyes and reminded me why I am sober and how thankful I am!

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