24. Breath is Hope
I did Matey’s breathalyzer the next day. He tested negative, but he feared he couldn’t stay sober for long after so many years of hard drinking.
Matey said, “I killed people and I saved people and I’m wired and tired all at once. I’m like a downed cable after a storm. Jumping around and putting people in danger. I’m waiting for the transformer to blow so I can lay still. I’m a scaredy-cat badass full of fear I can’t back down from. Some days I think I should put myself out of my own misery.”
“There’s a reason you haven’t,” I said.
“In the tunnels in ‘Nam I used to count my breaths. It helped keep the panic at bay. Same when I’d go into a burning building. Breath is hope, Ken. As long as I’m breathin’ there’s hope I can beat this drinking thing. I know I gotta, for my sake, and for Connie Lee.”
Today I will remember breath is hope.
Sober Not Somber © 2015 by Ken Montrose
(Just a reminder: Sober Not Somber is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anyone you might know is purely coincidental.)