All posts for the month April, 2013

Kiki Wakes Up

Published April 29, 2013 by Johanna

The darkness subsides, and I finally come to my senses. When I open my eyes, it takes me a few minutes to realize I’m not lying in my bed. This room looks awfully white. And there are machines beeping next to me. My hand is stuck under someone’s head. What the heck?

I pull my hand and the head moves.

“John?!?!” I shout. He stares at me with sleepy eyes.

“Hey,” he says and smiles. “You’re awake.” He sits up and stretches his back. “I should call your nurse.”

“Hold on. What are you doing here? And what am I doing here?”

He rubs his eyes with his palms. The sheets left a mark on the skin of his cheek. I suppress a smile. With his disheveled hair and the shadow of a stubble on his face, he looks so precious. I almost want to snuzzle him and reassure him everything’s going to be alright. Yet, wait. I’m the one lying in a hospital bed.

“I’m not sure where to begin,” he answers.

“Well, where did you find me? And what happened exactly?” I ask.

He looks at me like a sorry puppy with droopy eyes.

“You were lying unconscious on your bathroom floor. I called several times to check on you, but you didn’t pick up, so I got worried and decided to come get you. I had to ask the doorman to unlock the door once I realized you wouldn’t answer. I screamed your name several times. It was quite a rough spectacle. I still feel shaken just thinking about it.”

I hold my breath. I don’t remember falling on my bathroom floor, or going to the bathroom for that matter. Did I experience a blackout? Shit. I never blackout.

John witnesses my change of facial expression, because he comes back to the bed and grabs my hand.

“You’re going to be fine, I promise.”

I scowl. “What do you know about me being fine?”

He gives me a long hard look, like he knows exactly what I’m going through. I shudder. Can the kid read inside my soul?

“I may be younger but I ain’t stupid,” he says. “You’re hurting. It’s obvious.”

I glance away. His stare makes me uncomfortable.

“How long was I asleep for?” I ask with a shaky voice.

“I found you yesterday at seven pm. It’s four thirty two days later. Do the math.”

I sigh. “I fucked up big time.”

“Yep, you did. But you’re okay now. Let me tell the nurse you’re back with us, okay?”

I nod. Tears well in my eyes and I’m speechless. Since when was John supposed to be my savior?

I hate this. All of this. None of it was supposed to happen. I liked to drink in my corner, one glass of scotch here and there, until everything just became a mess. I lost control over my life. I really did. What’s gonna happen to me now?

The nurse enters the room, and checks my vitals. I try to suppress tears, while John stares outside the window. This whole situation has turned into a freaking joke. I’m angry just thinking about it. Take me out of this place and give me my life back! What have I done to deserve this?

I don’t have a drinking problem. I’m fine. I’m sure anyone could see steam coming out of my ears and nose, I’m so pissed right now.

I frown at John as he looks back at me.

“What’s wrong,” he whispers.

I shake my head. Tears roll down my face. He moves closer to the bed, and pulls a paper tissue out of the box.

“Here,” he hands me the tissue, and I proceed to blow my nose. I apparently blow it so hard, he laughs. My grandma used to call me “der kleine Trompeter” in German, the little trumpetist. So yeah when I blow my nose, I don’t joke around.

Enough of it. This freaking sucks. John pats my shoulder and I swallow a few more tears. All I can feel is the darkness  taking over my soul, becoming bigger than me, invading this room and the street outside, the whole wide world almost. I’m drowning. Nothing makes sense anymore. I lost a marriage. I lost love. Friends. Family. No one’s there for me.

I’m all alone.

As that realization sinks in, my crying unleashes to proportions I have never experienced before. And I can’t stop.

John does everything in his power to comfort me. I don’t hear his jokes. I don’t feel his calming touch. My heart is shattered in a million pieces and it hurts like hell. All I do is cry. My life has no purpose. I hate myself and I want to die.

If there’s a God, I’d need him to save me right now. Tell me what to do. I can’t continue on this destructive path any longer. It hurts too much. Way too much. I look at John, and squeeze his hand like I’m about to break his fingers. I read compassion in his eyes. And understanding. Like he knows everything that’s going through my head.

“You’ll be okay, I promise,” he whispers. I want to believe him so bad. Can I? Is it possible to be happy in this world?

To be continued… 


John gets a wake up call

Published April 24, 2013 by Johanna

It’s close to seven thirty and I haven’t heard a pip from Kiki. I wonder if she’s okay. I’m calling her.

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.

Straight to voicemail. Is she on the subway? Strangely enough, I have a weird feeling she might still be at home. And her phone is stuck under the fridge.


Knowing her condition, she might be in worse shape than I thought. I should never have left. How could I be so stupid? No time for a guilt trip. I got someone’s life to save. I jump on the subway walking so fast I’m almost flying. Every minute that pushes me closer to Kiki, makes my anxiety skyrocket too. How am I going to find her? I pray all my concerns are only in my head, but deep down, I expect the worst. She never truly opened up about her worries, and talked very little about her divorce. I have no idea whether her heart troubles are the reason for her drinking. She is too secretive. Even if we’re friends, there’s too little I know about her.

I’m not stupid though. The girl went through a lot, I can tell. She puts a happy smile but does she realize she can’t hide her feelings all the time? She’s terrible at keeping a poker face. Do I say something about it? Is it cool for me to be that blunt with her?

Right now I gotta focus on her well being. I’ve wasted too much time already. I won’t forgive myself if… Stop. You’re making the situation worse. You don’t know if she’s been drinking. Have faith. Alcoholism is a disease. Willingness achieves nothing if you don’t have the right tools to fight the disease. Is she an alcoholic? All the signs say she is. She might just be depressed. She might just need to talk to a shrink about it. Who are you to impose on her to go to rehab? She needs help. She’s too afraid to ask for it. She should find the way out herself. I’m only being a guide. Are you overbearing? Are you getting out of your way to help this girl?

No idea what Kiki is up to. Maybe she’s passed out on the floor of her bathroom, half unconscious, dreaming of a better life she could have in a different world, without these ugly memories she has to carry around everywhere she goes. I feel sorry for her. I know none of her doom is my fault, yet I wish I could fix everything that went wrong in her life with a magic wand. Would she be happier if the memories went away for good?

I sense she’s so used to being miserable, she wouldn’t know what to do with herself in happiness. Just like the way I felt when I stopped drinking. Drinking is only one part of the problem. Repeated patterns and behaviors are the other side of the medal that need serious attention. Probably more than the drinking itself.

Gosh, this subway is going so slowly. Why does God punish my arrogance this way? Haven’t I done everything I was supposed to do? I break the bondage of self constantly. Pray about it, meditate about it, ask my higher power to remove all my character defects. And where does this bring me? I want to help a friend, and relieve her from the pain she’s feeling because of drinking. Yet, the battle is far from being over. Kiki’s battle is my battle. Her disease is my disease. There’s no recovery possible unless I accept I have no control over her well being. Only God knows. Only God can save her. Only God can save me.

I’m powerless. In fifteen minutes, I’ll be at Kiki’s house and we’ll see how I find her. Until then I must be patient. Please God allow her to be okay. Please make sure she’s safe. Please guarantee she’s still sober.

Calling her cell phone has become a pointless exercise. She doesn’t pick up. I rush out of the subway station and sprint to her building. Almost run away twice by a cab, I disregard my safety because I want to get close to her as fast as I can. When I enter the lobby, the doorman lets me go after he recognizes my face. I don’t even say hi, or give an explanation. The elevator is too slow to arrive, so I climb up the stairs. Faster. Faster.

I’m panting when I reach Kiki’s door. I knock. Ring the doorbell. No one opens.

“Kiki!” I scream.

I run back downstairs. The doorman will let me inside. He has a spare of every key in the building.

After a few minutes of rambling and panting, the doorman and I are back at Kiki’s door. He inserts the key into the lock. The door opens and I rush inside. I don’t see her right away. She’s not in her bedroom, or the living room. The bathroom door is closed. Placing my hand over the knob, I take a deep breath before opening. I really expect the worst at this point.

The knob turns and I see her bare feet on the white tiles.

“Kiki!” I grab her head, and press her warm body against mine. Whispering in her ear, I feel tears running down my face. “Wake up. Please, I’m sorry. I should have stayed. Wake up. For the love of God!”

What happens next is a blur. I wake up sitting by her hospital bed holding her hand. She’s asleep, but alive. I smile. Thank you God for not letting her die on me. I promise to be more cautious in the future.

To be continued…

Kiki doesn’t like bowling

Published April 18, 2013 by Johanna
Okay, what was that whole deal about? John wants to go on a date now? Right, he says it isn’t a date. Yeah. Maybe I’m imagining things. I always do. Killing feelings with booze sounds about right. I’m not looking forward to going to this outpatient center. John and his stupid ideas. 
Bowling. Another weird idea. I don’t even like bowling alleys. Why can’t I stay by myself tonight? Don’t feel like socializing. If John thinks this charade will be enough to cheer me up, he’s gonna have to try harder. Why don’t I want to have some simple fun tonight? 
Maybe I like to feel miserable. Has anyone wondered about that? John is acting self righteously, thinking he holds the answer to all my issues but what does he know about my tormented past? Nothing. What I told him about my divorce hasn’t even scraped the surface of the iceberg. And I don’t  really feel like giving more details either. John may be nice, but he hasn’t gone through what I went through. 
We wouldn’t want to scar the poor fellow for life would we? I love to think about John as an innocent soul who has to be sheltered from the atrocities of the grownup world. I had to deal with too much shit too soon. Another good reason why I like to forget by drinking.
But John is a kind dude. Can’t get too mad at him for trying to help me. Going to bowling isn’t such a bad idea after all. It’s not like we’re going to take some knitting lessons. Although I wouldn’t mind knitting a nice scarf someday. I like scarves, and I’m paying way too much when I buy one at the store. 
What’s the weather today like anyway? Do I even need a coat? Look at me trying to be all fancy. It’s not a date! I always joke about hooking up with John but it would honestly be the worst idea ever. We don’t have much in common besides a sick sense of humor. 
I’m laughing just thinking of the jokes we shared. Boy, we have fun. And we enjoy spending time with each other very much. Gosh, where am I going at? Dating John would be the worst mistake ever. God knows how many mistakes I made. And this little thrist would lead nowhere but straight into the wall. Car crash in slow motion, here I come. 
No, John is my assistant. Plain and simple. Nothing more. A friend who I can trust and rely on. Nothing more. A cute twenty-two year old I’d love to ravage on one drunken evening. Nothing more! I’m so screwed. Pretty sure every company policy – even my shitty workplace – strictly prohibits romantic relationships between coworkers. Unless you end up marrying your boss. Yeah right. I’m not divorced yet, so let’s forget about marriage. Plus John is broke. 
Argh. Get rid of these feelings right now! I tap my head against the wall – not too hard, we wouldn’t want to mess up that pretty face – and take a deep breath. What am I supposed to do in a situation like this? Pray? Cut my heart out? Drink until I pass out? 
Yeah. That sounds like an awesome idea. Crap, I have no booze left in the apartment. Okay, let’s get dressed. 
Oh but John is going to be so mad if I drink! Um. Such a tough decision. What’s really best for me? Should I listen to a youngster with no – strike that – with very little life experience or should I listen to the powerful voice in my head? 
The voice in my head always wins. I know that. Even when I try to be reasonable, the urge to drink and use is stronger. Scotch is my downfall. How can I survive without it? 
I can feel a pit form in my stomach. The thought of never touching a drop of booze ever again is horrible. Gosh, I need a drink now. 
I swear I’ll say nothing to John about it. How will he find out? I got time until 8:30 pm. I only need one glass. Um, all things considered, maybe two. Let’s make it three. Three usually get the buzz going. Although recently I had to finish half the bottle to feel anything at all. Is that even normal? Am I building up a tolerance to alcohol? Do they sell books about how much drinking is normal and how much is abnormal? I don’t buy books anymore. I mean real books. Everything’s electronic nowadays. Argh, I don’t care about a goddamn book! I didn’t learn how to live by reading books. Nothing I read taught me anything. All the fighting and the anger I put myself through while I was married didn’t come from a crappy love story. Nope. Love stories made me have wrong expectations. Prince charming my ass! There was never a prince charming. Only an asshole who ruined my nights. 
Deep breath. I need to relax. How though? Drinking relaxes me. Drinking takes away all the worries and the pain. Drinking allows me to feel good about myself. Resentments vanish as I drown deeper into the fog, and I feel just right. Like I belong. Like I finally have a purpose. Like everything makes perfect sense. 
Nah. I can’t drink. John won’t allow it. Who is he to tell me what to do? He’s not my boyfriend. He’s not important. But I care about his opinion. I don’t want to disappoint him. Why do I care about disappointing him? I don’t have feelings for him. I have feelings for no one in this world. Not even myself. 
I hate this dilemna. Who planted this evil seed in my head? Make it go away. One drop of scotch and all my problems will go away. Not for ever, but for a little while. Just a little while…
I’m putting on my shoes, ready to storm out of the apartment. But when I open the door, I stop. Is that really a good idea? I should just go for a walk. But walking by myself is so lonely and miserable.  
Ah fuck it. 
To be continued… 

John has second thoughts

Published April 16, 2013 by Johanna

I couldn’t run out of Kiki’s house faster. I feel like an asshole. She claims I’m a party animal, but does she really know who I am? She’s not in my head. The girl is sweet but damn, does she realize the effect she has on me?

The cravings came back. I saw the bottle of wine on the coffee table and all I wanted to do was drink. Like a vampire at the smell of blood. I know exactly what would happen if I touched one drop of booze though. No one wants to see me wasted. Especially not her. She would never be my friend if she knew what I’m capable of when I’m under the influence. Man. This is hard. I want to help her so much. But can I? She’s so sweet. I love to hear her laugh. And when she makes that face every time she wants to prove a point – which is practically always – I can’t help having these images flooding my head. Naughty of me, I know. But she’s so cute. Especially when she wears her purple skinny jeans. That ass.

Alright. Keep yourself in check, buddy. She needs your help, not your horniness.

I gotta go back to Brooklyn and work on a strategy for her. I sense she’s gonna ditch that rehab. Understandable. I ditched rehab too at first. It’s never easy to admit having a problem. But she’s on the right track. I should call her later. Make sure she doesn’t relapse. Should I tell her I don’t drink either? It might be too soon. She needs some time to really grasp the seriousness of the situation. Right now, she’s confused. Probably feels guilty too.

I remember those days where the pain was so strong I couldn’t get out of bed. There’s nothing worse than low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts every minute of every day. The hatred of self is too strong to be ignored. And a drink just makes everything a living hell. She hasn’t reached that point just yet, but if she continues drinking like she does, she will. It’s a slippery slope very hard to climb back up. I had to make so many sacrifices. It’s a miracle I’m alive.

I shouldn’t have left in such a hurry. She’ll think I don’t care about her. I’m gonna call her as soon as I’m out of the subway. I wouldn’t forgive myself if she drank again because of me. I told her I was there for her. Did she believe me? This ordeal can’t be a joke. I should have stayed. It’s been long enough. I can handle the sight of booze. Gosh, I’m still so powerless.

Argh. When will this subway finally go back above ground? Here we go. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Quickly, I dial Kiki’s number.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Come on.

Ring. Ring.

Please lord.

Ring. Ring.

“Hi it’s Kiki, I’m unable to come to the phone right now, leave a message after the beep. Thanks!”

I hate leaving messages. “Kiki, it’s John. Call me as soon as you get this. It’s important.”

I should have said “urgent” but urgent means it’s a matter of life or death, whereas important doesn’t carry the same meaning things are really about to get fucked up. After thought, “urgent” would have been more appropriate. I don’t want her to worry though. She has enough on her plate. Gee, I’m a basket case myself. Why do I drive myself nuts over the meaning of one word? Is it going to change anything?

I’m calling her again.

Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.

Please pick up.

Ring. Ri-


“Thank God!”

“John, what’s up?”

Suddenly, I stutter like a child. It’s awkward. I lose my train of thought because of it too. Damn get a grip!

“H-hey… I… I uh wanted to say hi.” I laugh to hide my embarrassment. Has she noticed anything?

“Are you bored?” she asks.

I have no clue what to reply to that.

“What?” I blurt.

“Nah, that was a stupid question anyways. Seriously what’s up?” She sounds normal.

“I was just, just wondering if you wanted to go bowling.”

Wow look at me, taking initiative. Bowling? Yeah. That’s what sober people do instead of drinking.

She stays silent.

“Bad idea?” I ask.

“No, no, it’s just that you went all the way back to Brooklyn and now you wanna go bowling?”

“Well, we can go later today.”

“Like a date?”

“Uh…” I say.

“Kidding.” She laughs and I breathe in deeply. She gotta stop making this joke I swear. “Okay so bowling huh? What time?”

Gosh, did I just save the day? My alcoholic mind fools me often to believe I do everything wrong. Call me crazy, yes, alcoholics usually are insane too. That’s part of the disease I guess. Making up lies, standing alone against the world, thinking that everyone else is a threat.

“John are you still there?” Kiki asks.

I was lost in my thoughts. Also something that happens all the time. “Yes, yes, sorry, I was checking what time we should go.”

“Ah. Good. I haven’t gone bowling in a very long time. Like years ago. You’re probably gonna make fun of me.”

I laugh under my breath. “That’s ok. I’m no champion.”

“Yeah? What’s your highest score?”

I scratch the side of my head. “I dunno. 250?”

“Woah. My best is 96. Damn.”

If she spent every Friday night bowling instead of drinking, her score would increase real fast.

“Let’s go at 8:30 pm. Works for you?” I ask.

“Sure. Man I’d never have thought you’d be into bowling. I’m gonna bite the dust once I play against you.”

“No worries. I’ll bring some friends along so you don’t feel so threatened.”

“Okay then, I’ll see you later. Text me later the address?”


“Okay, bye!”


She’s the first to hang up. Thinking back on this conversation, it didn’t go as bad as I thought.

Now we gotta see how this whole bowling thing will go down.

To be continued…