is laughing at me.
My Higher Power has a sense of humor when it comes to Wine. I was reading an interview between Maryanne Faithfull and Ozzy Osbourne in an Interview magazine. Ozzy says to Maryanne Faithfull, You’re clean and sober now, aren’t you? And Maryanne Faithfull says, More or less. I have a glass of wine occasionally. Ozzy says, Yeah, I’m now just about 60 days (clean and sober) again. I can’t have a glass of wine. Maryanne Faithfull says she went to Hazelden (a treatment center). Ozzy says, I’ve been to Hazelden, to Betty Ford, to Promises. I could write a book on Rehabs.
Maryanne Faithfull says Hazelden got me off Heroin, so it can work. Ozzy says, But you have to be willing. There’s no magic bullet, there’s no magic pill, and you have to be willing to go through the pain. Maryanne Faithfull says, Well, I really was at the end. I couldn’t go on, and I was in the program for five and a half years, very strict. And then I decided I could have a glass of wine, and it didn’t lead me straight back to anything after. Ozzy says, Well, I cannot do it because one is Maryanne Faithfull says, One is too many and a thousand never enough. Ozzy says, I have to travel now with a sober person.
Now recently a good friend of mine, Jim, is drinking alcohol after sixteen years clean. He may be like Maryanne, a Heroin addict who can drink successfully. But I doubt it because his mother is a late stage Alcoholic and Jim’s got the addict gene.
I was taking pictures today in the Catskill Mountains, the magnificent God inspiring awesome Catskill Mountains. I am taking pictures of this house and this cute lady pulls up beside my car and asks if this road that we are on is still the main road? I say main road to where? She says she is going to Liberty, New York. I say yes, it’s the only road and keep going straight until you reach Claryville and make a right turn. We are in Oliveria, New York, just after Big Indian.
A few miles down the road the same woman flags me down and I stop. The woman says she is low on gas and how far is it to the next gas station. I say don’t worry, there is a gas station in Claryville, make a left after the bridge, and I will follow you in case you run out of gas.
We get to the turn off for Claryville and I stop to photograph a pond. The lady goes to the Claryville gas station, which tells her to go towards Liberty about two miles down the road. The lady again stops, gets out of her car, opens her trunk, and gives me a bottle of French wine. I say I don’t drink, and you really don’t need to give me anything. She says she has ruined my photography outing, and that she has just come back from the Center for Photography at Woodstock, implying that she really knows what a wonderful thing it is to be a photographer in the Catskills. I say again I don’t drink, and she says well, you can give it to someone. Now I notice that the wine is actually French, dark red wine, Chateau La Rouchonne, 1993, Saint Emilion.
I accept the wine and give the lady my business card, secretly hoping that she will visit my website, and that the art content will blow her mind. What I didn’t do is tell the lady that if I drank the wine I would blow my nineteen years of recovery and my twenty years of sobriety. I would have loved to tell her that the last time I drank wine it was straight out of the bottle and not in a glass. My last drink was a Bacardi and Ginger Ale with hospital ice, on May 25, 1983. I was wearing a hospital gown and I was in a committed ward of the Johns Hopkins Psychiatric Hospital knows as PHIPPS. My peers were receiving electroshock treatment for depression.
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