Jim is an award-winning author (creative writing and poetry), with over twenty-five years in Christian leadership.
I don’t like you, Vonn Thrasher, not one bit.
Because you are a mystery.
And you don’t like mystery?
No. Judges like order. I like Ordonne.
Then you must hate Demimonde?
No. I respect Demimonde. It’s a power greater than my court, than time itself.
Your Honor is a poet.
Why do you say that?
Because poets are melancholy. They love to fear, to explore the shadows.
I’m a singer. Singers are happy to wander in darkness, to drink and make merry.
May we never meet again.
Or death will make us three?
And death will take thee.
I am guilty.
I carry a heavy burden, an old dark secret cloaked in fear and remorse: I am addicted to everything—a raging alcoholic. Old secrets have voices, haunting angry voices. They grow stronger with every passing year, ever reminding me that I am drinking myself to death.
Have I lost my mind? I don’t care. Bourbon quiets the voices. It’s my Precious. It takes away my sins. It gives me an all-too-brief taste of heaven, a sense of ease and comfort. Oh how I love my Precious, the warm glow, the way it lights my fire.
Yes, I’m cursed. I am a ticking time bomb—a dilemma—because my Precious, my last and only escape is also killing me.
I must protect my Precious from those naysayers who would take it from me. Everyone thinks they’re a rehab counselor. Everyone’s a judge with a cautionary tale about their drunken cousin, complete with a hospital-detox, ghoulish prison stories, and the standard ending: “dead at forty from a horrible car wreck.”
Then there are the You Are’s—the nags and hecklers.
“You are a childish fool.”
“You are a dimwit.”
“You are disgusting. Get out and never come back.”
They know nothing. They don’t understand. They want steal my Precious, my escape. No way. They have no right, no idea what they’re doing.
They’re irrelevant. I dismiss them with one simple but powerful thought: It’ll never happen to me. I’m different.
© 2018 James E Cressler