I think about drinking sometimes. It’s a flash across my mind that is there and gone in the span of a blink. Usually it takes the form of an image. I see myself reaching for the wine glass beside me or the half-finished pint of beer across the table from me and taking a single sip. It only ever occurs to me as a single sip. I know just as immediately that this is something that I cannot and will not do. I have been sober for over twelve years. I am an alcoholic. I have no doubt that I will die an alcoholic. I have absolutely no desire to relive the experience of being an active one.

Yet sometimes it’s there like a split second taunt. A quick picture in my head; a reminder of what I cannot do. Mostly I let it slide by me, just something I note as I watch it pass. Tonight, I am bothered by it and I’m not sure why or how. I’m sure it’s related to the fact that I’m on my third day with most of the members of my immediate family–all of whom are champion imbibers in their own rights–and that we’re vacationing in wine country. I just can’t quite put my finger on what is specifically needling me. Hanging out with my family as its only sober member is not a new experience for me. I have had twelve years of it. No one fought tonight. No one ended up in tears. No one passed out somewhere inappropriately naked. We had a relatively tame night playing cards–four glasses of wine, a bottle of beer and a cup of water on the table. I laughed until I cried a couple times.

So why am I angry? I don’t know; I only know that I am.