Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Skid Row Profiles 3: Betty the Alcoholic
by Susan Fox
You live in a fine house.
Your friends are as frequent as the stars,
and your lovers all desire you.
But your dog is lonely and neglected
like the person you used to be.
Now the beer flows freely
and it’s good times every night;
the party runs late,
then the jokes are put on ice.
In the early hours of the morning
when others go home laughing,
you are alone,
standing naked on the balcony,
wrapped in a blanket and weeping
into the dawn and melting snow.
The television is your closest friend.
It is the closet you hide in
and it talks to you
like nobody else can.
It tells you what you want to hear:
that your face is beautiful,
your lovers all require you,
and the years will never overwhelm you.
It substitutes for dreams,
buries old emotion
and turns reality into black and white.
I sometimes creep down the stairs
to watch you sleeping by the television.
You are always lying close to it,
and your face – a mirror of everything you see –
reflects nothing, but its flashing edge.
Outside the world explodes in color,
the spring is celebrated in the song of birds,
and the air is chilled like fine wine.
But you do not feel it:
you are plugged in somewhere else
and refuse to disconnect the umbilical cord.