One Year Older

‘Welcome back to the land of the living,’ Peirene greets me with a teasing smile.3280874479_f96240c935_z

It’s Tuesday late morning and for the first time this week I am making an appearance in Peirene HQ. A migraine struck at 6am on Sunday morning and kept me bed bound for 48 hours.

‘You could show me a bit of empathy,’ I mumble as I shuffle to my desk. There is still a lingering pain in my right temple. ‘After all, you too, sometimes suffer from headaches.’

‘Ye-es,’ the Nymph draws the vowel ominously long. ‘But it’s never self-inflicted.’

‘I don’t inflict this upon myself either,’ I retort sharply in self-defense. Peirene has hit a raw nerve.

On Saturday evening we held our latest Salon with Finnish author Aki Ollikainen. As usual all went really well. Author was brilliant, guests were delighted. I allowed myself a glass of sparkling after the discussion. Well, two. That was a mistake. Deep down I knew I was playing Russian roulette. But I was enjoying myself. And I lost.

Over the last year it has become increasingly clear that my body can’t deal with alcohol any longer. Sometimes I drink a glass of wine and it’s fine. Sometimes half a glass makes my head explode and I am out of action for a day or two. Thus, a few months ago, I stopped drinking completely during the week. But on weekends? And after a successful Salon discussion?

Peirene has more wisdom to offer. ‘Last week was your birthday. You are now a year older. A woman of a certain age. You won’t get any younger….’

Before she continues, I interrupt: ‘Thank you, thank you. I’ve understood the message.’ The pain in my right temple has suddenly increased again. And as I turn on the computer I make a mental note to look into serving non-alcoholic cocktails at the next salon.

Image by Kris Gabbard.

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