A Football Game with a Twist of Lemon by Rachel Konig

Vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila, or wine, straight or mixed—take your pick and my mom would drink it. The past four years have been especially memorable—for me, not for her. Peeling her out of her car and steadying her into the bathroom, I’ve been the adult in this relationship.

Last weekend was the biggest football game of the year—my high school Falcons versus our rival Mavericks. Everybody goes, parents, students, and even teachers and of course, my mom decides to get hammered before arriving with my dad. The game was at a college stadium so everyone could attend and most of the upper classmen along with the sophomores who thought they were cool pre-gamed and snuck liquor in empty water bottles. My mom did this and I was the one always who ended up taking care of her. My teenage years have wasted away because she’s the one getting wasted. She might be the worst alcoholic I’ve ever heard of though—she has the tolerance of a mouse even though she always has some sort of drink in her hand.

She showed up with my dad who was smiling ear to ear because he felt like he was back in his glory days while my mom stumbled in her stilettos. I walked by them with a group of my friends and automatically knew she was drunk: her eyes were bugged out and when she asked me the score of the game she got way too close to my face like she usually does when she’s seeing double. She smelled of wine and a Belvedere martini with a twist of lemon. I pulled my dad aside and complained while he explained that he tried to stop her wine and liquor consumption at dinner. She didn’t listen and it was blatantly obvious: my friends subtly inched backward as she slurred her words and repeated questions more than three times each.

The third quarter had just begun and the game was close. That was when my dad got an emergency call for work and had to jet off to the office. I dragged her along as she was holding my hand while following my friends and me around when all of a sudden she ripped away from my hand and took off to a nearby trashcan. Bent at a 90-degree angle with her face in the plastic, she started puking her guts out in front of all of my friends and all of the school’s parental community. I wanted to scream as the security guard approached, gave me a stern look, and asked me if I had everything under control. I felt the color drain from my face and told my friends I would see them later. I assured the cop I was taking her home. I erased the embarrassment from around her mouth, pulled her hair up, and tore the flask from her back pocket and emptied it.

She sloppily cried as I shoved her toward the car holding a trash bag for her. On the drive, I concentrated in silence while she hung her head out the window. Her drool streamed and her loosely tied up hair flapped in the wind like a dog. “Arewethereyet?” she garbled, “five more minutes” I replied. “Iwannagohomeeee” she whined. I finally turned up the driveway, switched off the ignition, and jerked her out of the car and into the house. Quickly undressing her and putting her in bed, I sat down flooded with disappointment while she drunkenly rolled her head around. “Goodnight mom” I whispered. “I love you”. But she was passed out. I got up, turned the lights off, and closed the door.


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