Monday, June 12, 2006

Is there ever a good reason to get blinding drunk?/ Theatrical Muse Challenge fic

I used to think there was...

I think of all of those months I wasted after Abby and I broke up the first time.  The first time, I don't even want to think that there might be a second, especially now with the baby, and the chance that we might stand a chance at becoming a family.

Drinking had become an escape for me then, a way to not have to justify the impersonal sex that I was engaging in, the mess that was my life.  I look back on it now and I realize how out of control I was, but at the time, all I saw it as was a means to feel something other then alone.

I suppose I should be grateful that I didn't lose my license. I hold myself responsible for so many mistakes, the least of which was the death of Rick Kendricks.  I think of how I was willing to put not just my own life at risk but those around me like Harkins, and I wonder why I shouldn't I have been held fully to blame? 

I wonder sometimes if I'm not too lucky, my family dies and I live, I make medical mistakes that cost people their lives and I glide on through unscathed, and then there are times like in Africa. 

I look back on what I was like when I first got there, the drinking, the recklessness, not just in how I handled my work, but in the sex.  I look at how I taunted death the first time the Mai Mai came into Matenda, the way I put not just my life but Patrique and the remaining patient's lives in danger by choosing to stay when we were ordered to leave.  And I can't not ask the question of what right did I have to make that decision for them?

I think finally facing my own death made me realize how valuable it was.  Not just in those final minutes, kneeling there in the dirt with Patrique dead beside me, but in the time after as the malaria raged in me unchecked.  I think of Chance and her mother putting their own lives at risk to save mine, I look back at all John did, of what he was willing to risk when he thought I was already dead, and I wonder what right I have to throw the gift that they gave me away with the life I had been living.

So now, I would say is far too great a gift to diminish it's worth by throwing it away, even if only for a few hours.

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