Verb (used without object). To direct or set one's course toward, away from, or in a particular direction.
Plaid Pantry convenience stores are stocked with things that promise to bring temporary comfort. Ridged potato chips and teriyaki beef jerky sticks. Chocolate-covered Swiss rolls and strawberry licorice ropes, sour gummy worms and wintergreen gum. Vats of coffee available at all hours, with a variety of flavored, artificial creamers in single serve cups. Cherry cola, vitamin-infused bottled water, energy shots. Ibuprofen, antacids, cough lozenges, eye drops. Condoms. Scratch-it lottery tickets and cigarettes. Beer, by the case and bottle, and of course, wine, red and white, standard and magnum, bottled and boxed.
There is a man standing in front of the wine rack, trying to make a decision. He pulls the bottles down one by one, reading and examining the labels, but not for place of origin, country and region. He is looking for a number. The $8.99 Hogue Sauvignon Blanc offers 13% alcohol content, the most shame per milliliter of all the varieties. He grabs two, knowing very well both will be emptied before the night is over.
He carries the bottles to the counter, but picks up a few other items for camouflage: a packet of sunflower seeds, a jug of windshield wiper fluid, a coconut almond candy bar. Because he is still holding on to a small sense of desire to create an illusion; that things are not what they seem. That this is just temporary, but necessary. That this is not a, "problem."
He tells himself stories. Like a sober heart is where they real danger lies. A sober heart could reveal a series of truths. It's better to keep the mind intoxicated just enough, and bring your body along for the ride. Decompress. Because a sober heart would whimper things a sober mind cannot bear. Let me out of here. Let me go.
He looks like everyone, and no one. His dark jeans are a bit too loose for his frame, but not dirty or ripped. A plain black t-shirt peeks from underneath an army green, zipper hoodie. He is 20-something, 30-something, 40-something, or maybe 50-something. He is your father, your brother, your husband, your ex, your colleague. Your friend. Your foe.
Or maybe, he is you.