“Stages”. Alcoholic: The Dark Side.


Your Town
Through Harold’s Lens:


Mom, I just saw him!
What happened?


Pitch night
Old man
High speed

3000 pounds
3000 pounds.

Metal rips metal
Metal smashes glass
Smashing glass tears tender skin
Sharp edges saw bare bone
Chards puncture eyes
Rivers of blood.


No Mom
This can’t be
This can’t be happening to our family
Pete! Pete!
My dear brother Pete!


@$#&%* liquor
@$#&%* alcoholic
@$#&%* alcoholic driving a car.


Streams roll over soft cheeks
Tongue tastes salt
Lips tastes mucous
Shoulders shake
Body quivers.

Eyes stare into space
Long, low, hollow


@$#&%* life
I can’t do this any more
Pete was my strength
My best friend
My God.


I have you
We have each other
We have love.

Ring. Ring. Ring.
Alcoholics Anonymous.
May I help you?”

“My name is John.
I’m an alcoholic.”

17 responses

    • Thank you for reblogging “Stages”. European Tour. May others reflect on the impact of an alcoholic gripping a steering wheel. If often think of the chain reaction. The sadness of a wife without a husband, a young daughter dressed for her first prom without a Dad, a son making the high school football team and no Dad to cheer him on, a little granddaughter with no Grandpa lap to sit on, a small grandson wearing his new Cub Scout badges and no Granddad to teach him more, a Nephew who idolized his military Uncle and wanted him to teach him how to fly an airplane, a Niece who dreamed of playing a jazz piano with her Uncle standing behind her wailing his sax, the new son-in-saw who has to listen to the nightly sobbing tears of his new young bride. All because a person does not try hard enough to rip themselves through their alcoholic denial, accept that they have a serious problem, accept that it is killing them and ask for help.


    • Tears my heart out!!! I have often wondered how many folks sample the cellars for the pure joy of trying to discover another delicious blend of the grape, and how many sample the cellars for the pure pleasure of getting smashed at no cost.


      • It was in the Robertson Wine Valley where we lived from 2000 to 2011. When we noticed (based on official police records) that on a stretch of 12 km more than 10 people were killed by drunk driving within 1 month we published it on Internet and were within a few hours official ‘persona non grata’ in the area. That means that that was declared by the local ‘wine trust’ of which the chairperson was (is still) one of the owners of a wine cellar in that stretch which at that time was not offering wine tasting by the glass but by the bottle and that attracted loads of weekend alcoholics from where ever… Other wine cellars in the area agreed with us in their own way with signs saying ‘Don’t drink and drive’ etc… So our ‘missionary work helped a bit


  1. Once again, Harold, you captured a moment, a life, in a single picture. The sequence is harrowing, but true to what happens all too often all around the world. Made me think, made me sad, made me happy to be alive. Thank you…


    • Amos, the tragedy of an alcoholic gripping a steering wheel is like the pure terror of a loaded, cocked 357 magnum jammed tightly into the soft flesh between your eyes. I am not a teetotaler. I had to stop drinking 10 years ago as the liquor was making my bad heart work harder, thus setting off my ICD. Before that, I enjoyed a wee dram here and there. I still can make a hell of a very dry gin martini in a frosted stem. Shaken, not stirred.


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