As Hemingway wrote, A man goes broke slowly, and then all at once.
When you have to put groceries on a credit card, you know you have a problem. And when the credit cards max out and you are paying more in interest than you have money in the bank and you fall behind and the late fees pile up and one by one the cards are cancelled and you go to the grocery store with your last credit card and put food in the cart and get to the checkout and swipe the card and the card is rejected, you know you have a problem.
You look in your wallet. You have just enough cash to pay for the groceries if the cashier takes off the bacon and the tonic water.
You pay the bill and carry the bag of food to the car and you go home and the cat is waiting at the door— Did you get my catnip treats, cat daddy? Yes, my little four-legged friend, I got your treats, and look, it’s cocktail hour so let me get the gin bottle—
—and here we go, repairing to the living dead room and here are your treats my sweet little companion—
—damn! that gin tastes good, even better without the tonic water, screw the tonic water, gin is its own tonic, it lowers anxiety and lifts the spirits.
Speaking of Hemingway, you take down a book of short stories from the bookshelf and read again Big-Hearted River.
It had been a hard trip. He was very tired. He had made his camp. He was settled. Nothing could touch him. It was a good place to camp. He was there, in the good place. He was in his home where he had made it. Now he was hungry.
You’re too old to make a camp and fish for trout like Nick Adams, but it takes you away from credit card companies and being broke and being alone. You have a roof over your head, your own ‘camp,’ a darlin’ cat and enough liquor to drown your sorrows until Judgment Day.
This night will pass and in the morning you’ll make coffee and fry a couple of eggs. Screw the bacon.