Friday, September 5, 2014
The Alcoholic and the Pea Plant
(…or, ‘Alcoholism, as a Disease’) A Prose Poem
If we were to look into the study of human genetics, into
We will bump into biochemical genetics also…
Genes are—for the most part, the common factor of the makings
for human-inherited traits.
It makes us think of human nature—trying to understand it—or it
does me anyhow, being a recovering alcoholic!
We need to understand the development of effective disease
treatment for alcoholism, —by and large, a part of human
nature for a high percentage of the world!
First things first: we must place it in the box called “disease”
Inherited from either parent, is enough cause for this trait to
Other than that, it would be by mutation (which might be called saturation, or changing one’s physiology): meaning, my father was
an alcoholic, and thus, that is enough to have it arisen in
Plus, I saturated myself with alcohol for twenty-two years,
consequently I got a double-binging: if that makes any sense.
Meaning, had I not inherited it, I created a changeover in my
In a like manner, redundant perhaps: it is also enough for such
an inheriting trait, disease or disorder to have it passed on
through the family...
We can call a trait a gene if you wish, stored away inside the
It also can remain hidden, for a few generations: like a bear
from his winter hibernation, reappearing in spring—
displaying his hunger, for salmon; like one hungers for
The DNA we carry in us, in our cells (genome); inside us we have
20,000- Protein coding genes.
Genes and chromosomes, put them together we have over three
billion… thus, different forces, influence frequencies:
Gene flow, mutation… and these frequencies remain for
The probability of inheritance is high, from one alcoholic to
Resulting in a potentially toxic dose of this imbalance.
Our whole system is affected by our genetic code: eye color,
height, hair color, breast cancer, being color blind, down syndrome, and I could go on and on, but let’s simply call this by
its truthful name: chromosomal abnormalities.
You get twenty-three chromosomes from your mother, likewise,
the same from your father, making forty-six!
DNA is the macromolecule storeroom for building mechanical
and useful cellular mechanisms: again, the gene is simply
a segment of DNA, and the complete storehouse of DNA is the
genome: hence, variation at the DNA level, can cause
variation at the level of the entire organism.
The gene has the influence on how the cell works: like the inside
of a clock:
Thirty-thousand different genes to one cell!
I mean we have the liver cell, and the brain cell and the alcohol
cell… at least in this prose poem!
People like to make Alcoholism simple, oversimplifying it, and
its cure “You got no will power son, just put it down!”
That’s not how it works, not really!
But that area is for another prose poem, another day perhaps:
but there is nothing simple about this, that is why I took the
trouble to navigate through this diagram of genetic
We are not pea plants, we are human alcoholics, but the pea
plant is interesting, for even they blend into their parent’s characteristics, traits that is: for they have both male and
In closing, let me just say this: I’ve been sober for thirty-years,
should I wish to start drinking for whatever psychological reasons, I know my A-gene that is now sleeping, should may
very well awake, and want to make up for lost time!...
Written 9-4-2014/ No: 4539