When I first met booze I was 15 years old and wondering around in my father’s liquor cabinet. I was immediately attracted to the shapes of the bottles and the intense aroma that emanated from them. My childhood was filled with unbearable burdens of grief and isolation so when I sipped from one of the oval bottles and felt the loosing of all my spiritual knots- I feel in love. This may have been the only time in my life that I have experienced falling in love as an epiphany, a sudden realization of all the ways my lover could set me free.
By the time I was 16 I was in a committed relationship with booze. I saw booze almost every day. We went every where together and could not stand being apart. I always knew where to find booze when it was not around. I slept almost every night under the sweet intoxication of booze’s effect upon me. What was once a lonely and intolerable hole in my heart- had suddenly become filled with booze.
My love affair with booze consisted mostly of white wine. There was no greater pleasure for me than being alone and downing an entire bottle of white wine and then taking a warm shower while listening to The Smiths or lying in the grass while smoking a cigarette.
Often times my love affair with booze would turn sour. I would awake around five a.m ravaged by the effects of giving too much of myself over to my love. I suffered the consequences of surrendering ones own individuality to the beloved. I would vomit in the early morning, like a man suffering the terrible pangs of a love gone bad. I would get down on my knees and pray that my suffering end. Once the vomiting would stop I would slowly wonder back to bed and swear that I would never see my love again.
My mother and father realized that something was up when my father noticed that a large portion of his white wine collection was missing from his wine cellar. I had drank the majority of his wine, but I also would share it with friends during lunch breaks and after school. My few friends and I all shared a mad love towards booze because it allowed us a respite from going through the banality, insecurity and parental pressure of being a teenager. When under the influence of booze, I was like a kite that had broken away from the string that had kept me from flying free.
Often times when I was drunk I would tip cows over while they slept (Cow Tipping) or throw rocks at ghosts. I would take off my pants in wide open fields and masturbate under the night sky. My friend had a pool table in his garage which we would gather around for hours. We would sneak the wine into our mouths and play pool without a care in the world. That is until my father showed up and took me away.
My attachment to my love was so great that I had to be locked up so that I would not revisit booze again. For four months I struggled through an alcoholic rehabilitation program with a hole in my heart that could no longer be filled up with booze. Slowly the insecurity, banality and parental pressures of being a teenager returned and my longing to see my love increased. I sat through alcoholic rehabilitation classes and four hour long compassion groups seven days a week for months until I turned seventeen and was set free back into the custody of my parents.
One day I ran into booze in the back of my school. It had changed since the last time I saw it. It turned red and it looked aged. I felt sorry for it as my friends drank it and made faces like it was the most awful thing that they had ever tasted. “Pretty bad?” I asked. “We don’t drink it for the taste- we like how it fucks up our head,” one of my friends replied. When he offered me the bottle I felt put off by the booze. I no longer felt the urge to be intoxicated by it. I had enough insight to remember what it was like having my head and heart all fucked up, and I was in no hurry to get back into that love affair.