In the beginning, alcoholism can be quite charming.
“We were doin’ shots, and I sit next to this pretty girl. She’s real interested in me, and all of the sudden I point my finger at her face as if I’m going to say something. But you’ll never guess what I did next. I threw up on her. She screamed, jumped up, and then jumped into the pool with all her clothes on. It was so cool.”
To a twentysomething who came from the suburbs where nothing ever happens (except the grand opening of a new strip mall, flaglets a-waving), it’s very seductive. Things happen! People laugh and scream! Bottles break! Music blasts! You feel so adult!
The first time I got full blotto drunk, I woke up the next morning with a colossal hangover. You want to know the first thing I did? Take a picture of my hung-over face. I still have that photo. I was a real man.
In college, I studied Hemingway, and he certainly taught me a few things about booze. He chatted about fine Spanish wines and beautiful Parisian women. They tended to go together. It wasn’t until later that I learned about his mishap in a loo in which he pulled the chain to flush and the skylight came crashing down on his head, nearly killing him.
In my newly published novel, What Happens to Us, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DSSN5SU, my lovely character, Cat, is desperately trying to stay sober. She remembers those charming drunken things that used to happen to her.
“Sober, Cat would never dance on a table in high heels and a short dress. Cat would never throw a drink in another girl’s face because the girl had called her a slut. Cat would never wake up from a blackout in a railroad boxcar headed for Tucson, a homeless man sitting across from her with lipstick smudges on his face.”
At a certain point the stories stop being amusing. But wasn’t it fun while it lasted? No, probably not.