The first time I got really drunk, I was 13.  I stole 2 bottles of wine from my mom’s plentiful collection and ran off in the dark to hang out at the junior high school with my friend Jean.  I discovered that night that alcohol strips the skin off of fear, and I liked the feeling of shedding the weight that life had piled onto my back.  I found a way to disappear into a space where I felt nothing, where I became no-one .

As I got older and my world fell to pieces around me, I found myself turning to the bottle more often.  My main task in life was finding ways to escape from the ache of my reality.  I dove into pools of cabernet and whiskey; emerging without a face or a heart.  I craved the boozy fog and the forgetfulness.  I drank in the guise of a good time, but fun was the furthest thing from my mind.  I hated my sober self, but my drunk self felt confident and beautiful.  My drunk self was a liar, a devil on my shoulder, a basket of thorns disguised in a soothing blanket.

Now, older still, and fat and lost and going blind, I drink to forget the darkness. I drink to fill a night that follows a lonely day of grim contemplation. I drink because it is something to look forward to. I drink to erase my self loathing for just a little while. I have been hiding within the sweet promises of bottles of wine and lost sight of who I am, or who I could be without the barriers of booze and flesh and rage. I don’t want to be the buzz kill. I am terrified of what I might face if I push the curtains aside.