Writing practice

People drink alcohol to heal their wounds.

My mother told me that.

She’s never drank before. At least that’s what I was lead to believe. For a long time I remember thinking my mother and father were virgins until their marriage night; I found out from my brother that my father had slipped.

I wonder why they would hide that from me.

My great grandmother died in a hospital bed. Her fiery red hair had faded to white and her skin was deflated over her cheekbones like a sunken balloon fallen on tree branches. But her fiery spirit remained. She fiercely witnessed to all the nurses, warning them, and going as far as to pray with some of them. I remember holding her boney hand, she shook it vigorously and said, “No drinkin’, no smokin’, and no dancin’.” These are the way the devil gets you.

I have broken all three of my great grandmother’s rules. All three in one night.

The first time I got drunk I was a sophomore in college. I was at a fraternity formal. My best friend was dating a Kappa Sigma and I went with his roommate. I turned to her and whispered, “I think I’m ready.” Everywhere around me people were drunk. It was my first experience with it.  I took two shots of peppermint schnapps with a chaser of chocolate syrup. The following day I woke up feeling horrible, but not from a hangover. I was wrecked with guilt.

Years later, I’m sneaking shots of bourbon and blue moons from the host tab at a banquet party.

If I have wounds, I don’t know where they’re from. And I wouldn’t waste my beer to pour over it. I don’t drink because I’m hurt. I drink because I’m bored at work and don’t want to drive home.

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