After the hell of, what was referred to as the “eighth grade” had crushed what little inkling of self-esteem I had scraped up and held onto from the previous years, I did have some luck. My esteem had grown immensely by the end of my freshmen year of High School when I started playing drums, joining up with some buds to form a Blink-182 cover band. I wasn’t even 15-years old, c’mon. Plus, they rocked back in the day. And still do, compared with the music of today…
It felt great being apart of a cool group like that. All I had to do was get through the school day then I could hang with them. Until our guitarist was sent to a boarding school far away.
Sophomore year was also the year I had my first girlfriend. I don’t know how I pulled that off, it just sort of happened. I’d bring my acoustic guitar to school and play in a class we had shared. I discovered she could play, as well. She then had my attention. Each morning, I’d ditch my normal gang to sit with her on another of the building. Just us two.
I was incredibly shy and timid back then. I think we were official before we had even kissed—that she had to make the first move. It was a kiss of I can’t take it anymore! But after that our relationship grew it’s wings and took off. But, the entire first few months I was so timid around her. Everything was on her schedule—she had to make the first move, every time.
I knew my peers must have felt neglected but I was floating on a pink cloud of what I had thought was true love. Plus, I was the first in my group of friends to go all the way, sexually.
I was also able to go to prom with her since she was a junior, while I was only a sophomore. I ended up going to prom three fucking times! But there was a problem: I had never been drunk before. I’d had alcohol before, but never enough to feel anything. I was so nervous that I’d look like a loser at prom and the after parties, if I had never drank before.
I had devised a plan that would work…
A lot of kids I knew had talked about it — how fun and exciting it was. I’d also seen my parents and their friends partying and becoming absurdly funny from it. That’s all I saw. Fun. However, I wouldn’t say the idea had come from them. I was in high school and everyone talked about it. And the curiosity and want to try something new, like weed, was more reason. I wanted to get drunk.
It was a school day, sometime around the second school semester, when I wormed my way through my parent’s fully-stocked liquor cabinet－which was fully stocked, after all of the summer and weekend parties they had. Almost every bottle was full, so I picked what I thought was the coolest one—or one that I’ve seen used a lot—which was a bottle of José Cuervo Gold. After emptying an Ozarka water bottle, I poured the tequila into it. It looked like a golden waterfall, with its alcoholic fumes－instead of water mist－rising up making me gag as they protruded their way into my nasal cavities. I filled the bottle a little more than halfway, capped it, then tossed it in my bag for the next day.
The next morning in school, I’m staring at the vending machines. I had about fifteen minutes to do what I wanted to do. I had no idea what would the best mixer.
Since it was 8:45 in the morning, I thought orange juice would be a good choice…
Coke, or any soda or juice?
Sold out. Sold out. Sold out.
Before hitting the water button, I tried one last item out. I then saw the magical digital letters…
I was thrilled, even though I had no idea what Jose Cuervo tasted like, much less how it would taste like with a green Powerade.
I rushed to the first men’s bathroom I could find, which was downstairs by the cafeteria. Inside the wet, odor-ridden bathroom stall, the cap seemed like it was twisting back to the right when I tried turning to the left.
Lefty-loosey, righty-tighty—that’s all I knew.
My hands were damp with sweat. I was becoming nervous.
I eventually had to pull my shirt over the stubborn cap to be able to get any twist to it. After all the strength I could muster,
Cra, cra, cra, cra, crack. I heard, like a tiny machine gun going off.
My hand ached (remember I’m just a sophomore in high school with barely any athletic skill. My wrists were like twigs). I then proceeded to pour about half of the green Powerade down the toilet, replacing it with yet another waterfall of liquid gold.
Once the bottle was full, I twisted the black cap back on and took it to World History. It turned out; Lady Luck was with me that day: We had a substitute teacher, and not just for today, for a few weeks, too. Mrs. Lannister was very ill.
I pulled out the full bottle from my backpack, then started to twist the black cap again, opening to a great view of a barf-green substance with the smell of rank death.
Here goes nothing!
I tilted my head back and opened a tiny slit in my mouth to pour in the foulest concoction that had ever been in, or even near, my mouth.
Much like all drinks, I’ve come to learn that the first sip is the worst, but I kept on sipping. Little by little, while holding my nose.
My friend who sat behind me, Emily, could tell what I was doing. And not just by watching me. She was able to smell the redolent exhaust that came swirling out of my mouth each time I exhaled, which was a lot at first－I was so anxious.
I remember thinking, drinking was nothing like pot.
I could feel my lips growing numb, I distinctly remember. With the more numb they became, the more my nerves started to flutter away. It was like someone had poked a hole in my stomach and let out all the incessant butterflies. To fly away free, until they found someone else, giving them a new cross to bear.
I was experiencing something brand new to me. I could faintly hear the intro to “Money” by Pink Floyd, while I was transported through my desk, into a magical, exciting new world in color, as opposed to my black-n-white, quiet, self-conscious life.
I found what I’d been seeking.
I found the antidote to all my problems. Only next time without green Powerade.
So there I was, sitting comfortably in World History, feeling beyond great. I could feel as though my eyelids were hanging on for their dear lives. They descended into two orient slits in the middle of my face, while my mouth was gaping and giggling. Who knows what was so damn funny, I just had to laugh.
I had taken about five swigs in a three-minute period. A tingling sensation grew in the back of my neck, as well as the top of my head. The rest of my body was numb, inside and out. Internally, my conscious revealed that I had just been reborn. I couldn’t remember who or what I used to be, only what I was now.
I turned around to Emily, sitting behind me, and whispered, “Oh my God, getting drunk is awesome!”
She glanced at me, lifted her eyebrows as high as they could go, surprised, exclaiming, “I know.” All the while, nodding her head.
I turned back around in my seat—a chair connected with half of a desk, instead of the full ones we had back in the middle school days. I wasn’t able to get that goofy grin off my face. I was forever, The Joker from Batman. Confidence flowed through my body and soul like waves on a beach. Filling me with, what felt like, a new power. A secret that I had found. And it was all mine.
I took another long swig from the bottle that was now half-full. I sat up a little and took a long look around the room at everybody. It was dark, but I could still see faces. Now, typically, I’d be thinking everybody was looking at me, judging; however, nobody was looking. Nobody was judging (except maybe Emily, who probably thought I was an idiot for drinking in class). This feeling was what it felt like to have no worries, no fears, and no inhibitions. This was how I was supposed to feel—without a care in the world. I didn’t care what others thought of me anymore. I was able to be my true self.
It was awesome that our substitute put on some boring-ass movie; otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have had this alcohol-induced, spiritual and mental revelation. I put on my inconspicuous headphones—my desk was across the room from the teacher’s desk—and pressed play on my Disc-Man. It was a fast-paced punk band known as The Casualties. Their music was blaring inside my head. It seemed like my ears were bleeding.
That felt impeccable.
I felt impeccable.
I wanted to jump out of my desk-chair and go wild and crazy. Dance in front of everyone like they weren’t watching. And, who gives a damn if they were?
I needed to keep myself hidden though—I still had some smart sense—so instead, I sat back and slunk down in my chair, admiring the newfound love for myself. I was loving life. After all these tortuous years, I was finally comfortable in my skin.
I ended up killing the bottle by next period.
I said to myself, “I gotta do this again.”
As for my girlfriend, I had broken us up. I had ripped her heart out. I felt horrible. I wanted to get back together just so she wouldn’t be wondering the halls with red, teary eyes. Whenever she walked by, I had to look down. I couldn’t see that sad face anymore. I was such an asshole. (But don’t worry, karma came around.)
Until things have changed…
She had hooked up with one of my really good friends. I didn’t know who I should be mad at more, him or her. She had at least apologized but as for my friend he didn’t say a damn word. So she and I were good, until the rumors start flying around. Rumors she had started.
I didn’t mind the rumors she had spread around like herpes at an ‘Ol Dirty Bastard sex romp (too soon?), so much because they weren’t true, plus alcohol helped me not not give a shit. In a way, it was good because I would rather her spread her mouth than spreading open her legs to my friends (which she did, again), looking for a temporary fix to her broken heart.