The Twist In My Sobriety

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Look your love has drawn red from my hands
From my hands you know you’ll never be
More than twist in my sobriety

– Tanita Tikaram

I think deep down, despite having a reputation
for mischief, I’m much too serious for my own good.

Yes, I am cursed with the burden of gravity. I’ve always been that girl in parties who drinks like a fish and yet, is in full command of her faculties. Always the last one standing. I was only ever drunk twice, and both times I didn’t like it, so now no matter how much alcohol I imbibe I never seem to get sloshed. I’m always just a little bit buzzed, always teetering on the edge, and then I sober up pretty fast.

This is all very good and proper, but I don’t care much for sobriety. As a virtue, it’s way overrated, and certainly not much fun.

Was it so very long ago, I wonder, that summer night when a bunch of us got so drunk there were people passing out on the lawn in front of a bonfire, under the ridicule of stars. I remember a friend drove us home, me in the front seat, my blissfully zonked out boyfriend in the back. My gay guy Adi drove like a madman, and we sped home on that dark, open highway at 3AM, laughing like banshees. From time to time, Adi would drift off at the wheel, and I would yell at him to wake up. We didn’t really watch the road, we just counted the bulbous, yellow glow of each lamp that streaked swiftly overhead.

I knew even then that what we were doing was stupid, irresponsible, dangerous. I knew my friend was very drunk, I felt every swerve of that wheel as he struggled to keep the car under control. I remember looking back at my then boyfriend asleep in the backseat and thinking, he is so out of it, maybe he won’t feel a thing.

Looking out into the blackness, with only the road ribboning before me, I remembered thinking, he doesn’t know this side of me. Nobody did. Nobody knew I was secretly sober.

The thing is, I rather liked it.


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