I turned the bottle upside-down and watched every last drop of its contents pour out into the sink and slide into the drain. The sound it made with each gulp that regurgitated from the neck of the bottle was loud enough to bust cracks in my sore eardrums and I felt as if I might bleed from my ears, nose, and mouth if I continued. That pain was all I could ask for at that point; the only pain in the world that could better me. That pain I felt from pouring three-quarters of a bottle of vodka down the drain was just the pain I needed to feel to admit that I had become its whipped little bitch.
The last four days had been a blur. Nothing had seemed even the least bit real as I’d drowned myself in a faux feeling of perfection. I had not been a real person, but a figment of my own slumber, completely unable to differentiate what I had experienced and what I had dreamed while knocked completely unconscious by my liquid drug of choice. It had started the week before while bored on a Thursday night at my computer. A bottle of dirt cheap vodka had been purchased the night before but had gone untouched, and remained cold in the freezer the following night with nobody but myself to drink it. One night of drinking by myself because there honestly wasn’t anything better to do seemed innocent enough, so I ventured to the freezer where it stood high and tall, almost waiting for me to find it and make it mine.
I cringed in disgust after the first few swigs, and didn’t exactly know why I was doing what I was doing, because I knew within the depths of my soul that I hated vodka with the heat of a thousand burning suns. Vodka was my nemesis. Every time I drank it, it only ended in regretful behavior that I couldn’t turn around or justify. Something inside this dirt cheap bottle of vodka had a power over me that turned me into some kind of monster that I despised being, but it had a lure I couldn’t resist, no matter how many times I’d tempted its muscle only to be defeated time after time.
So I drank. I drank and I drank and I drank until the bottle was just under the halfway point and I was collapsed in a heavy-breathing heap on my bed, eyes like anvils in my head. The next day when I awoke, I saw that bottle sitting there tall on my desk, looking down at me as if to call me a sucker for even trying. I looked at it with angry eyes before getting up and placing the cap on it and screwing it tightly as I had not done the night before. Hours later after the Ibuprofen had long since set in, it taunted me again, putting its thumbs to its ears while waving its fingers around and sticking its tongue out at me like a little child. Wanting nothing more than to silence it and rid its existence from my life, it was mid-afternoon when I unscrewed the top and commenced my attack; my attempt to kill this enemy of mine. Unfortunately, this enemy was smarter than I took it for, and by the time this particular soldier was gone and done for, the only thing going through my head at that point was confusion as to what I was supposed to do next. So of course, stupid little drunken me went straight to the store and bought another bottle.
The escapades continued just like this for a matter of days, close to a week, even. Every day was another bottle and nobody but myself to blame for the kill. Down my throat that vodka went, stabbing every corner of my mouth and mind all the way down and through my system until I was so drunk that none of it mattered and none of it pained me. By the time Thanksgiving came around, I was on the phone with a man from Texas I’d promised myself I’d never speak to again, drunk, confessing my love for him, and on my way to the store to buy, what else, another bottle of vodka. It was the first Thanksgiving of my life that my entire immediate family was separated, and in a drunken slur, I had declared to every person that entered the room that my sister was in rehab, my parents hated each other, my “boyfriend” ditched me even though he hadn’t at all, and I was officially drinking my problems away with pride, holding my sacred bottle by the neck in my hand.
I disgusted even myself. Two days went by with company attending our series of feasts, and both days were a surreal mess of drinking that started only a few hours after rising from my hangover-ridden bed. Feeling overwhelmed with stupid problems at that point, numbing myself like a loser felt like the best thing to do, despite how aware I was that this was hypocritical, wrong, and not the least bit helpful in solving any of my stresses. Regardless, whenever I seemed to need it, there was my enemy bottle, just a reach away from my dirty and momentarily idle fingertips. As I sobbed to my father on the phone in a pathetically dramatic smear of sadness, I didn’t bother to hide my intoxication. As I ranted at the speed of light to the only hippie that would listen after a giant bowl of medicinal marijuana, I didn’t apologize for how annihilated I was. And most of all, as I passed out under my dirty blankets in a drunken haze to the sound of ambient radio, I was simply too drunk to hide from myself anymore. It was impossible to deny that my drinking problem was practically colossal and becoming dominant over my life that in all actuality wasn’t nearly bad enough to merit this kind of abuse.
So that next morning, still a little tipsy from all my many hours spent funneling that ghastly liquid down my burning throat, I turned that bottle upside-down spared my throat as I watched every last drop of its contents pour out into the sink and slide into the drain. The sound it made with each gulp that regurgitated from the neck of the bottle was loud enough to bust cracks in my sore eardrums and I felt as if I might bleed from my ears, nose, and mouth if I continued. That pain I felt from pouring three-quarters of a bottle of vodka down the drain was just the pain I needed to feel to know that I was done letting it control me.