I was kneeling on all fours, water cascading down my back and my face. I retched for what seemed like the 100th time that morning and spit out yet more bile and shame. As I wiped the water from my eyes, I caught my reflection in the metal plug of the shower I was dry-heaving in. What stared back was a gaunt face with dark dead eyes. It was only then that I audibly acknowledged what I’ve always known in my heart needed to happen.
Whiskey, I’m leaving you.
We both know this relationship had been going downhill for years. While we started out hot and heavy, with 19-year-old me dumping you in any soda at any time, things have fizzled. This past weekend I didn’t even plan on seeing you because I’ve long tired of who I become when we spend time together. Our paths only crossed because the wedding I attended ran out of beer and I was already drunk enough to where I wasn’t going to stop drinking. That’s like locking Pablo Sandoval in a Golden Corral after three days of fasting. Some over-indulgence was going to happen.
Really though, its not you, its me. I thought we could have a nice time on Saturday. Some memory loss and a lot of vomit later, I know that even after all this time, it’s still just the same old story with us. Not to say it wasn’t fun for a bit. No, I’ll fully acknowledge that I’m having a blast in that picture of me dabbing with a double-helping of your brown goodness riding shotgun in my left hand. No denying it: for a while, it was lit. But each time we come back to each other, things go sour; you’re the OJ to my Nicole. If I don’t get you completely away from me one day you’ll leave me lifeless in my front yard. Or just passed out and covered in vomit.
We used to have fun back when I first got into the drinking game. But I was a different man and you were a different drink. An expressway to a high BAC for a kid who at that time wasn’t great at drinking beer. Good times were had and spoils were enjoyed. Remember our first Christmas party together? Thanks to you, I was so drunk that I didn’t mind wearing Chubbies in 40-degree weather. I kept a nice cheap bottle of you under my bed the entirety of my freshman year to make any night a great night. Hell, remember Lonestar Luau during sophomore year? We crushed it.
Things seemed good, but the signs were still there. Blacking out became a bit too easy. You caused me to slur many a word and lose my footing on even the most even of surfaces. And for the love of God, under your influence, I became like the Kool-Aid man on steroids. There was something wonderful about being whiskey-drunk and destructive, but I can’t pretend like waking up multiple Sundays with dry-wall on my clothes was ever a good idea.
It’s unfortunate that it’s the bad times that we have to dwell upon. It’s like an anal wart; it just can’t be ignored. My foolish skirmish with my roommate? You were there. Numerous blackouts? You were there too. As for Bourbon St, it was nearly the end of me, and you were the driving force behind it. I’ll miss the times I used to see you, but whether you came on the rocks, in a shot, or in the form of a Kentucky Deluxe-and-Mountain Dew (sophomore year got weird), belligerence always seemed to follow.
We can still be friends. Who doesn’t want to be that happy divorced couple like Bruce Willis and Demi Moore? Soon I’ll be on the way to going bald and hopefully you’ll find a couple years of Ashton Kutcher. Maybe on occasion, I’ll come back and say hi via a glass of Jameson at the blackjack table, or perhaps a round of Crown shots during alumni weekend. But we both need to face facts: we are past the days of spending an entire night together. When it was good it was great, but when it was bad it was catastrophic. That’s why we’ve got to end this. It’s for the best, champ.
Don’t cry because it’s over; smile, blackout, and slur your words because it happened..
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