five by five hundred

My first drink was during a snowstorm. I was 16. My friend Kim and I split a bottle of André mixed with orange juice. We went out into the storm singing at the top of our lungs, and it frightened me a little. How good I felt. I grew up with alcoholism, understood that I was wired for it, knew that once I kicked open that door I might not be able to close it. But Kim and I sang our hearts out in a sparkling swirl and my chest was full of lightning bugs.

I was 16 and didn’t crave isolation. That would come later.

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