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Grapevine : November 2011
me to have fun sober, and I couldn't remember how to do it. So for this dry date I planned for us to go sky- diving. The poor fellow had no clue what was about to befall him. I told him to dress comfortably and wear tennis shoes. I made sure he wasn't afraid of heights, a relative matter when you are talking 10,000 feet. We drove 40 miles east of the city and jumped out of an airplane. It did not come by way of whiskey; this high was the best I had ever experienced. We went to his place after and sat on his porch, drank tea and smoked some flavored tobacco. We were both so high from the adrenaline rush and we talked so much I could barely think straight. After the tea was gone he brought out a few beers. I was so busy enjoying my natural high that the thought hadn't crossed my mind. At first I declined. He asked once more. I thought, Sure, why not? I drank three beers, and that was it. I kissed him good night, went home to bed, never called him again, and never told a soul about those three beers. I acted as if it had never hap- pened. As the high from skydiving faded, the darkness came back. I thought I could have three beers and maybe a few more after that. I knew I was an alcoholic. I had no illusions about that, but I was tired of sadness and sobriety. I would drink and keep it quiet. So I did just that. I drove to the liquor store one night and bought myself a case. I drank alone in the garage that night. The drunk gave me some temporary relief. I kept up the illusion that I was still sober for my family. I continued to drink qui- etly and alone for some time. After a while I selectively reintroduced the idea of me drinking to a few friends. I said I had just needed a few months clean to clear out my head, but now I was fine and could drink like normal people. I didn't buy it---but they did. Drinking again went OK for the most part. I drank enough to get drunk but never too much to regret it. A few nights I got rowdy dancing on top of the bar and said stupid things, but no major trouble. So I carried on until I reached my new low, which like I said, was mighty high. It was a Saturday night, Dec. 7. I hadn't been out in a while. After many idle days in, it was time to go out. A local garage band was playing How dare I be plagued with unhappiness when I had made the ultimate sacrifice of giving up booze? I thought I should be rewarded. 44 November 2011