The Captain and I (part 2 of 4)

18 Feb

(Part One)

The legend is that after he was killed at Trafalgar, Admiral Horatio Nelson’s body was preserved in a cask of rum, as the alcohol would preserve it. It was actually brandy, but marketing is stronger than history and Admiral Nelson’s Rum is available at your local liquor store for a pittance. This makes it incredibly attractive as a beverage for poor college students. The Admiral chose Black Friday, that violent orgy of commercialism, to come into my life. I had just worked a twelve hour day at Best Buy, and I was tired. But it was Thanksgiving break, and everyone was in town. This was a time to celebrate, and as I have previously stated, I liked to celebrate. So, on six hours of sleep in 36 hours, I drank. A lot. I drank so much Admiral Nelson’s and coke that for the first time in my life, I threw up. I then passed out in my room.

I woke up with what I thought was a hang-over. As luck would have it, some thoughtful person who desperately needed a $78 Kodak shit-cam had not only given me their money, but also their bronchitis. Given that my immune system had been punished by having no sleep, and then had been poisoned quite heavily, I can’t really blame it for giving up. I got pneumonia, which kept me bed ridden through the vast majority of the final projects which make up the bulk of any art class’s grades. Long (and too often told) story short, I failed three of my five classes.


Now most people are very familiar with the image of someone drinking because they are sad, and we all know that this man is an idiot because drinking doesn’t make you feel better. This is an example of you not having a damn clue what you’re talking about. That man isn’t drinking to make himself happy; he, like you, knows that won’t happen. He’s drinking because when he’s drunk he won’t feel bad for telling you all about it. Sad drinkers drink so that they can let being sad out (without feeling guilty for ruining your buzz).

As you have wisely predicted, this is the point when I started sad drinking. This grand adventure in adulthood had suddenly become an enormous mess, and I was fucking it up royally. I was smart enough to know that drinking because you’re sad is also when people start worrying about you, which was the last thing I wanted (I’m a grown-up goddammit!).  So I would start each night of drinking with a smile: We’re celebrating the latest paycheck! (Because something that happens every Friday absolutely needs a fifth of Smirnoff dedicated to it). The fact that each night ended with my friends awkwardly dealing with a sobbing, snotty Mike was conveniently covered up (in my mind) by the fact we’d started so well, and they were well and truly smashed too.

I was depressed, and since I was convinced I wasn’t self-medicating, I sought professional help. I received it (God bless my parents for having health insurance), and so was prescribed a potent cocktail of anti-depressants, mood-stabilizers, and in time anti-anxiety pills. All of these were designed to put my depressed levels of dopamine, serotonin, and whatever the hell else was confused up there, right. Each bottle, along the name of the prescribing doctor and the pharmacists number, bore an identical sticker.


I read incredibly poorly for an English major.

(To Be Continued)


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