Dear alcohol,

by asifemily

You still manage to catch my eye, even though our relationship has long since run its course, whether you’re in a bar with a bunch of giggling girls or in a posh restaurant on yet another date.  I know you’re trying to reel me back in, trying to land me – gasping – back on board.  But I still remember how you drowned me.

I know you inside out and up and down.  You were my saviour: you made every grey day into a bright caricature of itself; every night was a deeper shade of velvety-black, seductive.  And we danced.  You whirled me across the mosh-pit in front of sweating musicians, twirled me into back alleys with questionable companions and waltzed with me straight into bed.  Where you took my virginity.  You encouraged my promiscuity and then you pimped me out.  And still I danced with you.

I hated you.  You held me in suspended animation, saturated and stuck in your jar like the grotesque result of a mad experiment.  You made every bright day spin out of my control and the velvet night suffocated me.  Years passed.  Did they?  All I know is that my feet slowly began to tire of the dance.  Blood followed blisters, until they were a pulpy, red mess; were they even my feet?  I couldn’t tell anymore.  I began to make plans – if I couldn’t walk away from you I would crawl on my hands and knees.

You had one last trick, with which you hoped to ensnare me, and it was a dirty one.  You took my love from me.  It was the first love I had ever known and he was my everything.  If anyone could have saved me, I thought it would be him.  I hadn’t yet realised that all I needed to do was stand still for a minute and rest.  He left me.  All I had was you.

Another few months passed in which I was completely yours, so deeply involved with you that even now I can’t remember, don’t want to remember, what we did together.  I think it’s better that way.  Our world was a small, dark room that I couldn’t leave.  Until one day, shortly before I was to turn twenty two, a sound broke through – the ringing of a telephone.  “He’s dead.  Heroin.  I’m so sorry.”  My love.

With my heart irreparably broken, it was so easy to walk away from you.  I was finally free.  I no longer have a heart, just a hollow space where it used to be.  But  I still have my feet.  I walked away from you with my head held as high as grief allowed.  It’s been over a year since I was in your grasp and I know that I can never, ever go back to that dark space that we shared.  So go ahead, dance all night with whoever you want.  I’m not jealous anymore.  I’m free.