The rain soaks everything—right down to the bone and other clichés—everything gets wet during monsoon season in the desert and the desert soil doesn’t know how to hold the water. It’s confused. Flash floods and mud and puddles are the outcome. Dark skies and loneliness too. But the darks skies and loneliness taste like dark coffee so you put up with it—you put up with it because you feel obligated to and even though it tastes bitter and shitty it still makes your stomach feel warm.
As does alcohol. And when you’re 18, you’re too young to buy any of the palatable varieties, but you’re old enough to be jaded and depressed as all hell, or depressed as if all of hell was inside of you—because sometimes it is and there are a lot of people that don’t understand that. And so you drink crazy shit to make yourself feel better. Crazy shit like mouth wash and rubbing alcohol and cleaners and other things that can kill you; and there’s a small part of you that hopes that they will even though they never do because there’s a larger part of you that screams in terror whenever you take even the smallest of sips from that little plastic jug of rubbing alcohol, and it’s all so funny in a twisted sort of way because you’re allowed to buy that shit, just not some vodka or beer.
Then you wake up—holy fucking shit your head hurts and it hurts in a way that you can’t even confront—and you’re in the drunk tank of the local police station. They found you somewhere, passed out on some patch of grass with your little plastic jug as if you were trying to disinfect all of the little green blades, but really you were trying to disinfect the inside of your heart. The police take you back to your apartment and drop you off without even citing you—God knows why—and your roommates and friends turn up the music and play songs that pound your headache further into your head and all laugh and hit your back and knuckles and congratulate you for getting so shit-faced, spending a night at the police station, and walking away without a ticket. You fake smiles and laugh with them to reassure yourself that you’re not an alcoholic—although you are—and to make yourself believe that you’ll still have friends tomorrow.
And when they drink you drink and you still play their beer pong because in some way you have to because we all know you can’t even buy freedom in America, let alone friends, and happiness comes at the price of whatever your older friends will sell you booze for. So you don’t even stop—even though a tiny piece of you wants to, but not really a big enough piece to really do anything, so it whimpers quietly and you forget to call your mom on Sunday. And she worries and texts you and you tell her you’re fine but you still don’t call her.
But you’re fine. And you tell yourself and everyone else that you’re fine because it’s not okay to tell people that something’s wrong—and what would you even say anyway? Hi, I’m a goddamn alcoholic, please help me. Good way to make friends, and you only really have five right now and kind of have twelve, so that’s not really an option.
So the next time you’re at Wal-Mart, you buy some more rubbing alcohol, and a few weeks later there’s fire inside of you again as you nurse the little plastic bottle. You sip and sip and sip and sip and no one stops you because you’re wandering around the side-streets of a small town by yourself at one in the morning. And finally you pass out on someone’s lawn, and come sunrise someone finds you and you wake up and find yourself dead and it’s funny in a twisted sort of way because you died amongst leaves of grass and your buddy Walt is whispering from below the dirt into your unconscious-ear, “That you are here—that life exists and identity, / That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” And it’s funny because the powerful play does go on, and it marches on without you, and you did contribute a verse, but it was so downright mediocre and written in drunken slurs that the great composer of the powerful play decided it was best if your verse was just edited out.
So there’s a funeral and whatnot, and people cry for a while, and your older brother even starts some foundation to help depressed, alcoholic college kids but ultimately everyone stops caring because they have more important things to worry about than someone who’s been dead for almost eight years now, and eventually you’re forgotten, and Wal-Mart semi-trucks keep moving giant loads of rubbing alcohol from factories to stores and no one really knows what would’ve happened if it all would’ve been otherwise.
I feel like life’s a lot like heroine. It’s scary as shit and it’s terrible and crazy but I love it so much and I’m addicted to it and can’t give it up.
- Student: I'm not going to go to college because I don't want to go into debt.
- USA: YOU USELESS PIECE OF SHIT. YOU'RE GOING TO AMOUNT TO NOTHING YOU FUCKING SCUMBAG. YOU'RE THE REASON WHY MY TAXES ARE SO HIGH.
- Student: I'm just going to attend a small community college instead.
- USA: HAHAHA YOU WERE TOO STUPID TO GET INTO A GOOD UNIVERSITY. ENJOY YOUR MCDONALD'S DIPLOMA.
- Student: I attended a four year university and received a diploma in a field I am interested in. Now I am $50,000+ in debt.
- USA: YOU DUMBASS. WHY THE FUCK DID YOU GO TO COLLEGE WHEN YOU KNOW YOU COULDN'T AFFORD IT? YOU DIDN'T EVEN CHOOSE A USEFUL MAJOR EITHER. GOD PEOPLE LIKE YOU MAKE ME SICK.