• Rawiri James

Mixed Feelings: My meet cute with Alcohol



When I reminisce about my 14-year relationship with Alcohol, I get nostalgic. I can recall our first proper meeting. I can still remember the exchanged glances we shared across the busy living room of a local party house.


In movies were women are objectified they are often delivered to the scene in slow-motion, with featured lighting, a saxophone melody playing, and a wind machine to accentuate their long, flowing hair.


I had this exact experience as a young teenager with a bottle of bourbon. Fewer windswept curls, of course, but my reaction was the same. There it was. Exotic. Seductive. Sexy, even.


And there I was. Young, impressionable. Insecure. Powerless to resist. I'd had a few pecks on Alcohol's cheek before. A can of dad's Lion Red here; a sip of mum's white wine there. Passing pleasantries. The type of exchange one has with their distant relative.


But this particular night was different. On this particular night, despite warnings from family and friends, I went to introduce myself to Alcohol assured in the knowledge that what we were about to embark on would be something special. And it was.


As the hip-hop swelled in the background, and young bodies swayed back and forth, I found myself leaning into the alluring fervour of inebriation. Suddenly, the angst and anxieties of life dissipated. Suddenly, Ra was smiling, and contented, and cool.


Just that easily, just that hopelessly, I was gone. A new Me emerged from the shadows that night. I was confident. I felt connection. I felt good. And I had Alcohol to thank for it.


Mmmmmm. I tasted her on my lips for days afterwards.


I was 100% ass-backwards in love, and I wanted more.


Isn't this how all abusive relationships start, though?

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