Eight days ago from the date I write this I went to a party with the intention of having a good time. I remember pouring the first drink, the second, and the third. Next thing I know I woke up on the couch, my shirt off, my shoes gone, and the sun up. My friend Justin sat next to me in the same situation, and I looked at the other party members as they lay on sleeping bags on the hard wood floor. I had been sitting up in the couch asleep, and I turned to look at the other couches. They had their covers pulled off and were lying out to dry. Various cleaning products lay empty or partially filled in various positions on the window sill.

Truth be told, Justin and I had drunk ourselves past silly. We were loud and disgustingly messy. We threw up over the couches, ourselves, and the floor. We made a huge mess that our friends had to clean up at 4 in the morning lest they get any sleep past the stench. Justin banged on the wall until the Housing Director of the building came over twice and threatened to call the cops. I flirted with all the girls there, and said things that I would rather not admit to.

I don’t remember any of it.

Although I got some flack for some dumb things I said and the mess I made, for the most part the reaction was positive, that “we should get Bacon drunk more often!” The next day was spent rehydrating myself and recovering the strength I had. Last Sunday I woke up and got online to hear some news that I had been waiting for. He wrote it to someone else, but he knew I would read it. Secretly I hope that is why he wrote it to begin with. My close friend (not the fellow drunk, mind you) wrote to this anonymous listener that it is hard to save respect for someone as you are cleaning off the vomit from their person, or as you are keeping them from falling down like a little baby. He said he was saddened that the person who he talks of philosophy and women too couldn’t put a sentence together to save his life. But the part that cut the deepest was this, verbatim, “I cared for them while it appears that they couldn't care less about themselves.”

Whether he meant to or not, these words formed the centerpiece of the thoughts I had in my head for the entire 6 hour midnight flight to Amsterdam I took this last Sunday night/Monday morning. Austin (my traveling buddy) was asleep or at least faking it, so I had no distractions to stop myself from sitting there mentally beating myself up.

I have told numerous people at numerous occasions that I don’t need alcohol to have a good time. I can have fun without it, I don’t have anything to hide from, and I am already relaxed enough without it. In a previous chapter I said, “In a world full of unspoken rules, leaving your inhibitions at the door can be a welcome change of pace.” This sentence accomplished two things. One, it scared the living shit out of my dad, and two, it defended alcohol as a way to relax and cut loose from your normal life. I said this to defend my decision to go to a party with alcohol being served to minors. This statement is so much grander than that, in retrospect I lessened the idea by using it to dignify such a lowly concept.

Last Friday night embarrassed me more than I let people know. Not only did it embarrass me physically, but mentally. I made a mockery of the things I say, and became hypocritical in my ideals on alcohol. I used to be proud of the fact that I had never blacked out or thrown up, and held it high as proof I was a responsible drinker. I can no longer hold that banner high.

One of the things you know if you claim to know me is that I like to be in charge. I’m a bossy kind of guy; it’s just the truth of the matter. Alcohol took away my control. It gave it back in the end, but it didn’t have to. I saw it coming, each time I drank a little more, each party I was a little braver.

Alcohol scared me, and now I’m not so brave.