I Liked Booze Before It Went Mainstream (poetry)
on 07/09/10 at 1:51 amBooze News
When you turn twenty-one, the State oppresses you with equal rights. You now have the right to four-dollar pints, Long Island Iced Teas, and Half-price Wednesdays. You can no longer feel betrayed when your friend Clayton won’t sneak you sips of his Guinness; you can just feel cheap. And at least before, you could drink with the satisfaction that somebody out there had their eye open, just waiting to shut down your good time.
On my eighteenth birthday, I smoked a cigar that someone else had bought. At twenty-one, my friends all got me gifts I could drink. Now I try to think up reasons for people to buy for me, like maybe I lost my wallet. Maybe I have Social Anxiety Disorder, or I can only pay with change. The thing is, nothing’s ever as good as when you really pull something off, like paying for one case of Coke when you’ve got another hiding on the underside of your shopping cart. When I bought my flask a few months ago, I laughed and told the cashier I’d be filling it with punch; now, I’d just say whiskey.
Anyway, Clayton’s already ahead of me; he has a whole year of responsible drinking under his belt. This guy used to finish litres of vodka before 10th grade English. Now we’re reduced to moderation, just like a couple of old slow-and-steadies. He and I were hanging out the other day, and I even told him, “You’re over the hill, Clay. You gotta retire now. Twenty-two’s too old to be a punk.”