The room spun around me as tears filled my eyes. A sickness started to set in and cover me like my soft, fuzzy blanket. A sickness filled with despair, disappointment, and far too much vodka. 

My mother had already picked me up from the police station. I was home and safe. But safety was never really my main priority. Sex and drinking were. 

This was my second DUI. First on record. Somehow the one I got when I was 20 was brushed under the rug. But these things always catch up with you.

As I tried to fight off the rising acid in my throat versus the pit in my stomach, the streams of tears gushing from my eyes and the palpitating breath that was imprisoned in my heavy chest, I remembered why I decided to drink that much in the first place.

Or rather, why I didn't choose to stop.

You see, it was never really about the drinking. As much as I would like to say that were the only problem, it was far from it. Actually, the drinking helped me in my pursuit. It brought me to the beds of many men. But that was as far as it could take me. That was as far as I could take me. 

I so deeply yearned for love. And drinking was the best way to cut corners. Because of my already skewed perception of love and sex, I thought I could make a man love me with my body. The thought of respect never even crossed my fragile little mind. I was the most out of control control freak on the West side. And even though, week after week, man after man, disappointment after disappointment, I never learned my lesson.

And so there I was. The drunk girl chasing a one night stand was now a crying girl facing a trial. 

Something dawned on me that night, or early morning, I should say. Nothing having to do with self respect or self love, mind you, but I realized that the drinking might just be getting in the way.

And it only took an arrest record to figure that out.

But even though the thought crossed my mind, the behavior wouldn't really slow down. Mainly because I still hadn't achieved my goal through the same insane formula I had been using for years. If there was one thing I wasn't, it was a quitter.

The sadness here came from more of a truncated perspective, mainly because digging deeply was far too scary. In front of me I saw the threat of the legal system, the absence of a love I chased down Lincoln Blvd, and the failure I saw myself as. The tip of the iceberg, with no regard, respect, or even curiosity at what lied beneath the surface.

So I slept that night. And in the morning, I picked myself up, and tried to make things work without fixing anything at all. 

Published by Shawn Engel