Fly-Over States

In January of 2002, while George Bush II was alleging Iraq’s stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and drumming up reasons to spearhead a war, I was living in Boston with five guys who were at various stages of obtaining adanced degrees from Harvard. Every morning, I ate breakfast with my housemates: a French physicist, a German professor, a Japanese language student, and a South African diplomat-in-training.

The men came from all over the world, and each had a very particular breakfast routine. The German would arrange his jams, butters, and honeys in a row, meticulously spreading a precise dollop before each bite. He also fit the stereotype of the neurotic, scrupulous German (he used to divide rent and bills to a third decimal and then give us a break by allowing us to round to the nearest quarter).

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My Break-Up With Booze in 12-Steps

Arguably, my longest relationship has been with alcohol. This was almost natural, since I went to high school in Wisconsin where we started constructing beer bongs before we could drive. As a fourteen-year-old, I remember a friend’s dad mixing me hot toddies at the bar in the basement (which also functioned as a taxidermy studio). He used to make koozies out of squirrels, which will give you a real good picture of my roots and the cornerstones of my cultural heritage.

Alcohol and I have a long and tumultuous relationship, one that has inspired heartache, but also some winning times. Needless to say, a post-break up narrative on the subject is a little tricky. It’s like pouring through an old photo album, and like those pictures of an ex, it’s easy to dismiss the fights and romanticize what were undoubtedly some hazy, but first-class nights.

Booze and I…we have traveled the world, walked on beaches, sat on rooftops, lazed on river banks, warmed next to fires… For every really terrible drunk story, there are at least as many, “best night of my life stories.”…but for addicts, “chasing the dragon” is real. You always want that one amazing night back.

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