I was 16, the first time I got blackout drunk. And like any self-respecting Chaos Demon, I did it in an epic fashion that involved drinking away my sorrows and blowing past any reasonable stopping point at a pace that is still whispered about to this day.
I wasn’t entirely ignorant to the ways of drinking, because I come from the North where there’s very little for youths to do but play in snow, learn extreme sports, and experiment with alcohol before we’re technically of age. (Which is 19 in most of Canada, if you were curious).
But that’s not where the story begins, and of course, there’s gotta be a tragic love story/ crush here for the hook, right?
His name was Jordan, and I was completely obsessed. Fixated because he had this glorious mane of curly dark hair, a jaw line sharp enough to cut a girl’s thighs ifyouknowwhatimean, and he was a year older than me, so that basically meant he was gonna deliver the fuckin’ gooooods, right?? Plus, we had shit in common, baybee!! He loved the snow just as much as I did, and we were on the same school bus. Fated mates, most like-lehh. Like, I cannot express enough the thrill of pretending not to preen whenever we got stuck sitting beside each other in the morning. That I was cool and unaffected by his nearness, or that I hadn’t positioned myself just so, so he’d HAVE to sit near me.
It took me over a year to realize that he wasn’t just dark and aloof and mysterious and brooding, but painfully shy. Which is funny, on account of me being so painfully shy that whenever our arms would brush in the morning, I’d pretty much stroke out in red-faced mortified embarrassment.
As fate would have it, that year my high-school offered electives that would take us to the ski resort I grew up on. Where my mum used to barter her time for day passes, volunteering for 8+ hours a day, just so my brother and I could ride on the weekends. Running wild on the hills with my sibling, I learned the best ways to fall to absorb the impact, to minimize the hurt so I could get up and do it all over again. And before I’d ever been taught a single lesson, I could ride a snowboard with either foot forward (goofy or regular, for those not in the know), fall without getting hurt, and hold my own in the park.
When Jordan had signed up for that elective, I knew I fuckin’ had him ’cause that hill was my home. There was no possible way he wouldn’t be impressed with my mad skillz, baybeee! I could ride those slopes blind—had actually done so the previous weekend, just because my brother dared me to do it.
So we didn’t interfere with class, these outings were run at night, which is a bucket list worthy thing to do, just in case you were wondering. And of course, that day in school I was giddy, my good mood untouchable. I even let my friend Adam colour my entire forearm black with a sharpie in art class. From my elbow to fingertips, midnight black for no good reason at all except for maybe boredom.
The bus ride to the resort was the absolute height of teenage angst. I was sitting with the cool people, at the back of the bus. Lurking. Too shy to really speak up, but I didn’t really need to, not when I’d get to earn my place as soon as we hit the snow.
And when it was my turn to hit the big jump, I did it with the whole pack of cool people looking on. Doubting that a quiet, weird blonde girl might be able to do this thing at all.
So of course, it was only natural that I hit a patch of ice and fell so hard I snapped a bone in my wrist. My ulna, to be exact. In front of every cute boy in my entire high school. The teachers. And the roaming ski patrol who I basically knew by name.
I essentially fell on flat ground.
As if I hadn’t been on that very hill, every weekend for the last thirteen fucking years, throwing myself off high things and going so fast my tears froze on my lashes and had to be picked off with my thumbnail.
But before someone could further my horrified mortification by asking if I needed help, and before I could really feel the pain the *snap* of breaking bone might inspire, I slid down the rest of hill using my own steam. Rolled right into the medical office dragging my snowboard behind me, and presented a rapidly swelling wrist coloured black from elbow to fingertips.
I think the nurse might have pooped herself when she saw the gangrenous child before her. Didn’t have a dying arm, but I did have a broken bone that needed to be set and casted. Which meant my season was over, and making Jordan mine through an elaborate dance of shy-kid side eyes, a NatGeo-worthy mating dance of eligibility, and gradual blossoming friendship was off the table.
I was absolutely heart broken, in the way of teens who will literally die when they don’t get what they think want.
There was a party that weekend, one of those sweet house parties where the parents are conveniently gone and someone buys a disturbing amount of liquor. And on account of the heartbreak and the heavy bulk of the cast, I dumped roughly 20oz of fireball whisky into a solo cup and drank the whole fucking thing in 20 minutes.
Incidentally, I don’t remember anything at all beyond those first 20 minutes, aside from a few bleary snatches here and there. A backseat car ride that kept pulling over so I could puke up bile. Getting dumped on my front porch in a sloppy heap. And I also have a hilarious memory of my little brother carrying my drunk ass up the stairs, trying to secretly deal with me without my parents finding out that I for sure had a mild case of alcohol poisoning.
My mum was the one to hold my hair back, because as it turns out, it’s not all that easy to quiet the sounds of a messy drunk puking up their soul.
In the morning, I staggered into my parent’s bedroom and made no effort at subtlety.
“Am I in trouble?”
They laughed, no doubt at the state of me. That my skin was so pale you could see the exact way the whorls of my DNA went together to create… *this*. “You’ve probably suffered enough, hmm?”
I went a beautiful shade of green, such was my relief. “Yahhh. Thanks. Sorry. *Gag* I’m… I’m gonna go barf until I crack a rib, kay? Kay. Love you so much, byeeeeee.”
Slept until I had to barf again. But my parents made this Chaos Demon, and so they also know how to punish one in a way that can never be forgotten. I left my bedroom with bile simmering high at the back of my throat. Took a single breath, and choked on mmmoist air laced with a cloying scent I seriously hate to this very day.
It has this special way of filling the whole ass house with the scent of Satan barbecuing human flesh, but to a vegetarian trying to wade through the dregs of a self-inflicted poisoning?
Misery, my name is Myra.
I barely made it to the porcelain throne before I was hurling out curses in a tongue long forgotten.
But that wasn’t even the worst of it. I still had to show my face at school on Monday.
As it happens, sloppy-drunk high school girls are fairly standard creatures at weekend keggers. So are broken bones, though on a much lesser degree. But mix those things together and add a heavy cast and a dash of teen angst? I was a fuckin’ wrecking ball. Unable to stand, my cast had become a club. Knees, elbows, drinks—no one was safe from my warpath.
When I stepped foot on school property—still drunk, three days later, mind—the hall erupted in a chant that will haunt the rest of my years. “You can’t stand, you can’t stay!!!“
So anyway, as a rule, I don’t drink and bacon is foul shit unworthy of my high-born olfactory senses.
And thanks to the desensitizing trauma of a school-wide mortification, I was broken of my shyness and eventually just asked Jordan if he wanted to be my boyfriend. I think we even kissed once or twice before the shyness returned… 😛