i didn’t drink much alcohol during my tenure in 36th & regent. drinking was still new and fresh to me, and i was still worried about participating in it. i had no concept of tolerance or what being drunk felt like, so i would always limit myself to a few beers out of fear of getting sick. when it did drink liquor, i did so very slowly.
despite the experimentation during the early stages of the band, i remained mostly sober until the end. i developed an addiction to caffeine that persists to this day, but i rarely drank and never did drugs. that changed when i moved out of my mom’s basement.
i met mike through our bass player, james. we had just completed band practice and james suggested we hang out at mike’s new apartment. they were having a party to celebrate the move. i didn’t know mike, but i was feeling adventurous.
this choice set the stage for my life up to this point.
i didn’t drink that night, but i met my future roommates. their apartment was so cool, and i was having such a good time that i made a comment about wishing i lived there. they called my bluff and asked if i wanted to move in. a month later i was living in my first apartment.
i don’t remember the exact progression that led to the first bottle of whiskey. i know i was against drinking for a short time. i don’t what changed.
i know that we were having a party. we invited a lot of people and had a homeless man named trent buy all the booze. technically he lived with us, so i guess he wasn’t homeless. but he still dressed and smelled like he slept in the street.
no one showed up to the party. maybe we forgot to tell everyone. maybe they were worried about police showing up. whatever the case, i had a case of beer and no one to drink it with.
it was fun at first. beer was still taboo to me. the act of drinking of beer was exciting. i began experimenting by drinking beer in different settings. what if i drank a beer after work? what if i drank a beer in the shower? what if i drank a beer during the day?
it didn’t take long for things to get out of control. i started to use drinking as an excuse to not drive my friends around. then i graduated to hard liquor. i didn’t get drunk every night. not yet. but i worked the night shift and made my own hours, so i would frequently stay up late rolling cigarettes and doing shots of vodka with trent.
i remember my first real hangover. it was the first time i asked trent to buy me bottle of whiskey. evan williams. still one of my favorites. we drank more than half the bottle that night. i could do that alone these days and wake up fine, but this was the first time i got stumbling drunk. the world was spinning. i didn’t like it.
i woke up with the worst migraine of my life. if that happened today, i’d be out of commission. dry heaving and crying naked in the bathroom, in and out of consciousness. being 19 probably helped me out because i went to work just fine. i was still in pain, but i wasn’t sick.
after that day, i made a point to drink as much water as i did booze each night.