Wednesday, March 17, 2004


I don't drink anymore, not like I used to.

In college, the start of my drinking years, I drank beers like soda. By sophomore year, the little refrigerator in my dorm room was jammed with cans of cheap beer, which I consumed as early as lunch. I never felt like I drank too much, but more than once I woke up sick from an evening's excess; more than once I've passed out in some lounge area. I've had grain alcohol, drunk flaming shots, damn near choked while attempting a funnel (only once; maybe twice). I participated in most of the silliness involved with casual but frequent drinking. In my senior year at college, the class gift to the school was a pub and I drank there every night until I graduated. Literally.

Sterling Barrett, one of my post-college roommates, set me straight on drinking. He showed me how to appreciate a quiet drink: gin and tonic, bourbon over ice. He was fond of the Negroni. Even though I didn't enjoy it like he did, I certainly began to enjoy and appreciate this slower drinking.

Tonight I had a Jack Daniels on crushed ice after dinner. I finished it an hour ago, and have been drinking water ever since. I haven't gotten college-drunk since, well, since college. The last drink I had before tonight was probably a few weeks ago, when Jenn and I went out (we had wine).

I sometimes ponder what led me to drink so much back in school. My first attempts to spread my wings while I was away from home? To belong to the "fun crowd?" To escape from my petty miseries? Whatever those impulses were back then, they're gone now. I'm grateful.

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