One sip in and the tunnel vision begins.
My eyes involuntarily glaze over as I let my body enjoy coming home; a blank Word Doc in front of me, sing-along-metal, my alcohol and me.
The glass feels heavy in my unsteady hand. My last sip still lingers on my lips as I take another and disappear inside the warmth of my own, private oblivion. There’s nothing in that place, just me, the music, and the dark. My head-voice even sits down to enjoy the silence.
I lean back into the sumptuous pleather chair, close my eyes and do the footparts of the drums. Gently.
As the alcohol level in my glass diminishes, so too does my footdrumming until I am barely lifting a couple of toes from the ground every minute or so. We’ve moved from the warm place to the quiet place, where vision begins to blur, the number of blinks increase and my brain is happy to be hearing the voices of other people, respite from mine.
Memory-songs interrupt the silence, jarring me back to people and places from long ago. Being driven to the first day of my job trial by Sonja, a moment that changed my life, resulting in me moving out of my family home via a phone call from Sydney, telling them I got the job and had to start on Monday.
My essentials were posted down in cardboard post boxes, and driven down to me by my heartbroken parents. None of us had had any time to say goodbye. Instead we did it in the driveway of that rundown little house in Sackville Street, mum’s pain radiating from her uncontrollably.
I spent many of the following nights waiting until my boyfriend’s breathing turned into a gentle snore, before allowing myself to cry myself to sleep. I couldn’t even think of my brother’s name, or the nickname I’d called him since he created his own name when he was 2. If I even thought that name, public or alone, the uncontrollable sobs would shake my body until I could no longer hold it in, releasing it in an undignified choke-hiccup.
Moving back to this town gave me a couple more years with my now grown up little brother. Now that he’s gone off to design his own adventure, I find myself back in that place, losing a couple of silent little tears each time I think of him in pain or heartbreak. At least I’m not sobbing, so that’s progress.
A third of the way through my third glass and my maudlin recollections have run their course, and let me float back to the closed-eyes silence and escape-sounds. My singing begins as a soft accompaniment, but quickly turns into the lead, and before I know it, I’m in front of the mirror, serenading a fake audience who simply adore me.
This is where the remainder of my night will find me, creating my own music videos and wondering why this hasn’t been turned into a reality TV show already.
This third glass drains quickly and my unsteady feet and vision war with my euphoria. Nine times out of every ten, euphoria wins and a fourth, fifth, sixth glass gets drained while I fall too far down the rabbit hole, my hands scrabbling at the walls for some way to stop before I land at the bottom, shattering the precious things that lie there.
Thankfully, the cloud of my bed calls to me much louder than a night lost in the bottle and I go to bed with my music, my darkness and myself.