The Stages of Intoxication 

You raise the glass to your lips and absorb that very first sip of the deep, red elixir. It feels like that sweet, innocent first love that warms the cockles of your heart. You can feel the warmth being drawn to your cheeks and the twinkle in your eyes. It resembles comfort and happiness, like the feeling of sitting by the fireplace on a cold winter night. You cling to this feeling, no matter how shallow or superficial it may seem. But you do so within a cloud of melancholy. Past experience tells you that this is a temporary happy, and try as you might, it will certainly drift away.

A few sips later, the cold wave passes through your form. The euphoria gives way to emotion. Your can hear your own heart beat and almost feel the buzz of the electricity passing through your nerves, crowding out your brain with a million thoughts. You realise, in this moment, that it is possible to feel infinitely happy and sad at exactly the same time. And while the sad and melancholy may make the backdrop, life is beautiful and all is well. It is often at this point, you turn to your partner in crime for the evening and give a hug or make a declaration of some kind of love, show appreciation for their existence, tell them you care.

Suddenly you blink and it seems a few hours have passed. You realise you are alone, in the real sense of the word. It catches you by surprise each time – the raindrops pattering on the taxi window or the glare of the streetlight as you walk on the dark, winding lane that leads to the place you call home. You search deep within your heart for those happy thoughts that you know you felt earlier. Or did you? It feels like a dream, a daze. You can’t be certain. The dark sky above you is symbolic of the black hole that is engulfing your thoughts. You question the winding path that has been your life, your decisions… promises made, promises broken, by you, to you. The wounds are still raw, it seems, and the elixir now feels like salt being rubbed in them. Is this how it was supposed to be? Wasn’t the picture painted in those story books you read so different? Or perhaps it was the case that you didn’t grasp the complexity in them that you would if you read them today. Not that you will. But the thought has potential. You mull over it. In the process you seem to have found your way into the apartment. You can see the shadow of the form asleep in the bed and you take your place beside it. Promises broken.

You wince, realising that light is creeping in through the gap between the curtain and the wall. Morning. New dreams, new hopes, a new day. As you turn your head on the pillow, the hammer starts to hit its target hard and loud in your skull. Pain. A deep, seething pain tears through to the back of your eyes. You sigh, knowing this is fully deserved but feel sorry for yourself nonetheless. The picture in front of you becomes clearer and you see the kind eyes smiling down at you, asprin in one hand and a glass of water in the other. It hurts to even smile but you do it anyway, gratefulness pouring out of every element of your face. Promises kept. And so the winding path that is life continues. Though you swear against it, you will probably be right back here many times in the future. Rinse and repeat.

Like what you’ve read here? Follow me on Twitter for shorter (and randomer thoughts) – @berryliciously

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