it all began, i believe, with candy. with wanting what was forbidden for my own good. a craving that, once tempted, could never be satisfied. candy moved into cigarettes, to pot, to some hallucinogens. all experimental until the craving, the "grabbiness," as author caroline knapp calls it, sets in. cigarettes i could take or leave. pot made me paranoid. and paranoid is not a pleasant state for naturally anxious people. neither are hallucinogens. death seemed too next door to heroin and cocaine and crack. with alcohol, death seemed a long way off. at first, i think, it began with the codiene in the kitchen cabinet. everyone thought my older brother had taken it, but it was me all along. i think i was fourteen. my mother wasn't a drinker at all. she didn't even let white sugar into her body, or artificial flavors, or red meat, or white flour. so. we had this bottle of jameson irish whiskey in the pantry, unopened, a parting gift to my mother following theater jacksonville's production of o'neill's "A Touch of the Poet." everyone's always loaded and losing in those plays. but i digress. by the time i was seventeen, i was swigging a little before going out until all was gone from the bottle. it wasn't until i was in college that my mom noticed it was empty.
now i'm back to candy and cigarettes.