I’ve once heard it said that alcohol is a truth serum; revealing who and what we are
when the masks are off.
My mother, a woman who rarely relaxes, will drink at cocktail parties. Suddenly engaging and
flirty, I see the ASB president – the confident and social woman – that she once was
and that she once used to be. In this atmosphere, she thrives. She’s always quick to
tell me that, unlike me, she likes people. She finds people fascinating. After all, That’s
why she was a sociology major.
My father is also another person when he drinks. He drinks more often. Regularly. A drink,
maybe two, as soon as he walks through the front door. Drinking, drunk, he laughs. After a
vodka or a scotch on the rocks, he doesn’t care as much about things as I want him to – things
like cross country meets or algebra two or me.
When I was in college, I was given the chance to drink. I don’t like the smell. I still
don’t like the taste. But one day, curious, I made the decision to try the truth serum.
As the room spiraled and things fell in and out of focus, I was scared. I sat, frozen, and
tried to regain control. I tried again and again to will the room into focus and continued
sipping as the gum in my mouth masked the taste of cheap-boxed wine. I drank until I was finally
able to let go.
I don’t remember much about that night. Later I learned that I had told my best friend
in a voice filled with wonder that everything is double and that it was so cool. That she had
to remind me about it tomorrow.