Early Fall, 1988 - It was a Friday and I had just gotten home from school when my neighbor, Gil, who was just two years older than I, came over and knocked on our door. I had only hung out with him a few times and found that he was always looking for something crazy and mischievous to do. He asked if I wanted to come over in a bit, that he was going to be having a party at his house. I figured, what the hell, I'm just trapped in this house doing nothing anyway. I threw on some rags and headed over to his house just before the sun was to set. I rang the doorbell and stood there as the door opened and through the screen door he asked me to wait outside, he must of been fixing his hair (gobs of gel was cool back in those days). I heard him approaching the door again a short while later and as he exited he says. "Alright, ready?" and then let out a little giggle. He had this strange laugh, kinda spooky in a way. It just didn't match his looks. He mentioned he had to pick something up from his cousin's, but that we had to walk. I was used to walking everywhere since none of us had a car. We walked quite a distance, but I remember the weather was pleasant that evening so It really didn't bother me too much. It was already dark as we made our way near his cousins place. As we continued down a sidewalk we approached a hill with a few trees on top. It was a nice grassy area and we decided to stop there as he said his cousin should be coming out soon to join us. We sat there below a tree just chatting, but I don't recall what we talked about. From across the field and street comes this tall thin guy about our same age. It was his cousin, Rich. He introduced us as we stood there beneath that tree. In Rich's hand he held a half drunk bottle of liquor. He handed it to my neighbor friend as he unscrewed the cap. Man, he took a huge swig. With the sleeve of his coat he wipes his lips and holds the bottle in my direction. This is where it starts. The first time I'd ever drank so much alcohol to become inebriated. I drank a few beers before, but never to the point in which I was about to go. I gave the bottle a few sips as they downed the whole thing. Rich threw the empty bottle into the field and we began our journey back to my neighbors house. When we got there I had expected to see loads of cars parked outside and loud music playing, but there was nothing going on. What the hell kind of party is this? Eh, I figured if I got bored I can easily jump the fence and go home to watch Alf. As we sat in my neighbors quiet living room Gil reaches for a box beside the television. Gil and Rich were so excited by this box as if there's some amazing treasure inside. They rip open the top and hidden inside this cardboard container were twenty-four forty ounce Milwaukee's Best bottles. Who's gonna drink all of that, there's only three of us? We were going to drink all of that. This was their party. Well, ok! Let the party begin. I drank and I drank and at one point I remember Rich pouring beer into an aquarium with a few fish inside and then lots of laughter as the fish floated to the top (yeah, I know, not funny now, but we were young and dumb). And then it all went black. I don't know how much longer they lasted, but as morning came I awoke on the floor not knowing what had happened. This was the worst feeling ever, like my head was being stepped on by the horses on a merry-go-round. I slowly got up as I hear Gil's crazy laugh. I guess he made it out of this okay, then again he drinks all of the time. I worried a bit, because nobody at home knew that I was going to stay out all night. But as I walked into my house my mom already knew where I had been and that I was totally wasted. She tried telling me about beer and how it messes you up, but I had already figured that part out by myself. Somehow I made it to my bed and fell flat and lay there spinning for the next twelve hours. Of course, this lesson didn't teach me. It happened many times afterward.
I drank occasionally as I got older, but not like an alcoholic or anything. Just on special days, like most people. Recently I decided I would cut out drinking alcohol altogether. As the new year rolled on in I told myself I wouldn't have any alcoholic beverages this year. So don't tempt me.
7.625" x 12.75", Acrylic on Canvas Panels. ©2008 Jason Limon. All rights reserved.