It is the middle of the night and I am bored. I woke up from a
dream and couldn't go back to sleep. In my gut I feel empty. I am
not particularly lonely. Just something deep inside of me feels
so vacant. I toss the sheets and blanket off and quietly get out
of bed. Tiptoeing out of the room, I sneak into the kitchen
thinking I'll find something to eat. But I'm not hungry. I just
feel bored. I look in the cabinets where we keep pots and pans,
remembering I saw something behind them the other day. I wanted
to check it out, see what was hiding behind our collection of
cooking and baking paraphernalia. I try so hard to be quiet. The
air conditioner clicks off. It is silent in the house, and I know
that one small sound will alert my mom. My small arm reaches way
behind the cabinet and extracts a bottle of clear liquid. Vodka.
Hmm, I think to myself. What do we have here? I
open the bottle and take a whiff. Whew, it's strong. I almost
cough. I take a small drink, straight from the bottle. In my
mouth it stung and as it ran down my throat it nearly burned. It
went straight down to my empty stomach and it started to gurgle.
I might have shivered at the feeling of the drink. I took another
drink, this time a longer drink and more deliberate. The sting in
my mouth wasn't as strong and it didn't really burn my throat as
much either. And when it hit my stomach this time, I started to
feel warm and tingly all over.
Oh, my God. This is it, I thought to myself. Whatever
this it is, it feels great. My head started to fog a
bit, and I finally felt relaxed. I no longer felt empty. Later in
life, I realize that this is what one can call a spiritual
experience. I filled that void that has seemed for so long
I take one more drink, for good measure. I fought inside my head
whether I wanted to smuggle the bottle into my room and hide it,
or if I wanted to put it back into the cabinet. Would someone
realize that some of it is gone? Realizing it was a clear liquid,
I decided to turn on the sink and water it down, just a little. I
think I put it back in the same place. As quietly as I could I
walked, or maybe I stumbled a little, back to my room. As I
crawled back into bed, my sister stirred in her sleep. Did she
know I was gone for a few minutes? I watched her for a moment.
She mumbled something in her sleep but that was it. I laid my
head on my pillow. It seemed cool underneath me. It felt good
against my warm face. I snuggled up to my sheets and baby Snoopy
and slept hard.
I am only eight years old.
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