"And here is the difference between you and I. I drink to remember and you drink to forget. It’s not the same, I know it isn’t, but after enough alcohol, a shot glass rim can become your lips and the fire burning down my throat is the closest thing to the way it feels when I choke on your name. And above all, that warm, intoxicated feeling in the pit of my stomach is similar enough to the butterflies I’d get around you to make me pour another round. When I was with you, I didn’t need alcohol to feel drunk. And now you’re gone but the bottle is here and I’d much rather reach for it than my phone because I know if I called you in my blurry stupor, I’d only be disappointed by your slurred hello and your inability to recognize my voice."
- Go to a party and stay sober. Listen to the way your drunk classmates talk when they don’t plan to remember tonight when they wake up. Never talk about these experiences, just keep them for yourself.
- Start driving in one direction on the highway after school one day, pretending like you’re running away. Blast bad pop music and sing along. Stop in the suburbs when your mom calls you to come home, but buy your little brother a cupcake before you turn back around.
- Kiss your best friend. It doesn’t matter what sexuality or gender you are or they are. It doesn’t matter if it’s a peck or you escalate to tongue. You’ll laugh about it later, but it will always make you smile just for the memory.
- Smoke a cigarette. Let it burn your throat. Cough, loudly.
- Take a stand for something you believe in. When half your school laughs at you, take it with pride. Someone agrees, even if they’re too scared to say so.
- Make enemies. Make the kind of mistakes that cause your life to implode. Lose everyone and everything to these mistakes. Only when you fall will you find out that you can pick yourself back up.
- Sit on someone’s roof and talk for hours. Forget about dinner and tell your origin stories. Let your guard down while the dog barks below. Talk about god. Listen.
- Steal Bourbon from your parents’ liquor cabinet and put it in a water bottle beneath your bathroom sink. Spike your tea with it when you think you’ve hit rock bottom. Pour the whole thing down the drain when it’s too strong for you.
- Become a stereotype. Buy a record player and combat boots. Wear all black. Dye your hair bright blue and get your ear pierced three times. Don’t care when people laugh at you.
- Make wishes at 11:11. Wear your pajamas backwards in the hopes of a snow day. Look for answers at the bottom of a bottle. Pretend writing things on your arms makes you special. Believe in anything. Believe in everything. Open every book and look around every corner. You’ll never look like this or move like this or think like this again. Enjoy it while it lasts or hate every second. But feel. Feel every damn thing.