People say that alcohol cures loneliness. It banishes it, they say. It makes you drop your guard, be more approachable and willing to approach others. You can’t party without it.
But, strangely, it does the complete opposite for me. It magnifies it.
To be sure, during its consumption it lives up to its promise. Walls are broken down; I find myself embracing people I’ve never met before; exchanging phone numbers with girls I probably would have hidden myself in the broom closet from; and doing and experiencing things I never, ever, would have done with my wits still around me.
But when it’s all over and done with, what’s left? Phone numbers with no names, contacts with no faces, memories with no recollection.
That emptiness – that hollow shell of relationships that imbibing irreconcilably leaves – is what I absolutely despise. Yet, I find myself wanting more.
Perhaps I can liken it to tasting forbidden fruit; the first taste leads to a yearning for more, then even more, until it grows out of control. Maybe the same goes for alcohol – I want that feeling back, I want to feel like I’m on cloud nine again; how can I do it once more? Logically, the one and only solution presents itself.
That solution, though, is something that I never – ever – want to find out for myself. Partially because I’m scared; but more so because I don’t want to find out where it leads.
Even now, days later, that dark and empty feeling of craving hasn’t gone away. I still find myself brooding, wandering the streets by myself, staking out a corner in a coffee shop in a desolate hope that I will once again be sucked into that alluring vortex we call companionship. Inventing excuses, making promises I can’t keep, and staring woefully at the flashing lights that whiz by, full of people that, for me, wink in and out of existence.
The competition that we call Facebook Friending has been won, acquaintances have been added, numbers have been exchanged. But does that really matter when you walk past them on the street, and you simply hurry past each other with no more than a furtive look? Doesn’t that defy all of the prerequisites of a friend?
In which case, the question begs itself: why are they my Friends (with a capital F)?