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I recently wrote an addiction memoir / alcoholic memoir about my experiences using and drinking and then getting sober.
The first chapter I’ve had published titled Unbridled was published recently in Another Chicago Magazine.
Unbridled from my Addiction Memoir / Alcoholic Memoir
I have moved into a third-story apartment with Ben—thin and muscled and bald and loud, always speaking, always joking—and his brother Huxley—thinner and hunched, everything about him turned inward, a quiet man, as though the two of them share a single mouth, and from Huxley flows only silence.
I have left far behind that cave of aluminum-foiled windows and pills, that graveyard where I drank and put out burned cigarettes in thin carpets. The sun shines outside and the white walls of this new apartment are bright and clean, and the filth of my life falls from me, and the day is new.
I will begin again, here, with this man and his brother.
People I trust.
I am carrying a cracked leather chair up stairs of spotless concrete when I pass my new neighbor smoking on the balcony—short brown hair and acne scarring and eyes like the flowing river. I stop, set down the chair, break out my pack, start smacking it against my palm.
I am sweating. I sigh, long and loud. I act tired. This is a way to gather his attention, that I might find if his sicknesses mirror my own.
“Got a light, bro?” I ask. I am twenty or twenty-three. He is younger—eighteen or nineteen. I have dealt drugs for years. I always need new customers. I can never seem to turn a profit. The money disappears up my nose.
He smiles, hands me a tiny crimson lighter. The summer wind blows—he cups his hands around mine as I light. I take a deep drag and smile around the cigarette.
“Thanks bro,” I say, blowing smoke into the breeze.
“No problem,” he says. “I’m Will,” he says, his smile sincere. We shake hands. We smoke for a second, the fire in our hands twirling in the humid wind as cicadas screech, our hands pressed against our foreheads to block the sun that burns straight through the clear blue sky. We smoke and smoke, he eyeing me, and I eyeing him.
“You smoke?” I ask at last, cocking an eyebrow. He understands what I mean.
“Yeah,” he says.
“Got some good green upstairs if you want to take a look,” I say.
“Hell yeah man!” he says.
Thus is he captured.
Or so I think.