Here I sit in the Frothy Monkey in the 12 South district of Nashville, just down the street from the restaurant where I arguably spent most of my time during the years I lived in this fantastic city. It was in this coffee shop I sat down and decided that if I was going to make it in this world as a writer I was going to have be dedicated to my craft. I couldn’t continue to find excuses on why I couldn’t write today. I had to find the dedication to take the time to pull out my laptop and type, even if it was only a few words. There were definitely days when I would write 100 words and just be over it, but at least I remained dedicated to the one activity I always cared about.
60 days ago I had my last beer.
I used to be able to drink a beer faster than almost anyone else I knew. Actually, I may still be able to. I could pick up your pint of beer, and before you turned around the pint would be gone, leaving you wanting. Nobody ever got too mad at me for stealing their beer–normally they were impressed by how quickly I had made it disappear and would then inquire about how I had learned the skills to achieve such a feat. The truth is, I had learned how to do that because I didn’t want to be rejected by anyone, and (thanks to the groups I found myself hanging out in) I thought if I could drink faster than they could, they would accept me. This desire left me with a gift of being able to impress people at parties with what one of my friends lovingly referred to as “Matt’s Magic Trick.” Continue reading My Struggle With Addiction, Part II
I opened my eyes and blinked away the light film that covered my pupils every morning. The sunlight exploding through the room blinded me for a minute as my eyes adjusted to the sudden change from darkness to light. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was, but the pounding in my temples led me to believe that I was having fun last night.
I sat up in a strange bed—nothing more than a futon on a metal frame only a few inches off the floor—and looked around the room. I was surrounded with white. The curtains, the walls, the carpets, the sheets, the furniture—everything was white, reflecting the early morning sun violently in every direction. The clothes that had been carelessly tossed to the floor at some point last night injected the room with an unexpected splash of color.
I rubbed my temples in a vain attempt to subside the headache that was growing worse by the second and making it hard to see anything in the too-bright colorless room. I took a deep breath, hoping that the taste of day-old beer and stale cigarettes would magically disappear with the fresh air of a new day. Continue reading Prologue to “Diary of an Addict”