It´s never been hard to stop drinking. Getting ready for the first beer; that´s the hard part. It took me a few years. Thinking about whether to start or not. Alcoholism in my family and all that. But when I finally made the decision, a whole bottle of Vodka was down.
I remember, vaguely though, rolling down the stairway in my block. It was Christmas and a school dance I was looking forward to. I even had a girl waiting – my date. Something every 16 year old is excited about. The bottle was emptied and the party over; somehow I got to the dance.
It was on a boat. Disco lights everywhere. My girl said hello but I didn´t even recognise her. The Russian liquor was the only thing on my mind.
After a few minutes of me dancing with myself I went to the deck, rolled over, and laid there in my own puke. It was really a magical moment. The headmaster, my teacher and the student advisor walked towards me. I only wanted to be left alone.
“I think it´s time you go home,” the headmaster said. There wasn´t much room in my head for argument so I did what he said.
That night changed my life. I had a new friend and his name was Smirnoff.
I miss those old times. Getting drunk the first time is somehow like losing your virginity. Very often those things go hand in hand. My first time with a woman was in Vestman Islands.
The night before I had emptied a whole bottle of Hot and Sweet – pepper vodka. My friends were working in the town and I went to a party at their place. After a few beers my body got limp, somehow stopped working. My head was pretty clear though. I remember my friends making a circle around me. Singing a song about how drunk I was.
Then I got up and managed to run out. The next thing I remember is waking up down in the valley. With no telephone, jacket, wallet or shoes; only a handful of yellow credit car notes in my pocket and a half full bottle of Jack Daniels.
Trying to find myself I walked around in a frenzy. Then somebody yelled my name. I turned around and saw two guys pointing at me laughing.
“God you were drunk tonight,” one of them said.
“Do I know you?,” I answered.
“I sure don´t hope so. We were listening to the band when you suddenly kicked your shoes off, unbuttoned your pants and took a shit on the dance floor. Then you wiped your ass with some credit card notes in your wallet. It was crazy.”
I suddenly remembered what I had found in my pocket and ran away.
Those kind of things are bound to happen when you are young. People who don´t drink will never experience the beauty of a bad hangover or a massive black out. But all good things must come to an end. It was a few days before my 17th birthday. A Culture night in Reykjavík city.
I was drinking Smirnoff straight from the bottle and got separated from my friends. Suddenly I found myself in a strange party. Everyone dressed like Marylin Manson. Nick Cave singing – Death is not the end. Outside people were yelling. The fireworks just ahead.
We got out and climbed on to a rooftop. The sky exploded and everything turned black. Later someone said I had almost rolled of the roof. But the night wasn´t over. Not for me at least. When I opened my eyes I was hanging down from a light post. The police yelling at me to get down. I assembled all my energy and screamed as high as I could:
“I´m an Icelandic Viking and I´m making noise.”
Then, looking down, I saw my parents. I waved at them and at the same time lost my grip. It was a beautiful ending to a Culture night in Reykjavík and a turning point in my life.
From then on things could only get better.
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