The night before the night I first got drunk was the night before my eighteenth birthday, and I was with my friends. We talked about what type of drunks we thought we’d be as we laid on a park roundabout, belly-up, staring at swathes of indigo – it was a cloudy night and we opened our mouths to scream at dog walkers and industrial estates, lights flickering, machinery audible from outside.
What else could estate kids do?
We thought we were celestial and we filled light-polluted night with dreams of stars and named ourselves as such. My friends were Moon, Sun, Star. We dreamed a lot of new experiences, of what would be and how it would be –
“What type of drunk do you think you are?” I asked.
Moon (because her heart was bright and round like hay bales; harvested and tied into shape) said to me –
“I think I’d be a motherly drunk.”
I said, “That fits.” She sat up cross-legged, her arms cradled in her lap and five months later she would say, “I probably shouldn’t drink”. When I asked “Why?”, she held her boyfriend’s hand and showed me the blue line of a pregnancy test. She named the baby after her sister and her mother and in the future I hoped these two children would find themselves and not just ‘family’ – that’s no life for someone who can control tides.
Sun (because her ego was big and bright and hot to the touch; we orbited around her) said to me –
“I’m an aggressive drunk.”
I said, “How do you know?”, and she said nothing and smirked and spun the roundabout suddenly and with force and I lost my train of thought for a second. “Oh, ok,” I said, dizzy. Sun had already moved to the swings and she was determined to arc over the top. Five months later she went over the top and fell back down and swore to never try again – she’s just trying to centre herself, cool down her inferno. I hope one day she can.
Star (because there were many of her and she worked so hard to shine the brightest; she was so distant) was half asleep and she said to me –
“I want to be surprised.”
I said, “You’re braver than me.” We later found out she just got sleepy and everyone was disappointed. In five months we’d planned on going to the same town for university – to room together and get a flat with spider ivies and loft windows. We’d buy milk and bread and oil paints and used books. But plans change and people move on and instead she’s moving a sea away. I miss her already.
“What about you?” They asked.
“I don’t know yet. Not a poetic one, I hope.” I’m bad enough when sober.
“Even if you’re not, I’m sure you’ll write a poem about it anyway.” They retorted, sipping capri-sun pouches and snorting.
“Never.” I lied. I was planning star charts already.