Week 3: Boo


Do you remember Halloween?

Not the Halloween when you’ll probably eat a candy bar, drink a glass of wine and go to bed before 9:30 p.m. because, hey, it’s Monday.

The other Halloween.

The one before you drank too much pumpkin-flavored beer in protest of dressing up, rather than admitting you didn’t dress up because you were too embarrassed in your own skin to pick out an outfit that could drive any kind of negative attention your way.

Not the Halloween where you drunkly walked through the emergency room to find the bathroom while you waited for your then-boyfriend to get stitches in the place a broken beer bottle ripped through a flip flop and sliced his foot open.

Before the Halloween in a dance club too packed with bodies when your were shoved up against the back of your ex boyfriend and his new whatever.

The Halloween before vodka shots, before blue mixed drinks, before the worry that a six-pack wasn’t enough to get you the drunk a holiday with costumes deserves.

Long before.

When Halloween was attending the part of your first grade classmate, Chris, and sticking your hand into spaghetti and truly believing it was witch hair.

When it was about picking out the biggest pumpkin and the sparkliest dress.

When Halloween was watching The Simpsons and handing out candy because you were now in that unfavorable age of no longer being cute for Trick-or-Treating, yet you liked being in the warm house and opening the door to lots of smiles.

When you wore your winter coat under your costume because it was snowing.

When you began looking forward to Halloween in September because it brought out the entire neighborhood into the streets for the fall night, a big party under the moon.

Do you remember that Halloween? It’s that Halloween I crave in my bones and it’s possible I drank so many October 31sts away to find it. Tonight, I search for it. Without any alcohol pumping through my veins, I will look for all those old halloweens and try to remember the young girl smiling through them.

The hardest part of sobriety this week: The Cubs in the World Series. I walked around Wrigley before the game Friday and desperately wanted to plop down at a bar and order an Old Style. Drink in solidarity with the people of my city.

The best part about sobriety this week: My friend and I had a sleep over Saturday night. Having been in the Peace Corps and traveled together, we’ve had lots of sleepovers and wanted to do one for no reason other than spending time together. We spent the night making pizza, eating cookies and watching Halloween movies. In the morning, we rode our bikes through neighborhoods of orange and red trees to brunch. The whole weekend felt like being 12 again. Had I not been three weeks into my sober experiment, I would’ve forced down wine, likely drinking most of the bottle myself, telling myself I had to drink on Halloween weekend. But alcohol was not needed, and it was barely missed. Barely.


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