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Confessions of a Vonnegut Knock -Off This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Elburn, IL
I had my first sip of alcohol when I was 14. I was at a friends house and while listening to Ed Sheeran whine on his iPod I took a shot. The burn engulfed my throat and tasted like acid delving down into the depths of my stomach. Across the room there were two blonde girls in my world history class dancing wildly and beckoning for me to come join them, I did. In a blur of tongues down my throat and Raspberry Smirnoff that night will never come back to me, but I do remember waking up in my boxers with the both blondes on either side of me. It was safe to say the poison had already claimed me after that. By the time I was 15 I was a raging alcoholic.

Immediately following that night I went home and wrote all about everything I remembered, which wasn't much, 148 words to be exact. I couldn't decide if I wanted to be like Tucker Max and create a legendary persona surrounding my name and soon-to-be impressive party career, or take a more Hemingway approach and delve into the psyche of why my fellow peers and I poured this numbing liquid down our throats. I settled on somewhere in between and immediately uploaded it to my then unsuccessful blog. That was in January, by the spring time I had hundreds of followers, thousands of dollars, and a crippling alcohol dependency.

After that night my weekends consisted of a party on Friday and Saturday, and then blogging about them on Sunday, usually with a captain and coke in hand. My follower count was rising by the day, and then I got my first email from a client.

Some guy from Ontario wanted to buy MY stories, he sent me a contract he had drawn up and I had to "virtually sign it". The whole experience was surreal, I had never actually thought someone would want my writing as their own. When I checked my paypal the next few days I was shocked and amazed, I had earned money just by sitting behind a computer and talking sweetly about my hookups, the inhumane amount of alcohol I consumed, and sprinkling in a bit about my manic depression and how the parties affected it.

This lasted for months. The entire time my parents having absolutely no clue that I was drinking or selling my work.

Until about mid June. It was a Saturday at noon and I had four of my best friends over, we cracked out the beer at about 12:30, the hard liquor by 1:30, and were thoroughly wasted by about 3:00. This entire time my dad was home, in the family room watching re-runs of the show Gunsmoke. While he was dozing off we were funneling beers out of a vuvuzela we found at the dollar store. We continued to drink heavily the entire day, until I woke up covered in vomit in my dad's bed. My friends were all gone, I was crying in bed with a smelly shirt.

I took a shower cried the entire length of it. I got dressed and sat down to hear my punishment. My dad was looking at me so disappointed and I looked back at him, questioning everything I'd done to get me where I was right there.

My aforementioned depression was at an all time low. Though at the time I tried with everything in me to not realize it, I was drinking in an attempt to medicate it. I wanted to feel numb, I didn't want to feel anything. A 15 year old kid shouldn't be thinking that alcohol solves problems, and most don't, but these values were instilled upon me at a young age. My father to this day drinks a screwdriver or two by the time I'm home from school, my earliest memory of him is getting a DUI on our way to my first t-ball game. In addition to having an alcohol father, the profession I was pursuing constantly glorified self medicating with alcohol.

Ever since I could read I had wanted to be a writer, and ever since I could comprehend I wanted to be Bukowski, but Hank's life wasn't all it was cracked up to be.If you look at the great American writers, almost all of them had a drinking problem. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Salinger, Faulkner, the list could go on for pages. So wanting to be a great American writer I just assumed that being an alcoholic was a step in the right direction. Hell, I was a 15 year old kid with thousands of dollars that I made doing something I loved! I was a writer, I had done it.

This thought lasted approximately an eighth of a second before it hit me that according to anyone else in the world, I wasn't a writer. I had sold my work for money, I had given up everything I had worked for and had nothing to show for it except a comma in my bank account. If you googled my name, the only thing that would come up would be pictures of me in my 8th grade baseball uniform after we won a tournament. If I did have any fans, they didn't even know it, because they had assumed what they read on some blog was whoever happened to have the money to pretend it was there's.

I pondered on this as I looked into my fathers eyes expecting an explanation for blacking out and ruining his comforter.

I came clean. I told him all about the drinking, the writing, the money. Despite my borderline self destructive behavior, he was almost proud of me. I mean he still beat the living s*** out of me and gave me a black eye for a week, but he was a bit proud.

After that episode I quit ghostwriting. I was tired of having privileged snobs taking credit for my work, instead I began submitting to small magazines my opinion pieces. My dad and I transferred all of my money into a savings account.

Most importantly, tired of waking up hungover in bath tubs, mimicking the actions of Vonnegut, and lying to my parents about my drug use, I quit drinking.

As of today I haven't had a drink in 8 months and 2 days.



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