With my head spinning, I fell on the sidewalk. Like a collapsing snowman, I crumpled one section at a time. It was slippery and I felt clumsy. Everything around me was shrouded in the silence of a fresh whitewash of snow. The air above me was hushed and thick. One minute I was walking, with my shoes making a sound that reminded me of summer, a crunch crunching sound like cracked shells over the thin stamped layer of snow that was blanketing the sidewalk, it reminded me of walking at the beach. As quickly as I’d noticed the sounds under my foot, the next minute, above me, through a small hole in the clouds the stars shone crystal bright, their light intense as each of them stared back at me with laughing glances. So many stars, leering, the sidewalk so cold and my body numb from the bitter chill that ate at my back, my legs, my head, I felt all over the pin pricks of the thoughtless cold, it didn’t care what I felt. I was confused and everything rotated around me, my eyes struggling to keep up with the stars as their light began making circular patterns that made me dizzy, around and around, making loops that lit up brightly like halos. My eyes swam in their sockets, trying to trace the ovals of light as they went faster and faster. I couldn’t get them to stop, even though they hurt as they spun.
I was drunk. I could feel the heavy weight of alcohol in my blood, and I knew I was drunk from how my forehead felt clammy and my mouth jammed full of cotton balls. I was drunk because I could feel the almost empty rum bottle in my hand, it was freezing to the touch, yet I held it like it was a million dollars, a precious newborn baby. I knew I was drunk because I would rather hold on to the bottle and lay on the sidewalk than do something, anything about it. I chose alcohol before comfort.