A friend of mine has been questioning me with regard to the inner struggle in which I am pretty consistently engaged. I said I think it’s the way I’m trying to train myself into maturity. She asked why. This is my answer.

Katie’s passed out on our futon in the front room; I put out a trash can and a bottle of water even though I don’t think she’ll need them. Her friends say she’s been like this since around 6 pm. It’s pretty clear none of them made an effort to stop her.

I don’t mind that Kim and Danielle and Will left her here. I’d rather she be passed out in our apartment, which is at least a safe environment, than at fucking McNally’s house. I don’t mind taking on the responsibility of taking care of her tonight. It’s something for which I’ve made myself available, and something I’m willing to accept.

I will defend the letter of the law in that it allows adults to ingest drugs like alcohol if they want to abuse themselves. It’s a right. We have rights for a reason. I’ll defend that, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hate it.

People think alcohol makes them more interesting because it is essentially a self-centering device. All drugs are. And all drugs make you less interesting to everyone but yourself.

I will not deny that fucking yourself up is a valid choice to make with your life. I will not agree that it’s ever a good choice. There’s a difference. I want to scream this at people, but I’m incapable of that even if I thought it would do any good.

The things I actually hate in life are deliberate blindness and stupidity. They never accomplish anything worthwhile. They never make anyone happy in the long run. And living in Kentucky (or college, or America, or the world), I’ve seen so much of it that sometimes it makes me want to throw up.

I never want any part of that to be a part of me. My definition of maturity is not complete open- and empty-mindedness, but the unflinching refusal to be blind or stupid. It’s considering the needs of others before your own, and choosing to act in a way that takes into account the consequences of your actions.

I’m not there yet: thus the struggle. It’s me finding the parts of myself that won’t listen and trying to dig them out with whatever tools I have, and it’s my choice to never turn to chemicals to let me out of the job.

I feel like I lived two lives tonight: one where I went with excited people to see a really entertaining movie and stayed happy about it for an hour afterwards, and another where I sat in here being bitter and hating alcohol while a helpless, silly person sleeps on my roommate’s couch.

I keep believing that if I can find the anger and precision to hammer out every word of what I feel correctly, it’ll have to reach someone who’ll listen. That’s why I choose to articulate instead of screaming. Then again, of course, we all know that nothing ever changes.