My friend asked if he used to talk all the time like he does now, like his family does. I said, I don’t think so. But we used to drink. When you’re drinking, you can’t take anything seriously. You don’t notice things. Now I take things more seriously. Now it’s scary. For a while, I did both. I would drink a liter of boxed wine that I poured, patiently, into a water bottle and drive the next morning, barely seeing, to my favorite coffee shop and read Barthes. I would lie on my back in the quad outside my classroom, desperate and sad and quiet. I would look up at the redwoods. I would feel the ground beneath me cut out in sections, in trapezoids, breaking apart like ice, separating me from everything. And I would go to class. I would write all night long. I would write until I wrote something beautiful. Something transformative. And I would walk upstairs and take a shot. I would feel so happy.