The Scintilla Project

Scintilla: “A tiny trace or spark of a specified quality or feeling.”

The Scintilla Project is something I looked at and considered last year, but never got around to starting.  This year I decided to participate – it’s only for two weeks, after all; even I can keep up with that kind of commitment!

Each day we are sent two story prompts.  We choose one or both and relate an experience corresponding to the theme.  Fun, right?  And I figured it couldn’t hurt to expand my blog’s focus from strictly art to more personal stories.

The project “officially” started on March 13, but since I work nights, I consider it to be March 13 until I go to bed, which will be sometime during the morning of March 14.  So while this is technically “late,” it’s right on time for my wacky schedule!

I chose the first prompt for today, which is this:

1. Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally able to do so.

Immediately on reading this, I remembered a trip my family took from Iowa to California to visit my dad’s brother when I was 20 years old.  In Iowa, I had been legally able to drink for two years.  So I was surprised and disappointed to discover the drinking age in California was 21!  (What?  I thought this was a progressive state!) When my older cousin, Kathy, took me to a nightclub to go dancing, I wasn’t legally able to order anything but a soda.  What a let-down!  Kathy said, “Don’t worry; I’ll order drinks for me and you can drink them, too.”  Which was a great plan.  Except…I was normally a “light” drinker.  I liked sloe gin fizzes and strawberry daiquiris; sweet, fluffy drinks that didn’t pack much of a punch.  And normally I would never drink more than two or three of these light, fluffy drinks in an evening.  I’d never been drunk in my life!
Kathy liked whiskey sours.  So that’s what she ordered.  All night long.
At first, everything was exciting and fun.  The two of us were popular with the guys at the club and never short of dance partners.  (I’m saying so myself, but we were both pretty hot!)  All that dancing made me thirsty, though.  So I drank whiskey sours.  And pretty much nothing else.  (It didn’t help that we hadn’t eaten for a few hours.)
I felt great and was having fun!
As the evening wore on, I eventually found myself dancing with the same guy over and over again.  He was in the Navy, on shore leave, and was very friendly and easy to talk to.  He wasn’t the handsomest guy in the room, but he was a great dancer, had a fun personality and I enjoyed hanging out with him.
Eventually, my cousin said it was time we got home.  We’d been at the club for about four hours and I’d been drinking whiskey sours fairly steadily the whole time.  Of course, my new sailor friend was hopeful that I would leave with him instead!  He kept asking and I kept saying no.  I remember so clearly one part of our conversation.  Him: “But this is our only chance to be together.  After tonight, I may never see you again!”  Me: “Um…that’s pretty much the point.”
After extricating me from the clutches of the lust-struck sailor, Kathy drove us back to her parents’ house. My dad and brother were sleeping in one room and my mother and I shared another.  It was about 2:30 a.m., and the house was dark and quiet.  I still felt great!  I could have danced all night!  Ah well, there would be other opportunities.  I made my way upstairs as quietly as possible and let myself into the guest room.  My mother was in bed; I could tell she was asleep from her steady breathing.  Good; she’d never know how late we’d gotten in.  Once my eyes adjusted to the dark, I spotted my suitcase lying open on the floor.  Time to get the toothbrush and pajamas and sneak into bed!  As I bent over, the oddest feeling came over me.  To my utter surprise, I suddenly pitched head-first right into the suitcase!  What the heck?!  Lying there, disoriented and astonished, it occurred to me – I’m drunk!  I’m actually drunk!  So that’s what it’s like!  (Hmmm.  Me no likey!)
Eventually I made my way out of the suitcase and into bed.  Surprisingly, there was no hangover action; I dreaded it, but it never happened.  What a relief!  Still, falling down when you don’t expect to is not a pleasant feeling.  Although I will say that, to this day, I’m proud of myself for having fended off the amorous sailor, even though I was clearly impaired!
I wish I could say that was the first AND last time I ever got drunk, or even the last time I drank a whiskey sour.  But there was one more, very different occasion, five years later, and that really was the last time.  (But that’s another story!)
Want to share your stories with the world?  Check out the Scintilla Project!
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