Sober Truths

by Zoe Pollock

Joe Berkowitz gives up drinking and struggles with dating sober:

By her third drink, having a conversation with her was like trying to play the game Telephone during a Sleigh Bells concert. I didn't want to be judgmental. I wanted to be the coolest sober person ever. But she kept sucking down vodka tonics, as if in defiance of arcane Prohibition laws, and as she got looser, I grew more anxious: Am I allowed to kiss her like this? Did I even want to?

It was a mistake to pick up a girl in a bar in the first place, let alone bring her to another bar. It was like watching "Schindler's List"and complaining it wasn't funny enough.

... Most people you find attractive are not necessarily people you can spend a lot of time around. Getting drunk has the effect of turning any occasion into a party, though, and looking back, it can also do that with people. I always knew that alcohol made me feel so much more interesting. What I hadn't fully realized is how it made other people so much more interesting. When I think about successful dates from the past now, I wonder whether we were just fooling each other.