Out Of Eden
I was 14 when I had my first drink. I can tell you it was the greatest feeling of my life. My buddy across the street had gotten hold of a pint of Old Crow whiskey and one morning before school we decided to drink it. We started at 7:00 AM and after finishing the pint we hit his parents liquor cabinet to finish us off. By the time we got to school I was sick and vomiting up and down the hallways. I was taken to the nurse's office who quickly discovered what the problem was and then forwarded me to the Principal. Gary was soon to follow.
I knew the Principal's first move would be to call my father. He told him about my being drunk in school and that he had suspended me. After the call, he had the nurse to take me home.
I stood in the kitchen waiting for him to come home. No one was in the house as I stood in there alone thinking about what was going to happen to me. My father, a retired Master Sargent in the Marines was a man who was accustomed to having his orders followed and would unmercifully make me pay the consequences of my disobedience. One of his cardinal rules was that I was never to touch a drink of alcohol until he gave me permission. Not even sips on the holidays. I knew what to expect.
He had this bamboo rod that he used for punishment because it wasn't brittle and had just enough tensile strength so that it would not break. He would take me to the basement where he would lay the lash across my backside. At the end of it, I would have welts on the back of my knees to my shoulders. Naked I would look like a tiger.
The door opened, and he walked in. He didn't say a word to me. He was quiet and calm which was unsettling. When he was ready he leaned forward to my face and stared sternly at me with his steel and blue eyes, his marine corps flat top and from underneath the furrow of his brow his stare looked through me.
In the silence, I stood there at attention waiting for him to say something when the phone rang. Answering it, he only said a few words as he listened to the caller. Turning around and taking his forefinger, he put it right between my eyes. Marines like to talk with their forefinger poking you on the bridge of your nose because it looks like a 45-caliber pistol. I expected any minute that he was going to poke that finger into my brain.
"Do you know who that was?" he asked
That was Gary's dad. He told me that he didn't want to interfere, but he felt it necessary to tell me that he wasn't going to punish Gary because he thought he had learned his lesson."
My dad took spoke very carefully as he was thinking over the call and then said, "You know, I would like to believe that you have learned your lesson to." Standing at attention I started crying and I said, "I have dad." It was then that I knew that God was truly interceding in my life.
My dad said. "I am going to let you go this time but let me tell you something: if you ever disobey my orders again and take alcohol without my permission, I will take you downstairs and peel the skin right off your back. Do understand me?"
With tears running down my face I answered "Yes Sir. I promise you Dad I won't do it again." He then let me go.
I kept that promise to my father for two weeks until I ran into a six pack of Regal Select beer in Clear Lake California and I could give a damn what my father thought about anything. Soon after, at fifteen, I lost my virginity and then that became the greatest feeling I ever had. I quickly learned that putting girls and alcohol together for my first cocktail would be the greatest feeling until the day I quit drinking.