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From the "Bottom of the Bottle" to "Amazing Grace".

The turning point of my life. I poured my heart and soul into that bottomless cup; she soaked it up feeding off of my strength and support. Scars were all she left me. It was time to excise the cancerous growths and free my body of them, of her. I looked for love; found it in a bottle. 750 mL of rum hurled me to the toilet and back on the path to salvation.

If my life were to be a tragedy, my belief in the inherent goodness of people would be my fatal flaw. Some might call it naive; I just think that I am hopeful. I'm sorry I don't want to go all Anne Frank on you, but I still hold on to the ideal that God made everyone good at heart.

In case I haven't talked to you in about a year here is the story of my school year so far. Ryan falls in love with girl. Girl falls in love with douche bag (not me). Ryan takes a month off. Ryan falls in love with girl number 2. Girl leads him on; girl finds a boyfriend. So it goes...

Girl number one was Laurie, everyone knows how I felt about her. I'm pretty terrible at hiding my liking for a girl. I got to know her this year and underneath the shy exterior I found a very interesting person who I absolutely loved being around. Things didn't work out and that's cool. I still think the world of her and want her to be happy. That leads us to Perry Pink, those of you from Sycamore probably remember him from the Junior High days. He's still the same asshole he was back then; I'll get to this later. Laurie and Perry sitting in a--I'm just gonna stop that now. Laurie seems happy to be with him, so I don't want to interfere; besides, she'd never believe me anyways.

The cool thing about getting to know Laurie was meeting Sarah, one of her roommates. Sarah and Laurie didn't drink (for the longest time neither did I) so that left us to hangout on the weekends. Sarah had Wes her boyfriend from back home in Perrysburg who she had met at Kroger. Her relationship with him seemed very shallow as all they ever would talk about was Kroger. She seemed nice enough and she became my best friend. We'd take late night strolls and walk around north campus and go to stupid women's hockey games--innocent shit like that. Mind you the strolls were never too late, as Sarah always crashed around 11.

Sarah realized that her relationship with Wes was going to crash and burn. He was still a high-schooler and lived two hours from our pseudo-new-home. We discussed the situation for hours, and Sarah made it seem like she was going to break up with him. This put me in an interesting predicament; Sarah had told me just two days prior, "It's too bad I met Wes before I met you." I really hadn't thought of her beyond being a friend. I typically fall for girls who are brilliant, and super-sweet and ultra innocent but still powerful. She was different. She was 5'7" and maybe a hundred pounds with her backpack on. Unfortunately for me I started sliding down a slippery slope and fell head over heals for her. This is crazy because I truly have only liked a handful of girls. Shit, I have held hands with like three girls. Liking two girls in one year, hot damn. She was tiny and frail and beautiful and funny and obnoxious.

Well I didn't want to be the rebound guy so I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally at a hockey game we were talking and I said that we both should wait for spring break to end before starting a relationship. She thought this was sensible. Anyways I text messaged her one time to edge out another suitor: "I'll be there after spring break, I hope you will be too." After explaining this to her she blushed and got all happy. Then hell broke loose. March 5th was the day.

Laurie as you might know is a very active volleyball player. She played for a club team here and one week went to Ball State for a volleyball tournament. I was a nerd on that evening and was busy doing my calc homework. (Shutup, I know I'm a nerd every evening.) Well anyway Perry, Sarah, a great guy named Adam, and Laurie's other two roommates Julie and Mandie (who I could fill up at least 4 or 5 pages ranting about) went to Easton (a local mall). Well anyways the douche bag was getting fresh with Sarah on the drive over in the back seat of the car. I'm really surprised she didn't protest and put up a fight; after all, it is her roommates boyfriend. It doesn't stop there. When they got back to the dorm later that night, sans-Sarah they all drank. Kightley joined the party and along with Sarah formed the sober commentary. Well Perry got into bed with Julie (eww!, it was in Laurie's bed too) and they had a little way too much fun, if you know what I mean. Well that same night, Perry and Sarah were out in the hall talking about Laurie for about two hours. I can't even repeat half the stuff he said. He said nothing nice of her either; his only compliment was in saying Laurie had a hot roommate. I think the complimenting Sarah's beauty was an excellent move on Perry's part strategy-wise. Plant the seed early before you go in for the kill. Well the drunk (who wasn't that drunk) asked Sarah to walk him back to his room. It was only 5 floors down; he knew what he was doing. He sits down in his room asks Sarah to sit beside him. Goes in for the feel and tries to get a kiss. Sarah says she didn't kiss back; I don't believe her. She told me in graphic detail of a dream she had about sleeping with Perry. I donít understand his piggish fat charm. It doesn't matter; I blame her more for not righting her wrong.

As Sarah's confidant and one of Kightley's friends I heard the story through two grapevines. I know it's true; Perry, Julie and Mandie admitted it. I told Sarah she had to tell Laurie the truth as lying always just makes the matter worse. She agreed she had to tell her as soon as she returned Saturday night. Perry had told Sarah about his plan to get Laurie drunk and go in for the score. We hurried back from the hockey game to make sure we intercepted Laurie before the pig did.

The next day I found out that Sarah never told Laurie. No one has. I felt obligated to; but she seems so happy? This killed my alliance with room 1008. I sat around and watched for a week. Knowing the truth and not being able help. I couldn't bare the pain of being around them, but got sucked back into the black hole. Sarah and I temporarily made up prior to leaving for spring break. She made me promise not to tell Laurie her secret. I thought things would go well... They didn't.

Well after spring break I was looking forward for a happy reunion. Instead I got the shaft once more. I gave Sarah all my love and emotional support. She gave me back words. Not just any words, but empty words. So full of promise and love, but meaningless, just like her.

This leads to the beginning. I cut them out of my life. Life became less fun and the pain was unbearable for a while. When I see Laurie smile it sends shivers through me, I miss talking to her. After emptying my essence in support of Sarah's parasitic need, emptiness was all I had. Alcohol was an escape. A way to numb the pain. And so I drank, a lot.

Black bile told me I was killing myself. Hovering over a shit-ridden toilet, emptying every last drop of my existence into the water purged my soul.

A few days later a friend asked if I wanted to go to church with her. God sent her to save me, I know he did.

"The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see."

Thank you, I'll be fine.