It was a Tuesday when I decided to head on down to the holler and drink myself to death. All you squares worried someone is gonna find out you jerked off or snuck a few snorts of liquor. You ain't a murderer fucking your cousin; I had real problems. Problems that couldn't be solved except with silence and an unending supply of shine. The holler had the silence; I figured I could provide the moonshine. So, I traded my truck, my shotgun, and my dog to the kid down the road, got me about sixteen full jugs of shine. More than enough.
I figured it wouldn't be quick, and I was prepared to puke a lot of it up. Spill some. Whatever. Two was more than enough. The sold truck and gun and dog were insurance. I knew I couldn't get 'em back. Now, there was nothing calling to me.
I cracked the first jug about noon and it tasted like battery acid and fire. It hurt. The first half of the jug hurt, really, but after that nothing hurt for a few days. Then, all the hurt in the world came to me. But I was only down three jugs and there was plenty of silence to shut up.
I started losing track of time, then. Not just how long I'd been in the holler, but my place in time. I started taking trips back to my childhood and shit. Saw my old man clear as he was sitting beside me, and he blew his brains out ten years ago. Saw my first girlfriend. I swear I could smell her.
I figured I wouldn't know when death came, but I did. I knew it clearer than anything. I felt a calm peace take over my whole body, and I knew that the next time I tipped the jug, it would be the last. I would return to the dirt, become part of the holler. So, I smiled and tipped the bottle, drank a toast to secrets and the woods that keep them.
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