There's no replacement for this warmth that eludes me.

I pine for alcohol once again, and I stare at the bottle on the Good Shelf and try not to touch it, but it's alluring. It's calling me, calling my name, over and over and over and I can't—

I've only had alcohol twice.

Three times, actually, but the first was a sip of Coconut flavored rum— just a sip, I just wanted to see what it was like— and so it doesn't count. I remember the bottle well.

The second was Vodka.

The third was Mozart liqueur, vodka, brandy... blackout.

Mozart Liqueur sits on that damn shelf, haunting me with its sweet taste. Just like Vienna. Just like all I'm missing. Like Europe's poignant, cold beauty.

I sit here, and this warmth eludes me. I make tea, going right under the liqueur cabinet to get to the electric kettle. I select a tea that's flavored heavily with cinnamon, something that'll still burn the back of my throat.

I wait patiently. I drink, waiting for all of this to disappear. All that comes is sobering clarity. I wish it was morning. Maybe all of this would fall into place if it was morning, but the night's no place for sobriety or clarity.

I always hated cinnamon.

I scroll through articles on how to feel intoxicated without alcohol. I think Google missed my point. No alcohol for me— I can't afford to waste something so precious as a memory. I scroll through suggestions such as 'Vodka Tamponing' and cough syrup. I do this every night. I know these suggestions better than the back of my hand.

I only have NyQuil, and it's disgusting. It tastes like a motel. Besides, cough syrup causes brain damage. The article says nothing about death, but I've not enough to overdose.

I take another sip of tea. God, I hate this. The warmth spreads through, but it's immediate and intrusive. So rude. Nothing like alcohol.

My throat burns, as promised. This burning doesn't feel good, nothing like the bubbles that rise to your head, inflating your ego, leaving no space for stupid things like memories and self-care.

I go back to the idea of NyQuil, but sleep wouldn't help me either. I'm so, so tired, and it's only nine.

Just one little sip of Vienna would do me good, wouldn't it? I close my eyes, think of the Czech Republic, think of the Viennese coffee at the one restaurant, bittersweet even though it never reached my tongue.

Fucking memories. Fucking tea. How could the British possibly enjoy this? I wonder, remembering all of my old friends.

I don't need memories. I just need this all to be over. I've been waiting for the day I wouldn't long for intoxication, but it never came.

I finish my tea. Instead of a pleasant burn, it brings tears to my eyes. God fucking damnit, I hate cinnamon.

I write to avoid all of this. This whole mess. Every lonesome night, it's always the same. Every lonesome night, I get so, so cold. So unapologetically present.

Tea has always made me uncomfortably warm. I hate warm tea, but I hate cold tea as well. And yet I drink so much tea.

This feeling of warmth, the one I so desperately seek for, eludes me. All I'm left with is the dying heat of tea, and I'm glad it's gone.

I heat water again. I select a different type of tea: Apple, like Istanbul but without the company. No cats or birds for me.

The third time I drank, it was to kill myself.

Even if I drank just for enough liquid strength to push myself that tiniest bit further, I was still better off then than I am now. I am terribly aware of this.

This sobering clarity has got to be the worst thing since garlic bread. The tea burns my tongue; I didn't exactly wait for it to cool. No sugar. It would dilute the taste of the past. Then, of course, there's the fact that I'm not a little pussy.

It's funny, how I drank to forget and now I'm remembering.

I hate this tea. Why is this acceptable, but alcohol isn't? It would take more cups of black tea to kill me than shots of Vodka— not if I was determined enough, anyway.

God, I fucking hate tea.

I take a sip of apple tea. So much sweeter, so much more forgiving. Hot enough to burn my tongue, but that's fine. I could use a bit of pain right now.

I eat a granola bar. It doesn't help with warmth, and it doesn't make me feel more alive. None of it is fulfilling.

I end up going to my room. A brilliant place, really— somehow, despite spending most of my time here, it doesn't feel familiar.

I go to sleep.

I try to go to sleep.

I can't.

And now I resort to old habits. I can't sleep, so I fidget. I grab a rather bulky highlighter and whack it against my fingers, my knuckles, my wrist, over and over again.

The pain is rather intense; not something someone so sheltered as myself would be used to. The thing about hitting your fingers and wrist with an object is that you're hitting incredibly close to bone. It's painful.

The warmth comes after a few minutes, a pulse slowly working at the pain. It's comfortable; soothing. I draw my hand to my chest and curl up around it. Warmth accomplished. Hellish, painful memories of better times abolished. Everything is fine.

8:30-10:55 PM, January 25, 2020.

I'm very sorry that the ending is so very garbage— I'm merely trying to make sense of a few hours ago. Unlike the ending of this, I didn't fall asleep for awhile— but I was warm.