An Open Letter to Vodka


Dear Vodka,
Hey, how’s it going this morning? I know, that was awesome [lol]. Yeah, no, we had a lot of fun last night…really…but we need to talk.

Please, no, don’t get that way ok, just sit down and listen, you really seem to have a hard time listening to me lately and that’s one of the things we need to talk about.

We’ve been best friends since the 9th Grade. Remember how I would keep you and orange juice in a thermos in my locker? OMG that was so cool, I was drunk by 3rd period and by 4th, you had me mouthing off to Mr. Kreiger. I know, I still got all A’s in his class even after the number of times he had to kick me out…I know, I’m laughing out loud just thinking about it.

No, there is no way I could ever forget the time I gave Vice Principal Babbitt the double barrel finger salute. Let’s just say that was one of my finer HS moments because God I hated that douche-bag. I see he was brought to court for abridging someone’s first Amendment Rights in school. He deserved it.

In college we became even closer, being drunk by noon just wasn’t good enough anymore. Yep, I used you as a crutch to forget all this gender crap that I’ve known since I was six. You were there for me. Every time I woke up in my parents backyard not knowing where my car was [often left somewhere in Wisconsin, you hid my car so well vodka] or even what day it was [usually it was Sunday]. Good times.

Over the last few years we’ve grown apart, I know that and it’s my fault. It’s always my fault.

“No, please don’t cry vodka” <hands vodka a tissue>

I knew what my issues and problems were and I used you to cover them up. I knew that my crushing depression was related to my gender identity crisis, but I kept using you. I’m sorry for that, I never meant to hurt you and I hope that you can at least forgive me for that.

I had this talk quite a few years back with slow gin. She was cheap and easy to get, but she made me vomit this thick red bile and we haven’t seen each other since. I know you sometimes see her downtown, so don’t believe everything she says about me, slow gin needs to take at least 50% of the blame.

Anyway Vodka, we hung out again last night and it was so fun to reconnect with you, but honestly, you and cranberry juice aren’t getting along in my stomach this morning and I’m pretty sure C.J. won’t be invited to tag along next time, but that’s for you and her to figure out.


I woke up this morning feeling like all my teeth had been pulled out and hammered back into the wrong slots and I blame you.

“Wait! Whoa! I know you are upset with that comment, but it’s how I feel, no one listens to the way I feel, but you need to know this so calm down.”

“I can’t talk to you when you are like this, just.please.stop.”

<half hour cooling down period>

“I’m sorry I said that but you needed to know.”

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah that’s right.

I think it’s time we started to see other people. We’ve had a good run but you have too many bad memories associated with you and I feel that I need to find a new beverage to hang out with. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s always me, it has always been me, it always will be me, you know that, I know that so stop denying it.

You were Absolut [ely] fun to hang with over the years [Ha, you smiled, I knew you would like that one], but your bottle is packed and waiting at the door.

Um, no, those original Merciful Release/Reptile House Sisters of Mercy vinyl 12″ singles are mine and you know that so, yeah, no, those stay here. Yes, and everything on 4AD, Cleopatra, Metropolis, and WaxTrax Records are mine too…same with Clan of Xymox. Yeah! right! you never liked Xymox, you just want them because most of them are out of print and expensive to replace.

Fine Fine Fine, take the Test Dept, Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle and Coil, I can’t really listen to those last two since Sleazy died.  Of course you can take Dead Can Dance and the Cocteau Twins, I always new ‘Ice Blink Luck’ was your favorite CD, but the Japan and David Sylvian records go nowhere.

So that’s it huh?

<hugs bottle>

You meant everything to me and I will miss you, just not the way you make me feel.

Love Always
Claire-Renee Kohner

About claireoverhere

I'm a trans woman just trying to live a "normal" life for the first time ever. Read me on Bustle, PlanetTransgender, The Advocate, Original Plumbing, The, CNNi, TransGenTimes, New York Times and various other outlets.

2 responses to “An Open Letter to Vodka”

  1. connie606 says :

    Thank you for sharing this poignant, funny and touching post on one of the still less spoken afflictions for many in our community.

    Sabotaging my true self with Dame Wine for years had caused a slow but significant loss of my reality. But I too said goodbye recently and changed the lock, feeling better than ever. Now that my liver has recovered some of its faculties, I’m able to start HRT and (finally) on a new path forward long avoided, denied and too buzzed to get out of bed to do anything about.

    Not that I’m bitter or anything about the years of medical folks treating my depression with a cocktail of pharmaceuticals instead of my well known but crushing identity challenges. Water under a very long bridge.

    Thanks again for starting your post and journey! Well done and best of luck.


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