My first drunk New Year’s brazenly betrayed my parents’ trust.

“No drinking,” my mother emphatically reminded me over the phone. I struggled to hear her above the revelrous noise of her friends in the background, beckoning her outside to the makeshift shooting range in their backyard.

“I know, I know,” I chided back, my voice sharp with an edge that read, “I’m an honors student with a laundry list of extracurriculars and big dreams. You know I wouldn’t do that.”

I clenched our cordless house phone between my chin and shoulder while my best friend and I soundlessly debated which bottles we could skim off in concocting our celebratory jello shots. We ended up with a piss-colored measuring cup comprised of various whiskeys, liqueurs, cheap diamond-clear vodka, and old brandy. We poured it into the red powder and stuck our final product in the fridge, eager to enjoy. More… “The Wasted Years”

Vittoria Benzine is a street art journalist and personal essayist based in Brooklyn, NY.