My drinking years: ‘Everyone has blackouts, don’t they?’

    I’m in Paris for work, which is exactly as great as it sounds. I eat dinner at a fancy restaurant and drink cognac — the booze of kings and rap stars. Somewhere near midnight, I tumble into a cab with my friend, and the night starts to stutter and skip. How did we get back so fast?

    I walk through the front door of my hotel, alone. It’s that time of night when every floor has a banana peel and, if I’m not careful, I might find my face against the ground, my hands braced beside me. I exchange a few pleasantries with the concierge, a bit of theatre to prove I’m not too drunk. The last thing I hear is my heels, steady as a metronome, echoing through the lobby. And then there is nothing.

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