Reader Submission – The Art Of The Late Night Drunk Dial

Reader Submission – The Art Of The Late Night Drunk Dial

I won’t pretend that the drunk dial is something that happens to everyone or even that it’s something everyone does. It is, of course, a well known trope—but most people probably don’t actually have first hand exposure. That could be a good thing…it may not be. This is where there’s some room for debate. 

Think about the most drunk you’ve ever been while still remaining coherent enough to hold a conversation and make sense. Now imagine the list of people you’d call if you just needed to speak to someone. Unless you’ve got someone more sober than you around, you’re making your way down that list until someone answers. It’s an easy trap to fall into. But why that list? Why those people? Why that order?

We get into common patterns in relationships: good morning text and goodnight phone calls/texts. There’s a comfort in the simplicity of these gestures. It’s akin to a “welcome home.” So it’s no surprise that we attach these things to the important people in our lives—often our significant others. But when tying any of these niceties to something like the drunk dial things get—as the kids say—“real.” 

It’s 2am, you’ve exhausted your texts to friends and you’ve mostly come to terms with the fact that the night is (wisely) coming to an end. Who is your last phone call? Who is the last voice you want to hear before the sandman whisks you away to someplace over the rainbow? (Why am I asking so many fuckin’ questions?) The answer is simple. The person who makes us feel the most like we’re being “welcome[d] home.” 

…And so they say “a drunk mind speaks a sober heart.” So that person you’ve convinced yourself you should not call for any number of reasons has suddenly become your shoulder to sleep on, so to speak. Because there are a lot of things that make for strong drugs. Shiny new things (literal and theoretical), intimacy, kind words, etc. But there are few things like a voice that calms the very electricity tingling your every nerve. The safety of feeling safe even when simply riding phone lines. Someone that’ll listen until your words turn into the shallow breathing of drunken sleep. 


  • Who is that voice you feel instantly safe with as soon as it hits your ear. 
  • Is it who you’d expected? If not why?
  • Are there more than one? Why?
  • Should that person be your phone call? Do they deserve that from you and do you deserve to subject yourself to that?
  • Can you allow sober you to chase the rabbit set free by intoxicated you?

Finally, can you accept that sense of home or will you simply use it as a welcome mat? If I may borrow another cliche, sometimes the devil is in the details. It’s up to you to dissect them because sometimes that welcome mat is hiding a key to home and you just haven’t taken the time to look underneath. 

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