Well, the evening started out quietly enough. I had just finished making a pizza (yes, from scratch), and I was ready to settle in with Floyd and watch the Super Bowl. I heard him barking outside, begging me to let him in. I opened the door, and he came running.
“Hey!” I hear a voice shout from next door. It was my neighbor, Dick. Ugh. I had tried so hard to avoid him specifically for this reason. “You coming over to watch the game, Adam?”
“You know it,” I yelled back, because I’m a spineless coward who can’t say no to anyone. I just didn’t want to go. It was as simple as that. But if I was going to go, as I had now committed myself to doing, I figured I may as well get extraordinarily drunk. So I went to it. The next 20 minutes were spent guzzling down a six pack of Miller Lite. God, that’s terrible beer. Piss water as far as I’m concerned. I’m an Amstel man myself. But this is what was available. So I toiled away. I waited until the middle of the second quarter to make my way over to the party. I couldn’t put it off any longer.
As I approached the door, I heard squeals of delight. Naturally, I ran towards the door and fervently rang the doorbell. “Come in!” I heard them all shout. I was pleasantly surprised at the group that had assembled. It was my neighbor, Dick, and his wife Linda. Their daughter Elisha and her boyfriend Matt, whom I have known since I was a little kid. That was it. Okey-dokey. I can handle this. At this point, I realized that I was , if not drunk, well on my way.
And what is this? Oh, a bottle of rum and shot glass sitting right in front of me. Suddenly, I was the de facto bartender for the evening. Doling out shots to any and all who sought them. And I couldn’t ignore myself, of course. One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.
It was then that trouble arose. From upstairs came Dick’s son, Eban. A good kid, if not a little misguided. A few months ago, his father had asked me to speak to him about the perils of drug use and over consumption. Boy did he pick the wrong guy. Instead of talking to the kid and giving him sage advice and imparting the wisdom I had accrued over the last 15 years, I ended up just shooting the shit. Telling stories about some LEGENDARY evenings I had when I was younger. The conversation ended up doing the exact opposite of what it's intent was. Which was to make the kid straighten up and start to be more responsible for his own actions. Instead, I merely corroborated his beliefs that doing drugs and drinking to excess was cool, and it can all turn out OK. I mean, look at me. I turned out fine. (?)
But I digress from the story at hand. Halftime of the game arrived. I was more excited for this than anything else that evening. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were going to be playing. I love Tom Petty. It made me think about the concert I had seen in…… oh boy, maybe 2001. Great show. Tons of energy. Petty is incredible live. If you get the chance, go. Anyway, we all sat there and just enjoyed the show. Free Fallin‘. American Girl. Won’t back Down. Runnin’ Down a Dream. All classic tunes. A great set.
It was then I decided I needed a cigarette. So I got up, and reached into my pocket. “Come on!” I shouted. Everyone looked right at me, which is exactly what a drunk schizo needs. I started to get antsy. “I need a cigarette. Does anybody have one?” I asked. “No, but Eban would have one.” Fantastic. I went upstairs to his room and banged on the door. “Come in!” he slurred drunkenly. I opened the door, and what did I see? A den of iniquity, that’s what. There were maybe 10 of them in there. I wasn’t even aware of their presence at the party. But again, I was pretty drunk. “I need a cigarette. Whose got one?” Six hands went diving into pockets simultaneously. I decided to take the first cigarette offered to me. This proved costly though. It was a Newport. Now, for those of you not familiar with cigarettes and cigarette brands, this is not good. A Newport is a menthol. Just a disgusting cigarette. “If I wanted a mint, I would have asked for a mint.” I said to the young lady who was offering me her pack. She looked confused. I laughed and took the cigarette. “Thank you,” I said. “Now……. a lighter.” I demanded.
And immediately I was “enjoying” a “nice” “cigarette“. After about 5 minutes, after my smoke was done, I noticed a slight aroma in the air. It was a beautiful aroma. One that evokes memories of days gone by. One that makes me stand at attention every time I smell it. The aroma: Kine bud. Kine bud is a type of marijuana. It is a glorious, magnificent, sublime form of marijuana.
To be honest, I have (had) not smoked pot in about 17 months. I was clean and sober (so to speak). But there was just something about that smell. And the fact that they were passing around a blunt so big I can only compare it to a kielbasa wasn’t hurting anything. I (begrudgingly) took the blunt.
“I’m going to regret this,” I thought out loud. Nobody seemed to notice though. They were all, let’s just say they were all…… well, they had had a nice evening. Then, some kid decided it was a good idea to start giving out shotguns. Now, even as a kid, I didn’t like shotguns. There was something oddly homo-erotic about it. How do I mean?
A shotgun consists of two people. One will take the blunt, and turn it around and put the ash end INTO his mouth. With the non-smoking end sticking out of his mouth, he will lean in and blow the smoke into the mouth of another guy whose face is now 2cm away from his. Like I said, homo-erotic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s effective. And you can’t really say “Pass” when the dude is blowing smoke into your mouth. So I took it like a man.
I was finished. After sitting there for another 10 minutes, stewing in my own juices, I finally stood up (pretty gracefully, considering my altered state). “I have got to get the fuck outta here.”
After shaking hands with these kids, I bummed another cigarette from the same little girl, and I was on my way back down to watch the game. Truthfully, I didn’t care about the game anymore. I planted myself in a barstool and pointed myself in the same general direction as the television, so as not to arouse suspicion. I managed to have a few moments of lucid thought, offering some insights into the game, but I was there in body only from that point on.
I began to drift away. I could hear people whispering.
“He doesn’t even get it.”
“Oh my god.”
“Should we do something?”
“Are you serious? Look at him.”
“This is hysterical.”
I knew they were referring to me. But I was unsure if the voices were even real. Mixing alcohol, illicit drugs, and anti-psychotic meds can fuck with your head, especially a head already ravaged by years of untreated, unrelenting madness. Old demons were coming to the surface.
I stumbled to my feet. Luckily, there was a straight shot to the bathroom. “God I hope there is no one in there,” I thought. I opened the door. Empty. Beautiful. I fell to the floor in one graceless motion. My head lay on the cold linoleum. It was very soothing. Seconds passed. They quickly became minutes. I could hear the shouts from out in the living room. Reactions to the game. I thought if I could just get to my feet, I could slip out the back door, and nobody would be the wiser. If I could just make it to my bed, everything would be alright. I grabbed on to the bathtub, steadied myself, and quickly realized I wasn’t quite ready to give it a shot. Back to the linoleum. Oh the sweet, cool linoleum.
I passed out. Maybe 20 minutes. I was suddenly jerked out of it.
“Where did Adam go?” I heard Linda ask. “Anybody?”
Dick responded, “I think he went home.” If only Dick. If only. Almost immediately thereafter, the bathroom door came flying open. It was Eban. Stone cold drunk. “Found him!” he shouted. “ I found Adam!”
Great. I’ve been found out.
“Hey, you alright buddy? You need anything?” He asked. Linda appeared at the door. She was gone too. “Oh Adam. Are you alright?”
“Dandy.” I managed to spit out. “I’ll be on my way soon. Just give me a second to compose myself.”
“Honey, take it easy. You want me to get Dick to help you home?”
“I’m good. I’m good.”
“Ok.” The door closed. I passed out. Again I was jerked out of it by shouts of admonition at the game. Apparently, we weren’t winning. Back to sleep.
A knock at the door roused me again. I shot up to my feet. Then I dropped to my knees. I….. Expelled, let’s call it. I was praying to the porcelain God, okay?
As always, this made me feel ten times better. I ambled to my feet and made a b-line for the door. This was my chance. I apologized to Dick and Linda. At least I think it was them. It may have been a coat rack. Either way, I apologized. Finally I was on my way home. But not without suffering one last indignity. Going around the corner, I slipped on a patch of ice, and fell flat on my ass. “Ouch. I should have seen that coming.”
I slipped inside of my house. Floyd greeted me with his usual peppiness. Jumping all over me. I threw him out to go to the bathroom real quick. As I finally made my way up to my bed, I said to myself, “You know Adam, you may have over extended yourself tonight. You deserve what you get tomorrow. Enjoy the hangover.”
I fell face first onto my bed. Floyd joined me, cuddling up into the crook of my legs as always.
“This is what you get Adam. Maybe next time you can learn to say no. Fucking coward.”
Good advice. But I have to ask, who said that?