Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

Thirty-seven

Posted by ilbebe on January 5, 2009

About ten days after I’d been fired from the law office, I flew to San Diego for my twin sisters’ twenty-third birthday. I had recently gotten to know my sister’s Lee’s extended gang of friends during two visits in February and March, and I was excited to be spending some more time with them, plus it was good to be getting out of the city I’d recently lost my job in. All three of my sisters plus a friend of Rae’s were in Tate’s car when they picked me up at the airport, and the first thing I did was ash the cherry of a cigarette out of the window that immediately flew back into the car and burned Rae’s friend in the eye. Would it prove to be a harbinger? With the binge-drinking crew assembled for the evening’s revelry, it seemed probable…

Lee and Rae had rented a party bus to take about thirty of us downtown to a whomp-whomp dance club, not my usual plan of attack, but I’ve always been open to new and unusual places to get drunk, cost allowing. The pre-party went swimmingly, and we convinced the driver of the bus to circle the block outside of Lee’s apartment a few times so we could take full advantage of being well on our way to shitfaced on a bus with two stripper poles. I felt like a serious baller as our group cut to the front of the line at the club, and I discovered it was in an old bank where half of the dance floors were downstairs, one of them in the vault! I was appalled as I bought myself and Lee a cocktail for the rock-bottom price of eleven bucks apiece and resolved to stick to beer for the rest of the evening. A large chunk of the group coalesced in the corner of one room where the DJ was playing eighties hits and a square-looking stone-cold dancing machine was holding court at the corner of the floor.

About an hour into it, I stepped out for the first of many, many smokes and on my way back through the main level I decided it would be financially prudent to start downing half-finished cocktails that were abandoned on tables. The rest of the evening adhered pretty strictly to that pattern: dance, smoke like four cigs in twenty minutes, down three or four fruity orphaned drinks, repeat. There was quite a commotion getting everyone back on the bus at the end of the night; my friend Sean had flown the coop in search of a burrito, a few people had apparently left earlier without saying goodbye, and several more simply couldn’t be accounted for. At the final moment, Lee’s best friend jumped off the bus to go look for a missing soldier, who if I’m not mistaken was located wandering around a gas station a half-mile away..

A strange feeling came over me as the party continued back at the apartment, and I tried to paper over my declining conversation skills by chain smoking and eavesdropping. My favorite overheard conversation of the evening was between C and M, and consisted of C grilling M on what precisely had transpired between M and C’s cousin a few weeks earlier. Never before have I heard WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO FUCK MY COUSIN?? yelled so many times in a single evening. I finally hit the floor around four, and awoke the next morning in the midst of a sea of bodies in the living room. Bryan had taken the broken armchair in the corner to nest in, and was leaning hard to starboard, there seemed to be four or five people stacked on the love sack, and someone had managed to sleep perilously close to my rancid feet with the rest of her body tucked under the gnarled burl coffee table. C and M had apparently stayed up all night and were arguing loudly on the front lawn about what a utopia would be like. I was glad their argument had taken a more meaningful direction, but then it abruptly shifted when C yelled WAIT, SERIOUSLY, YOU FUCKED MY COUSIN!! WHAT WAS IT LIKE??

The puking came on in very predictable fashion, and once or twice as I lay sweating on the cold tile of the bathroom, I thought I was having a heart attack. On a side note, this was the same bathroom floor I’d be passing out and pissing myself on six weeks later on the occasion of Lee’s college graduation party. By nightfall, I was feeling well enough to go over to the house in Kensington where some of my new friends were conducting a spirited game of beer pong. I meekly sipped my way through a beer which made me all woozy again and choked C halfway out at one point when he wouldn’t stop screaming WOOOOOOOO!! After a pointless (for me at least) excursion to the neighborhood bar, one of the fellows graciously offered my feverish ass his bed for the evening, and I went back to the house and crashed.

The next morning I awoke in a positively swamp-like environment caused by my uncontrollable sweating and got a ride to the airport for my flight home to Oakland, where I had no job and no girlfriend. I’d been to that place where every young face was an invitation to vagary, and sitting there in my unsafe Oakland home, I wanted to go back there again.

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