Things have been a bit boring around here lately. Only one post in the past two weeks, and that was just me musing on all of the unimpressively impressive ways I’ve voyaged into tawdry, unfulfilling, often hedonistic “relationships” that have added no meaningful value to my life—aside from some juvenile locker room bragging rights.
*leaves to go read his last post again…giggles*
So aside from that poetry, things at On the Rocks have been sparse. TJ has been AWOL down in Tampa [not entirely true: he’s got some stories from the last couple of weeks, but they’re not exactly fodder for the page]. And, due to financial responsibilities, I’ve restricted my—to quote my dear old mum’s comment yesterday—“carousing”. As a result, all around the blogosphere there are emoticon smileys shedding pixilated tears into half-empty beer mug jpegs.
Or, you know…people have just read something else.
To ease your pangs of longing, I’ll give you a quick story from several years ago.
On a Friday night in 2002, some friends and I were hanging out at Tequila Willie’s in the Strip District’s Boardwalk complex. The Boardwalk was a series of clubs located on the shore of the Allegheny River, which were connected by a boardwalk that featured outdoor bars and boat docks. At the time, it was a thriving spot for nightlife in Pittsburgh. Willie’s was relatively new, and was always packed on weekends—especially on Fridays, when they had dollar drinks from 10 to 12. Ah, the dollar drink special. Some people mourn the passing of the $1.20 gallon of gas; I mourn YOU.
We arrived at around 10 p.m. after sufficient pregaming at my boy BlahBlahBlah’s Mt. Washington home. We sat down at the bar and started ordering cups of booze (rum & Coke for my boy, bourbon & Coke for me) two at a time. Never one to waste an opportunity to challenge someone at the game of “Drink,” BBB started taunting me for being behind by a cup.
Me: *chugs* “Oh yeah? F**k you! Bartender! Two more!”
BBB: *snickers, finishes his drink* “Me too!”
Me, in my head: “Wait…”
I squeezed down my 10th as he polished off number 11, and declared a cease-fire. “Okay, time for beer.” It was, after all, almost midnight; the special would be ending soon. And, as all established drinkers know, if you spend most of your evening throwing back hard liquor, you have to soften the blow with beer at the end of the night. You all know the rhyme: “Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear; beer before liquor, never been sicker.” BBB, for certain, was well aware of this time-tested proverb. But instead of agreeing with me, he looked at his watch, pulled out a fiver, and said, “Two more each!” I wanted to choke him, but I saw three or four of him in front of me, and I felt outnumbered. Two more bourbon & Cokes (which, after a couple of hours of tipping the bartender, were only “Coke” in name and not in spirit) were put away, along with my hopes of the night ending well.
Our friend Mere, who was the DD that night, later told us that at around 1 a.m., BBB, our friend Billy, and I were standing side-by-side-by-side at the upper-level railing, looking out onto the dance floor. BBB’s eyes were closed, my head was in my hands, and Billy—who was wearing a cast on his leg and walking with crutches—stood in place, doing all of his dancing with his upper body, arms gleefully shooting up to the sky. I don’t remember that, but I do remember this: my digestive system was angry at me, and was about to take its revenge for bourbon & Cokes 11 and 12. I walked, ever more hurriedly, towards the bathroom. About halfway there, I covered my mouth, to little benefit. Vomit sprayed out from between my fingers as I broke into a full-on run towards the men’s room. I reached a stall and finished the job, and then washed up in the sink while the bathroom attendant chuckled (like he didn’t see it every night?). As I walked back out into the club, avoiding eye contact with anyone nearby who may have been caught in my drive-by, I fully expected to be greeted by bouncers looking to remove me. It turns out, however, that they were busy.
When I got back to where my friends had been, only Mere remained. Before I could ask, she said, “Come on—[BBB] just got kicked out.” While I was gone, he had meandered off into the crowd in search of a beer, and gotten into a shoving match with a 5’5” d bag. After being separated by bouncers, the guy tossed something (by some accounts a shoe) at BBB, who then tried to go after him. Security removed him—though, at 6’4” 260, they didn’t do it easily—and Mere was collecting the rest of us to leave. We got to her car and, in an attempt to pinpoint his location in a very large parking lot, I called BBB.
Me: “Where are you right now?”
BBB: “I don’t know…I’m by a big f***in light!”
During the ten minute drive to his house, Mere twice had to pull over so that BBB could lean out of the door and throw up. The next morning, I awoke in the guestroom to him shaking me as he stood next to the bed. Startled, I responded, “What??”
“Hey,” he said with a big, clueless grin. “So what happened last night?”