“How so,” you say?
Saturday night at around 1:20 a.m., when I should’ve been either (a.) embarrassing myself by drunkenly trying to talk to amateur models at a modeling contest at Carson City Saloon, or (b.) embarrassing myself by drunkenly trying to talk to…any females at Bill and Steph’s house party, I was instead sitting at home, cracking open my third 32 oz. Gatorade of the day, as I continued to recover from Friday night’s assault on moderation.
What’s happened to me? When did I become that guy? I can’t blame it entirely on age—hell, I’m still only a spry ol’ 30. And I still have plenty of all-star performances in me (one took place just two weeks ago, and will likely find its way onto the page eventually). But there’s no denying that I’ve lost a step. Five years ago I would’ve sucked it up and hit both parties, and then hit afterhours. And I’m not saying that my choice to stay in was purely physical exhaustion; no, a lot of it is definitely mental lethargy. Because while a 25 year old says, “Fuck it,” pulls himself up off the stool, winks at the ring girl, and ignores his fatigue as he strides out of his corner for the next round, a 30 year old says, “Fuck it,” and picks up the TV remote.
It’s also worth noting that Friday night wasn’t exactly a slow night. Pakistanimal and Dupa convened at my place after work, and had drinks in their hands before I’d even gotten into the shower; they were on their second or third round by the time I was dressed and finally had my first. And those of you who’ve done your homework probably already figured out that Pak + bar night = shots with a side of shots, chased with shots, and then all of it washed down with shots. We did a round of Jager Bombs before we even decided where we were going to go that night. And to think, every time his girlfriend asks who he’s rolling out with, and he answers, “[The D.E.F.I.],” her standard response is, “Oh god.” As if it’s MY fault. I feel unjustly accused.
My liver hates Pak. Not only were shots on the menu, but he had bought a handle of Three Olives on his way over to my apartment; he then decimated a bottle of Simply Limeade and a bottle of cranberry juice with a bartending freestyle session, concocting tall glasses of a pink mixture that tasted like Kool-Aid mixed with lighter fluid. When Dupa begged off finishing his fourth (Fifth? Hell, all of us had lost count by then) of the night, because he had to drive us to the South Side, I took the glass and began assisting like any good brother-in-arms would; and, of course, I expected Pak, the mad scientist behind these liquid IEDs, to do his share of the lifting. Instead, he said, “No way, dude,” and walked towards the door. I slammed the rest of it back, as an “F U!” to his act of treason. Then, just before it got washed away by the tsunami of lighter fluid punch bearing down on it, my common sense reminded me who I had really doomed by doing that. “Son of a…”
Most of the rest of the night is, obviously, tough to recall. Shots and beers with Jay Swag and MG at Rumshakers, followed by more shots and more beer with LRG and Chappy at Carson City. Dupa bailing on us, unannounced. Pak and I, back in Shadyside, getting out of a cab and walking into Shady Grove. And waking up around noon the next day back in my bed, with a Pakistani buzz saw carving up logs out in the living room. All of those scenes play in my head back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back, with no clarifying moments of transition between them. When Pak finally woke up, the following was hoarsely shouted from bedroom to living room and back:
Me: “I blacked out after we left the South Side.”
Pak: “We were in the South Side?”
Liver. Hates. Him. Almost as much as I hate being 30. But, just like this day was inevitable, so too is the next Saturday night where I find myself bruised and bleeding in the corner of a ring, faced with a decision: stand, fight, and live; or sit, zone out, and order a pizza.
Let’s just hope Pak’s not my cutman.