We have all been there. Entering consciousness after a day of heavy drinking, you’re covered in a bed sheet, the cool air of the ceiling fan caresses your face, and – wait a minute – you don’t have a ceiling fan. You open your eyes and see an unfamiliar puka shell necklace hanging off of the unfamiliar bed post above you. Yep, you’re definitely not in your own bed.
This hasn’t happened to me in a while, but with the dawn of summer comes a dangerous excitement that is enough to get anyone feeling promiscuous. With the promise of the first warm June weekend, I was feeling like a college kid again.
Earlier this summer, I was at a nauseatingly Instagrammable day drinking event filled with degenerate postgrads pretending to be bougie. I wore a light blue sundress, heels, and a giant floppy hat. Pardon the lack of humility, but I looked good. Several Miller Lites and a mimosa flight deep, my crew and I were getting ready to leave the pregame when I heard a male voice call my name behind me.
I turned around and while he looked familiar, nothing immediately registered. All I could glean was this: where I thought I was killing the game, he was tearing it to fucking shreds. He wore white pants, white leather shoes, a pastel pink button down, white suspenders, and a white cowboy hat shading his fu manchu-donning face. This dude came for one reason, and I was right there eating out of the palm of his hand. We talked for a few minutes and rang enough bells for me to remember who he was – a friend of a friend with whom I have hung out in group settings before and with whom I have forwardly flirted each time. When we cheers-ed our beers and went our separate ways, I made a mental note to find him later.
After placing some terrible bets and purchasing many absurdly overpriced light beers, the crew was beginning to dwindle. I was losing coherence but still very much aware of the mental note I had made hours earlier. When I went to the beer tent for an unnecessary refill, I spotted a white cowboy hat floating among the crowd and moving in my direction. My eyes met the eyes under the Stetson, and it was on.
I do not remember many of the events that took place after we found each other, but they can probably be inferred pretty easily. I know we shared a bratwurst and took an Uber home. I know he had to get his credit card from the bar at which the pregame took place. I couldn’t tell you if I or he said anything making or breaking the deal, but if my suspicions hold water, both of our minds were made up before either of us had a chance to screw it up.
The next thing I remember was waking up at 5:30 a.m. in the middle of the bed. It took me a few seconds of adjustment to open my eyes and realize there was another person there. It took me another few seconds to realize this is not a place in which I am used to waking up. I groggily whispered “Oh shit, sorry,” and moved aside to give him more room. He laughed and gave a sarcastic “Thanks,” and we went back to sleep.
When we awoke again two hours later, we initiated some light morning action and then some heavier morning action. When we were both satiated, I hinted that it might be time for me to get going. I asked him where we were, and the answer was too close to my house to justify spending $6 on an Uber (or $5 if I was willing to risk what little dignity I had left and choose UberPOOL), but still a considerable distance for a deluxe dress-and-heels walk of shame. He told me he would drive me home, but he didn’t have a car. I was in the middle of writing a love letter to my roommate begging her to pick me up when he introduced another option.
“I do have a motorcycle, though.”
Twenty minutes later, there I was, my tangled ponytail flying out from under a spare helmet that already smelled of morning-after makeup and perfume. I wore a backpack containing my shoes and enormous hat. On my feet were a pair of men’s size 13 boat shoes.
As we turned onto the already-busy main street, I suddenly felt more exposure than I could have predicted. What if I died on this ride home? How would my mother feel about burying me in my beer-stained dress and ill-fitting borrowed Sperrys? I thought about every choice I had made leading up to that moment, but decided if I had the chance to do it all over, I wouldn’t change a thing. I had every reason to feel shame, but all I felt was alive.
He drove the bike up onto the sidewalk in front of my house, I gave him his shoes back, and that was that. We didn’t exchange numbers or talk about seeing each other again. In all likelihood, we will probably run into each other, so who knows what will happen next. There is still plenty of summer left. .
Image via Shutterstock