There’s a point during a bender when your last sliver of rational thought makes its closing argument before sending the case to the jury. As I sat in the passenger seat of this stranger’s 4-runner, there was a part of me that knew I wouldn’t be able to find my friends that night, or my hotel. My life was essentially in the hands of a bartender whose name I could not recall, and whose patience with me would soon grow thin.
We walked inside of her dilapidated 2 bedroom, 1 bath home on the edgy part of town, and I immediately stumbled to the fridge. That thing was stocked. It looked like Whole Foods violently projectile vomited into it. I rummaged through everything in search of a beer, but I ended up settling for a cheap bottle of champagne that was hidden behind a package of power greens.
“Sorry, I don’t really drink that much,” she said somberly as if she knew it would break my heart. Hearing the sound of her voice, her dogs stormed the living room and immediately accosted me. Dogs love me. I love dogs. I sat down on the couch with the cheap bottle of champagne in one hand, and my dead cell phone in the other. She let the dogs outside into her deceivingly large backyard, then joined me on the couch. Being the terrible houseguest that I am, I grabbed the remote and started searching for the late games. She seemed a little put off by my lack of interest in her, but sports, you know?
I honestly didn’t care. In my mind, I was playing with house money. I had hooked up with a coed and won a fight in the last 24 hours, so I had nothing left to prove to myself. Because I have a flare for the dramatic I popped the champagne right there on the couch and immediately started pounding it from the bottle. This is one of my last clear memories of the night. She look completely dumbfounded.
Her: Do you really need to drink more?
My defiance must have struck a chord with her as she immediately jumped onto my lap and ripped her shirt off. “Here we go,” I thought. From what I remember, I sat there and MOST’d (Make Out Suck Tits) for a while as her dogs watched and barked from the back porch. Every now and then I’d stop and check the score of the game, which would cause her to say, “Are you fucking serious?” I was very serious.
All signs pointed to another wildly successful night. Then the lights went out.
I’ll start by saying this: I have only myself to blame. Stone Colding champagne directly from the bottle after an entire day of drinking is never going to end well. Everyone is probably aware of that, but clearly, some fools never learn.
When I regained consciousness, the room was spinning and it was ice cold. At first, I didn’t know where I was, but then I caught a glimpse of a photo of my new favorite bartender’s pups, and I remembered what happened. As I sat up, I quickly realized that I had blacked out and lost control of a crucial bodily function. I wet. It was bad.
I was soaked. This was a full bladder release, and I caught the brunt of the storm. The storm surge had washed me away. Bartender was nowhere to be found. Had she been washed away to sea, too, or did she see the warning signs and evacuate? I flipped on the lamp to assess the damage. Catastrophic. The stain was as large as it was dark. It had to have been an entire day’s worth of liquid. I had to get out of there quick.
I reached into my pocket, and panic ensued. My phone, wallet, and hotel key were all casualties. My leather wallet? Done. My phone? Water logged with a 0.00% battery, not that it would have made a difference anyway. What could I do? I was still hammered, and the sun was rising. What happened next is conduct unbecoming of a gentleman like myself, but I stand by my actions.
I flipped the couch cushion. It was a temporary fix, but it bought me some time. I carefully crept to the bathroom to see what the rest of the damage looked like. My face looked like Nicholas Cage post bee helmet in The Wicker Man. I’d have snapped a pic if my phone wasn’t soaked in urine. I made my hair look as presentable as possible and went hard on some Listerine I found under the sink. Then, I bailed.
No note, no goodbye, no sorry. I just got the fuck out of there. My task was to make it back to the hotel with as little human interaction as possible.
I knew the general direction of the hotel, but I figured it was best to steer clear of the main roads in order to avoid getting popped for a P.I. I wanted to run, but I knew that would create even more suspicion, and I already looked like a meth’d-out yuppy that had been raging at Jesse Pinkman’s house. This was a new low.
I passed numerous vehicles, and multiple joggers, each one giving me their own variation on judgmental “What the fuck are you?” looks. I walked by a nice family that was clearly en route to the early Mass down at St. Anthony’s, and all I could do was laugh. They were mortified. I was trash.
Forty-five minutes and multiple rushes of anxiety later, I reached the hotel. Just the sight of it almost brought me to tears. Unfortunately for me, I had no clue what room we were staying in. I was smart enough to take a picture of the room number with my phone, but, that clearly wasn’t an option.
I approached the counter as a man who had nothing left to lose. I was defeated. I asked if they could issue me a new room key, and they demanded I show them identification. I understand why. With no shame whatsoever, I pulled out my now very dark brown wallet and pulled out my still soaked driver’s license. The poor guy at the front knew. He didn’t say anything, but I could tell by the tone of his voice that he knew exactly what he was dealing with.
And that was that.
I ran the gamut of homecoming weekend, and I think that will be it for me. I’d spend the next few weeks retelling that story, laughing about it on the surface, all while wondering whether I’d ever hear from the bartender again. She should’ve sent me a bill. .
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