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My breath smells like a Christmas tree and so does Ashley’s. But not like a regular Christmas tree. It smells like a Douglas fir that’s been soaked in a vat of booze overnight. This is what Rumplemintz does for you, and I haven’t felt this alive in months.
I’m at a hole in the wall about two miles down the street from my parents house and Ashley, a girl I dated for a few months in high school, is sucking on my neck like Stephen Dorff attacking an innocent bystander at a rave in Blade.
It kind of hurts, but I’m on my way to being very drunk and I just don’t care enough to tell her to stop. To get you up to this point in my tale from last night, I have to rewind to a few hours prior in the evening.
It’s Monday night, a little after 6:00 p.m. EST and I’ve just dropped my weekender bag down in the guest room at my parents house. My old room has been turned into a office, and if I’m being honest it hurts a little bit. I have dinner with my mom and dad at a steakhouse a few towns over, and by 9:30 p.m. they’re both in bed fast asleep.
I text Xander, a friend from high school who is also home for Thanksgiving a bit early and who grew up within walking distance of me. One hour later I’m over at his place sitting at his parents kitchen table. Since our town is too small to call for an Uber, we have a glass of Woodford Reserve from his dad’s liquor cabinet and walk the two-ish miles to the bar. He offers me a rip of a weed pen on our way there, and I take a few because I’m playing with house money right now.
I look at going back home for Thanksgiving as a wash. I don’t really hang out with anyone from my hometown anymore and so when I do get to see these people, everyone is sort of just in free-for-all mode. You want to see a truly reckless, unhinged JD come see me during a week off while I’m staying at my parent’s house with nothing but time on my hands.
The bar Xander and I enter isn’t wall to wall packed with people. The real party will, of course, be on Thanksgiving Eve at this very spot, so tonight is sort of like a warm-up. A practice for the main event. For the first hour or so Xander and I drink beers at an alarmingly reserved and responsible rate.
I’m drinking a glass of water after every Labatt and I’m catching up with a friend face to face for the first time in over a year. It feels good to be back, but things take a turn when a group of girls, unbeknownst to us, show up at the bar and ask if they can sit in our booth with us because the rest of the crowd at this hole in the wall are regular townies who want nothing to do with us.
These are girls we’ve known since grade school, of course, but it’s awkward for the first fifteen minutes or so while everyone talks about their middle of the road job in cities all over the country. We lubricate ourselves with a round of Rumplemintz and a few pitchers, and by 11:30 our table is pretty loud and pretty obnoxious. I try taking a snapchat of our table but I don’t use this app like I used to and I keep fucking it up. Ashley asks if I need help from across the table and I say yes.
She gets up, comes over to sit down next to me and she takes my phone from me. She exits out of the Snapchat app and I say what the hell are you doing. I then realize that she’s putting her number in my phone, and I realize that I’m never going to get that snap of our table up on my story. About thirty seconds after that, in front of six of my friends from high school, I’m necking with a girl I haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving Eve. This isn’t going anywhere. I know it. She knows it. This is a bar makeout and nothing more. She lives in DC and I live in Chicago for now.
A few hours later, I’m back at home in my childhood room without Ashley because even though I’m fairly drunk, I’m not drunk enough to think that bringing a girl back to my parents house is a good move. Maybe tomorrow night, though. This was more fun than I expected it to be..