I thought that was a pretty provocative title. Yeah.
So I knew, like I said that I had to go back to my old high school/middle school what have you. This wasn’t one of those 10-year reunion type deals. It was just me as someone who looks he shouldn’t be there wandering the halls with my actor, a sensitive beat-up-able kid and a former student of mine, who essentially was a female proxy for me when I was at the school.
It was time to face my demons. Time to return defenseless to the place which had tormented me for years. So what do I do?
I get drunk as fuck the night before, almost trip on the sidewalk several times and wake up drunk to go there.
To be fair, I didn’t intend to get that drunk.
It’s just I was visiting my alcoholic friend, Jonny-Jon-Jon.
Now, a couple things to clear up, I suppose. first of all, when I say I’m visiting my “alcoholic friend Jonny-Jon-Jon”, that’s not like some sort of male-pre-menopausal “Aunt Flo”, nor is it some sort of “Fight Club” alter ego that a film student might imagine himself to have. Rather, my alcoholic friend Jonny-Jon-Jon is just that, an alcoholic and a young man particularly adept at the art of getting drunk and then, immediately or not-so-immediately following, getting laid.
He’s also tries to get into a fight most time I see him, something certainly associated with his drink of choice (whiskey), but not particularly a great idea, as he less resembles a brawler than the type of women he tries to fuck/lets try to fuck him.
A visit to him was usually boozy but to varying extents based on time spent and how quickly the fuck would ditch me for some girl.
This particular evening was spent as a catch-up, as we hadn’t seen each other in several months. I had a 22-ounce Asahi beer I had gotten from the Korean market down the street, he had about a fifth of a bottle of Glennfiditch he had lifted from the discount liquor store in town. We discussed Israel-Palestine and Midwestern girls until both of our drinks were gone and we headed in search of a whiskey bar Jon had read about online.
The bartender was cute, older, short black hair. She gave us tastes of the rye she told us she’d just gotten in. Jon tasted it and when he recoiled from its strength we ordered our Jack and Wild Turkey respectively and got down to the business of the night.
I often wondered how Jon met so many girls. When I came to his apartment that night, Jon had told me he couldn’t remember the last three months but he knew that he had slept with three different women in December. However, I just found sitting down with him and getting drunker in a grubby Bushwick bar that we were soon talking to two girls who could have been 20s’ flappers and moving closer. As Jon recalls it, “we were charming young gents”. About 3-x drinks later, I was out of the bathroom and the blonde I was talking to, a recently arrived schoolteacher, was nowhere to be found. John was sitting noodling with the brunette he had been chatting with when he yelled “She went outside!” to me.
So naturally, I went outside to… nothing. a Bushwick sidewalk.
I took out my phone and text messaged a big Bushwick fuck you to Jon as the whiskey had me certain of sabotage as I trudged drunkenly to the L train.
I woke up at 8:38. I had set my alarm clock for 8:30 but I guess in the throes of liquor I put PM instead of AM, or maybe just slept through. I felt ok, sure that that Vitamin Water I had chugged on the train ride home would ward off the oncoming awfulness deserving a night of such Bushwick trashiness. Instead what I got was an apology that I had to give to my actor as I took him on the long ride to my school, groaning, admitting every other minute as one might be prone to do– “Sorry, I have a hangover.”
I’m sure hangover goggles couldn’t make my old school seem any worse though. Things were the same as I remember them: Lunch at 10:45, gaggles of girls congregated on a half-stairway, Canadian Geese shit all around campus. I even had a seventh grader call “Hey ginger kid, cut your hair” as I walked through the locker room.
It is the greatest injustice that when you return to your old school, you can’t just beat the shit out of all the kids who yell stupid shit in the locker room.
We left. Eventually. Upon leaving I had two things to be thankful for: that as an alumni, I could now use the men’s room at my high school and that I didn’t eat the KFC I wanted before getting on the train.
Convinced, as I had been all day, that my hangover was going to go away I drank more Vitamin Water on the train and tried to relax. My actor, a good kid, kept trying to ask me questions about drugs and alcohol. While I was happy to give advice, the talk just made me think more about the night previous. When I got off the train, I walked deliberately home.
The first part of you knowing you’re going to vomit is you start thinking about it. You start thinking: Well what if I vomited? Would I feel better? Then you go through denial. No, I don’t want to vomit. It’ll come out my nose. I’ll feel shitty and shakey. Then you finally figure out, yes I’m going to vomit and try to get to somewhere you can do it respectfully. Then you do it wherever you are.
For me it was a two-step. Two-steps, vomit, two-steps, vomit, two-steps, vomit. Shed tissues, sleeves, whatever got it out of me and then back down Charlton St home to stripping to the shower and steam and sleep.
It was a few more hours then, maybe 4-6 before my hangover was finally gone, though I didn’t vomit any.
I forced down some BBQ and once I kept that down I felt better. I built up from TV to Video Games to watching Cat Dancers with my friends Dan and Najia.
Cat Dancers is a documentary about people who dance with tigers and lygers and shit.
They all fuck each other and then at the end of two of them die.