Letter D is for debacles with the inebriated.
A to Z entries: My post for each letter of the alphabet will be anecdotes or musings based on an element from the previous letter’s post. Names always changed, events always real.
~ Letter C was for how a Cat Nature reacts to excessive proximity, and there’s no group more oblivious to boundaries than…drunks. ~
They all fall into a pattern: The Happy Drunk. The Belligerent Drunk. The Sloppy Drunk.
And of course, the Obliterated Drunk.
I don’t mention bold or impulsive drunks, because boldness and impulsivity are accompanying satellites to planet drunk.
I don’t include philosophical drunks either, because they talk too much, and since you’ve likely heard everything imaginable from them, you don’t need to hear about them.
Happy Drunk is what anyone who drinks aspires to, and is in fact, probably the only reason why anyone drinks in the first place. That and the instant supernatural ice-breaking with which the new, bold you charms the room, or fails to recognize the difference if you happen to be uncharming. At least you’re Happy!
And that’s quite charming to yourself.
Your cheeks are aflush with the warmth of a magical glow from inside and your brain’s not going to remind you that the warmth is actually an invading toxin messing with your blood chemistry. Nor will it give you any indication that if you don’t curb your intake right about now, it’s going to wage war to oust the invader and use your wretched body as battleground.
We hate you. You hate yourself. That’s why you get thrown out of places. You spit at people, kick car tires and punch walls. You look for fights. It’s your pastime. You think you need to release your aggression, but really, you’re looking for someone to beat that self-loathing right out of you. Try this instead: Stop drinking. Seek help. You might discover you can actually be loved. But right now, we fantasize about breaking chairs Western-style over your head to pacify you.
The Sloppy Drunk is mushier than rot. Maybe they’re endearing with their newfound surge of affection, but more often, they’re annoying as fuck. They “suddenly” love you, just love you, oh and love you so so much. They somehow weigh a hundred pounds more than they did half an hour ago and insist on letting you know by leaning all over you or dangling their anvil arm on you. Be prepared to bear the weight of their gushing, heretofore repressed emotions, or that of gathering their oozing, floppy body at the end of the night. They lumber, sway, and slur. And they need your protection from the Belligerent Drunk ambling over for an easy target. That means a bunch of drunks just conspired to take away your Happy buzz.
All of us have known all of them. Some of us have been some of them. And a few of us have handled a few of them.
It seems I am particularly adept at finding myself in the presence of Obliterated Drunks.
Obliterated Drunk One…
Picture three 85-pound teenage girls, sleepover, no adult presence, and three forty-ounce beers in a tiny NYC studio apartment.
Carla and I slept fine. But poor Amanda had to pee in the middle of the night.
So she got up and walked to the stove.
The teeny open kitchen wasn’t too far behind our heads, and there, Amanda opened the oven, pulled down her bottoms, and sat on the oven door to relieve herself.
Somewhere during her relief, Carla’s mom walked into the studio. It turned out it wasn’t middle of the night at all, but early morning. She started screaming at Amanda, Amanda was roused from her stupor / sleepwalking / whatever it was, and swore it wasn’t urine.
All the while, her pajama pants were down at her knees.
“I’m gonna send it to the laaaab!” Carla’s mom hollered in her New York accent.
In my half-sleep state, I wondered where Carla’s mom had been all night.
That wasn’t to be my last experience with an Obliterated Drunk’s urinary mishaps.
Obliterated Drunk Two…
I was a 100-pound kid when I moved to Los Angeles. I was in my twenties and someone thought it was a good idea to make me a manager at a nightclub on Sunset. They weren’t wrong; I was good at keeping my staff happy and handling the weekend mob vying for tables. The club was a big venue with claims to Guns’n Roses on its stage way back when. I managed the fine-dining mezzanine, which boasted best views of the stage, and all notions of “fine” going the way of barnyard animals on a Saturday night.
I was happy there, and only had one repeated request: I need a bouncer up here on weekends. I never got one. So when it came time to bounce, I did the bouncing.
The club lights were dim. Patrolling my floor to make sure all was as it should be, I noticed activity in the wheelchair access lift. It was directly behind the first tables. Three-star dining tables, the chef kept reminding us.
In the corner of the lift, there was a man-sized, man-looking beast. And he was taking a piss.
The fury that overtook me usurped logic and prudence; all sound went dead, and all sight went white. Except for my target. And I charged him.
“WHAT are you doing!” I hollered.
I grabbed his ear, perhaps because it was the highest appendage on his body and furthest from his hands and other parts. By that same ear, I dragged him all the way down the stairs and delivered him to a bouncer with, “He’s permanently BANNED!”
All of this was possible because I was dealing with an Obliterated Drunk, and they’re surprisingly pliable at any size. They hold no resistance or tension in their body, which is why they generally don’t get hurt and laugh instead when they tumble down a flight of stairs. This beast didn’t roll down the stairs as I dragged him by the ear, although it would have been faster if he did.
Obliterated Drunk Three…
My feather-light girlfriend came to pick me up from the airport, and after, I took her out for a drink at a restaurant. Two, to be exact. A quarter of the way through the second drink, she became an instant Happy Drunk, already excited for a third drink because she didn’t want the yummy feeling to go away. Well. The yummy feeling quickly turned into nausea, and Happy turned into Obliterated. Not even two drinks in.
It was weird, roofie weird. Yet we were the only ones sitting at the bar, and I knew I hadn’t roofied her.
So on this night, I watched a drink and a half bring on a most brutal case of alcohol poisoning. On the way home, I had to pull over five times for her.
Finally, I brought her up to my apartment. I sat her on the bed with a glass of water and a piece of bread, and went down again to park the car. Once back up, I couldn’t find her. Until I went into the kitchen.
There she was, sleeping on the tiled floor like a newborn kitten.
She’d gone in to use the trash bag as a sick bucket. She couldn’t handle being moved, so I put a pillow under head, and a blanket over her. She slept soundly through the night.
Obliterated Drunk Four…
I had only met him once at a party, months before. But we texted on and off, especially after he’d read a Gunmetal Geisha post. On one occasion after a gallery opening, I wasn’t ready to be done with my night. He and I had texted throughout the evening, so after the gallery, I decided to drive to where he was.
He’d been trying to get together with me for weeks and he was finally getting his wish.
It took me a while to find the out-of-the-way downtown bar. I parked in the lot and saw five or six large men tottering on the curb. As soon as I walked toward them to see if my friend was among them, all but one jumped into a car that must have been waiting. They took their time adjusting and slamming doors.
Sure enough, the one left in the street, swaying and holding a full glass of beer, was my friend.
He was even taller than I remembered and looked far too big for me to hold up should he choose to collapse in his Obliterated state.
So I ran to the idling car full of men and yelled, “Wait!”
As soon as I reached it, they took off. Naturally, I was infuriated.
In a flash, I grabbed my friend — whom I wasn’t sure recognized me — by the arm and led him to the front seat of my car. I got in on the other side, confiscated his glass, emptied it out the window, and screeched out of the lot in pursuit of the car full of men.
The first coherent words came out of my friend as my foot slammed the gas pedal and the car noisily gained speed:
I overtook the other car. It was a deserted street and I swerved in front of it to block it. It stopped.
I jumped out and stomped over. But I made the mistake of approaching an Obliterated Drunk in the back who wouldn’t roll down the window. Instead, he kept staring at me with dumb eyes and someone else prompted the driver to steer around my car and take off. I was stuck with a massive guy — as in muscular and much stronger than me — whom I barely knew, waiting in my car.
“Where do you live?” I asked him. He told me, and it would have meant a two-hour roundtrip for me.
“Yeah, I’m not driving you there,” I said, fuming. “And you’re not coming to my place.” Instead I drove back to the bar, and delivered him to bartender.
The next day, I received texts of apologies, even though he had no recollection of me having been there. But he saw our text exchange.
“It’s fine,” I said. “But you know I’m going to write about this.”
“Somehow I was afraid of that,” he replied.
It might be that the key to moderation is pre-judgment, because by the time you need your good judgment, it might already be impaired.
In fairness, there are those who could write about no less spectacular episodes of mine.
But it sure isn’t going to be me.
~ Part of the A to Z Challenge ~
A post a day except Sunday for the month of April to cover topics beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
Cathartic Monkeyism returns in May.
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