Tales of Drunkenness and Cruelty

by pjmcbride

A Philly cheese steak, a type of submarine san...

A Philly cheese steak, a type of submarine sandwich. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…title blithely stolen from the Kinks’ “Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon.” But before we get to those tales, a couple updates–

–PSA: PRODUCT SAFETY ALERT! (Hey, that starts with PSA too!) SURE BRAND DEODORANT STICK CAN SHATTER DURING USE! …sending me slinking out to buy old reliable Secret, hoping I didn’t run into anyone I knew, and of course I ran into two police officers who I chatted with, arms clamped tight to my sides. And one officer who quickly drove away, hmmm…

–I chose a table at McDonald’s based on, This one was just wiped clean! only to see on closer inspection, Not very well. Turns out the job had been done by a small boy who wanted to work at a fast food place when he grew up, who was going around wiping off all the tables with a napkin that he’d moistened with who knows what.

–And speaking of boys–graffito on the back of a bus seat–“I’m a big boi!” No, big boys can spell. And they don’t write on seat backs.

Now. Foxy had complimented me on my two previous puke stories, and I thought, At least I don’t have any personal puke stories. Oh wait…I remember it as if I hadn’t tried to forget it…

It was during my second attempt at college. (I’ve dropped out of college three times, but the first two were at the same school.) To get the full context and poetic justice of this story, we must go back to my first attempt. I showed up at my dorm room to meet my new roommate, and she was busy arranging her collection of stuffed animals on her bed. I put up my poster of bloody Alice Cooper hanging from a noose, a sign saying “Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here” on the (our)  door (don’t you want to smack me already?), and a blue light bulb in my desk lamp. Poor Peggy was doomed. She got dressed  underneath her nightgown to maintain her modesty, while I hung out in my underwear (and glasses, of course). She took to staying down the hall at a friend’s room, while I blared the Rolling Stones until 3AM (no doubt to the delight of the whole floor, whose tastes tended toward Neil Young and Broadway show tunes).

So. After I dropped out the first time, my folks encouraged me to return after a semester. I showed up to meet my new and different roommate, whose name I can no longer remember. I only know she claimed to be a cousin of singer James Taylor. No one else believed her, but I figured that James Taylor has cousins like anyone else. She showed me letters that had his name and return address, and notes he’d scribbled on the back of her James Taylor album. More to my liking, she let me play her Led Zeppelin albums. So I settled back into my  college routine–existing on Philly cheese steak sandwiches (this story is set in Philadelphia, after all) and chocolate cupcakes, reading a lot of books, and not writing my term papers. (If you need something not written, let me know–I have years of experience.)

We were not exactly friends, but we had a cordial roommate relationship. So she felt only slightly embarrassed to say to me one night, “It’s my boyfriend’s birthday–would you mind if our friends had a party in the room? {I never minded a party anywhere.} And afterward…would you mind, um, going somewhere for awhile while he and I….celebrate? I’ll give you a six-pack of beer.” So I partied with their friends for a bit, which included trying some Long Island iced tea alcoholic concoction, which I drank most of before concluding I didn’t like it, and drinking a glass of birthday champagne, and one bottle of something else that came in a 6-pack that its owner didn’t want. Then The Time came, and I took my promised 6-pack of bottles and sat on the stair landing between the 2nd and 3rd floors of the dorm, and drank, I’m guessing, about 5 and a half of them. History (or, at any rate, my memory) does not record what I was thinking of while I drank them, but I do know that too much booze makes me self-pitying. (In the Wild 90’s at the old F.O.P. Club, I used to start feeling sorry for myself because everyone else wanted to listen to country music instead of Pink Floyd.) So I’m guessing I was brooding about what a pathetic loser I was, drinking on the stair landing while my roommate was having presumably-wild sex. Perhaps it occurred to me that this was poetic justice for the way I’d driven my first roommate away.

But why, you may be wondering (if you’ve stuck with my sorry @ss so far) did I not finish that last half-bottle? Well, because I started feeling unwell. Very unwell. I made my way unsteadily to the bathroom, and discovered that I was seeing double, and couldn’t tell which of the two toilet seats I was seeing was the real one. But nature took its course, and I got sicker than I’ve ever been (other than the time I got 24 hours’ worth of food poisoning from Steak & Shake). Luckily, by then The Boyfriend had departed, and my roommate was sleeping the sleep of the peacefully post-coital. I threw myself down on the bed and passed out. Until a ray of sunshine snuck past the still-open curtains. I opened my eyes, and the first thing I saw was a plastic cup of beer someone had left on the windowsill the night before, with a cigarette butt floating in it. I immediately had to rush for the bathroom again.

I then went down to the cafeteria–with a surprisingly healthy appetite, considering–and sat down with my eggs and pork sausage. I heard a girl from my dorm, sitting at the next table, say, “Who threw up on the toilet seat last night? Gross!” I said nothing, though I’m guessing I turned some interesting colors.

I never drank enough to get sick again.

The End! You are ever so welcome!