Drunk, Vol. 1

Drunk, Vol. 1

It was a few years back in Indiana. I was in school. Craig, one of my old gutterpunk buddies who I hadn’t seen in eight or so months, borrowed his new girlfriend’s car and drove up from New Orleans to hang out for the weekend. He walked in the door with one piece of luggage: a 24 pack of Bud, of which 5 cans were already missing. A bottle of generic tequila filled the empty space in the case. With a quick embrace, he set the drinks on my kitchen table and mouthed my sentiments exactly “let’s get this beer out of the way so we can start the real drinking.”

19 beers and 1/2 a bottle of generic booze later, we had caught up on just about everything there was to catch up on, who was married, who had herpes, who was in jail, and who was dead. It’s amazing how you can go for a year without thinking about someone and then, upon hearing about their death, suddenly get crushed under a wave of sadness. Car wrecks, suicides, drug overdoses, gunshots, the usual killers of youth. Carrie chose Option #3. Her roommate found her dead body in his bed. I guess she was feeling good and wanted to surprise him. Surprise. They said she died of a heart attack, no friends were invited to the funeral. Craig tried to get some people together but I guess no one cared enough to get off work.

The liquor was taking its toll. We sat at my depressing kitchen table, bumming the hell out of each other with “remember whens” about our latest friend to get killed. By this point we were pretty cried out. My apartment was pretty dismal to begin with, add a couple of drunks with sob story, and it became unbearable. It was about 9 on a Friday night in a college town. Kids across the city were charging kegs to their parent’s emergency Visa cards. It was time to go out.

As luck would have it, the first party we went to was the All Nighter. An All Nighter doesn’t necessarily have to last all night, it just means you don’t have to supplement your evening by visiting other parties. They were tapping the keg as we tromped into their yard. It was October and the leaves were deep. The keg was in the backyard, conducive to evacuation in case of police raid (public intox=$140=no food). Out of our jackets we pulled 64 oz. Big Gulp cups we’d grabbed from my cupboard on the way out the door. We were already well beyond trashed, but it didn’t matter. There’s something about old friends that justifies drinking too much.

The party turned out to be the property of some guy I had a class with that I didn’t recognize. He recognized me, though. Nice enough person, one of those mediocre people with lots of common sense. His friends seemed OK with us guzzling their beer, so there were no problems, at least not yet. Me and Craig sat down in the leaves and talked old times, talked about where we were going, what we wanted to do, talked about who we wanted to fuck, and on and on, taking turns refilling the cups. Somehow it had gotten to be 11:30. The party was booming. The Pixies were fighting the Chili Peppers for the stereo, but we were so drunk that even the Chili Peppers sounded OK. It was my turn to get beer.

Craig yelled at me as I shambled to the end of the line, “don’t wait in the line, just piss on those motherfuckers, they’ll get out of your way.” Of course, thought my poisoned brain, piss your way to the keg. I had to go anyways. I dropped my pant/underwear combo down to my boots and started pissing on people. Craig was right, I wasn’t going to have to wait in line. People trampled each other to get out of the way. I was almost to the front of the line, vaguely recognizing the disgust tinged laughter (or laughter tinged disgust) of the crowd around me as I watched my hand reach out for the black rubber lifeline of beer. Suddenly, what remained of my peripheral vision picked up seriously aggressive movement to my right. I spun just in time to get tackled. I managed to get a clear shot at the face before I hit the ground.

I connected really hard, busting the glasses of the dick who had attacked me. Once on the ground I rolled on top of him and headbutted him in the nose as hard as my impaired body would let me. The guy grabbed my throat and started squeezing, his face was bleeding and he was screaming my name. “Driver, you dick” – oh shit! – it was Craig! He was trying to keep me from getting my ass kicked, and got his nose busted in the process. “Oh, shit! Sorry, sorry, oh shit, oh shit, uh” but what could I say? Even if my tongue worked, I couldn’t say anything to fix his nose. Craig helped me out of my difficult situation by slugging me in the jaw and kicking my leg out from under me. The fight was on.

It didn’t last for long. We got tired and just ended up collapsing in the mud on top of each other, laughing our asses off. Fuck, I don’t think I ever laughed so hard in my entire life. We both laughed until he crawled into the bushes and started puking. My pants were still down. I pulled up my trousers, walked over, and found Craig’s glasses twisted in the leaves like a trainwreck . Some girl yelled from an inside window “We called the cops!” I laughed again, found my good friend Craig in the bushes, and dragged him home. The only thing that got me home was the post-fight adrenaline. I think we tried to drink another shot in tribute to Carrie on my kitchen floor, but I don’t remember if I drank it or spilled it before my face hit the linoleum.