I’m not going to claim that I always try to be normal, but sometimes I do actually attempt it. I went to bed at a reasonable hour this evening, I really did. Something like nine o’clock.
I woke up because my phone was ringing. In my head, it was the alarm, telling me to get my ass out of bed and get to work. In my head, everything was foggy and urgent and easily ignored.
Then it rang again. In my head, it was stupid-early in the morning, and there was an emergency. Why else would they call again? I pulled myself from sleep, slow and begrudgingly. By the time I had managed to gain my footing, the phone had stopped ringing. My subconscious had led me to believe that this was something to get all worked up about, so the adrenaline was pumping.
As soon as I saw the time on the phone, I knew it was not something to get worked up about. It was 12:30, which is actually still a halfway reasonable time to get phone calls when you befriend the kind of people I do. I hit the button on my phone that makes it call the person who just called, and walked to the bathroom.
“I wondered if you were asleep,” he says by way of salutation.
“Are you peeing?”
“Good for you.”
I stumble out to the kitchen and pour myself a drink. “This situation calls for gin,” I say.
“I’m drinking gin.”
“Do I know what the situation calls for, or what?”
And we’re off and running, and next thing I know it’s three in the morning, I’m entirely too drunk, and I’m thinking about how awesome it would be to just throw in a Simpsons DVD and crash out.
As I’m walking to bed, I hear a rowdy group out in the parking lot. Stinkin’ kids. I peek out the window and see a naked woman walking up the hill in front of my building. She is being followed by a group of five people—four guys and another chick—and they’re all taking pictures with their camera phones.
I’ve seen a bunch of weird shit in my parking lot, but I have never seen a naked woman walking around out there. One night, I saw a couple having sex out in the shadows, but they didn’t even take their clothes off, and people banging with their clothes on isn’t nearly as cool as it at first seems. This was different, though—this was some naked chick walking right under the street light, I could see nipples and shave pattern (just your average Jane landing strip, in case you’re curious). She had shoes on, and because I’m old, one of my first thoughts was “Good thing she kept her shoes on—walking that close to the Dumpster, she probably would have stepped in some bad shit.”
And then I realized that there were boobs afoot, so I stopped looking at her feet. I considered running for my camera, but for the first time in forever, I didn’t have any batteries in it. See, my wireless mouse died yesterday, and I didn’t have any regular double-A batteries, so I just ganked a couple of the rechargeables from my camera. Bad move.
The merry group continued on their way, and they were soon out of sight. I stood on my deck for a while, thinking I should go to bed. But then I started wondering. Why was there a naked woman walking through my parking lot?
I was just drunk enough and just curious enough to try to find out. I pulled on a pair of pants, slipped into my high-tops, and crept out into the world.
I knew which building they had walked into, but I didn’t know which apartment. Because I’m practically Sherlock Holmes, I figured I would just walk around until I heard noise coming from a place, and then knock. Quick ask a couple of questions, and then call it a night.
Great plan, unless you accidentally disturb a couple getting…intimate. He was a good sport about it, though. See, what you might not know is that the sounds of rowdy sex can sound a lot like the sounds of a party, if you’re hearing it through a door.
He opened the door a crack, looking a little concerned.
And suddenly, I didn’t know what to say. The plan had been to just ask why was there a naked lady walking through the parking lot, but the plan had also been to ask the people who knew.
“Hey, uh, did you just get home?” I asked.
“No. We’ve been here for a few hours, uh…talking.”
“Oh, sorry, man,” I said.
What you need to realize here is that I was just now realizing what a terrible idea this was. As you read, you’re probably well aware of this. Rest assured that as I write it, I’m cringing like you wouldn’t believe. You know that old saying, “It seemed like a good idea at the time?” Yeah.
“Um, I just…there were some people who just got home. I’ve been drinking, and I ran out of smokes earlier, but I didn’t want to drink and drive, you know? So I was just gonna ask them if I could bum a smoke.”
Few things in this world can inspire solidarity like the brotherhood of smokers, and I felt a little dirty exploiting this bond.
“Oh, hang on a sec,” he said. He closed the door, and opened it a few seconds later, brandishing a cigarette at me.
“You’re a lifesaver, bro. Sorry to disturb.”
“No problem at all,” he said.
I wandered back out to the parking lot, disgusted by my idiocy. I walked across to the Dumpster—I quit smoking two years ago, so keeping the cigarette around as a souvenir was out of the question. I tossed the cigarette in, and turned to discover a couple of guys sitting out on their patio.
I lurched across the parking lot and called up to them. “What’s up, guys?”
“Not much,” they said in unison.
“Hey, uh, did ya’ll just get home?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“I’m a reporter.” My sarcasm doesn’t come across nearly as well when I’m drunk.
“You’re a reporter?”
“Sure, why not? You want to do an interview?”
“Don’t blame you a bit.”
“Who are you a reporter for?”
“The Daily Occupant. Can I just ask you a couple of questions?”
“We don’t live here.”
“I don’t blame you for that, either. Hey, did you see the naked girl in the parking lot?”
They muttered to each other for a second, then both stood up and walked inside. I came home, ready for bed. But then I started feeling like a dumbass, so I decided to call up my editor friend and harass her a little. On my recent visit back home, she complained to me that it had been a while since one of my super-cool, middle of the night/early morning drunken calls.
I decided I should enlighten her with news of the naked parking lot girl. I’m sure she felt it was worth it.