NOTE: You can blame Karen for this post. I was about to go to bed, completely okay with the fact that I had a bottle of booze that scared me. She is a digital enabler, though, and totally got me to take shots.
I can't think of a single time I've ever tried to write while drinking tequila. Not surprising, really, considering the fact that I rarely remember anything when I'm drinking tequila. But I really don't think I've ever tried writing with tequila beside me. Whiskey's my trusted and true sidekick, although I'll give vodka or gin their chance, every once in a while.
But tequila is not a sit-and-write kind of beverage, in my opinion. It's better with friends who can keep secrets and towns with lazy police officers.
I'm a little afraid of tequila. It has done terrible things to and for me in the past. Fun, but terrible.
I used to just throw up when I drank it. Didn't matter what kind, didn't matter how it was served, didn't matter how much I had. I'd take a drink, and two minutes later, I'd be puking. In retrospect, I think that was my body understanding what would happen if I was allowed to contain the filthy stuff.
And then something happened. A friend of mine was visiting from Germany. I invited him over for a few drinks. I lived in a dry county at the time, which meant a good twenty minute drive to the county line if you wanted beer or wine, and around forty minutes if you wanted to get to an actual liquor store. After inviting this guy over, I realized I only had five beers, which really isn't enough, when you're catching up with a good friend.
I mentioned this to him on the phone, and he told me no problem, he'd take care of the alcohol situation. He showed up a while later, with no alcohol whatsoever.
"I invited some people over," he said. "I hope that's okay."
I was pretty easygoing about who came to my house, and what went on there, so I told him it wasn't a problem. We sat around, nursing our beers and talking about all the stuff you talk about with good friends.
A knock on the door, and a couple of people came in. They had tequila. I believe two bottles, but my mind gets hazy at this point, almost like just the idea of tequila makes my memories hurt.
I got shot glasses for them, and when they tried to include me, I refused with great fervor. I explained how tequila and I were not, and had never been, friends. I drank my beer, and they took their shots, and we had a good time.
But the thing about drinking a few beers in a relatively short amount of time is that you start thinking maybe things aren't such a bad idea. Sure, tequila had always been pretty evil to me, but they were all drinking it, and they seemed to be having a really good time.
They poured another round of drinks, once again offering one to me.
"Well," I said, "Maybe one. Just one."
They all cheered. We took our shots. And the blinds go down.
You remember those binocular things from when you were a kid? Viewmasters?
You'd pull that little lever on the side, and there'd be nothing but black for a second, and then when you let off, there was an entirely new picture for you to look at.
That's how my night went immediately after I had that first shot of tequila.
We took that first shot, and everyone cheered, and I thought, "Well hey, that wasn't so bad."
The next memory I have is running on a treadmill. Shirtless. A cigarette in one hand, a bottle of tequila in the other. The room was full of people--many more than the original guy from Germany and his two friends. There were probably ten people in there, all of them drinking and smoking and yelling and cheering. I'm not sure what they were cheering about, but they were all looking at me, so I assume it was something I had done or something I was doing. This was back in my leaner days, so it was okay for me to have no shirt.
Also, I guess it was okay about the cigarette and the tequila. But what was weird was that I wasn't walking on the treadmill, I wasn't jogging on it. I was flat-out running, and judging by the sweat that was pouring down my body, I can only deduce that I had been doing it for quite some time.
Lever down. Blackness.
We're on my back porch, there's a little table-top charcoal grill that we used to make hotdogs sometimes. Currently, it's barely containing a raging fire. There are branches in there, limbs, crayons, and I see at least three people with plastic bottles of lighter fluid. Everyone's still cheering. I'm sitting in someone's lap. I turn to discover it's one of my friends, I don't know when she arrived. There are people writing on her with magic markers, mostly on her arms, but one guy's writing on her neck, lower and lower, getting dangerously close to the under-the-top-of-the-bra line. I try to give her a thumbs-up, but I have no idea if it worked out.
The guy from Germany, I don't know what he's doing, saying something about something, I throw a bottle at his feet. It's a beer bottle, I don't know where more beer came from. He laughs and dances in the glass, and then someone tells him to stop, he doesn't have shoes on. "Where are my shoes?" he yells, honestly surprised.
"You threw them in the fire, I think," someone says.
But to chaos. The memories I have here are like fever dreams, wrong colors, all kinds of laughing, that sense that what you're doing is completely insane, but doing it anyway. Everything is a blur of mixed senses,
I wake up the next morning, I don't even understand where I'm at. After several seconds, I finally realize I'm in my bedroom. It looks exactly the way it did before, and I wonder if maybe the craziness was just some insane tequila dream.
I climb out of bed, open my bedroom door, and walk into a room where knives are stuck in the walls. Nope. Too weird to think about before I've had a chance to pee and maybe vomit.
I stumble into the bathroom. Light's already on, toilet lid's already up, the life of a bachelor is so convenient. I finish peeing, and turn to the sink to wash up. The mirror over my sink has been almost completely colored over in black marker. Just above the light switch are the words, "Ray, suck dick. Love, Julian."
I wash my hands and my face, but decide to skip over the teeth-brushing for the moment. Gag-reflex is on a hair-trigger, and I'm already figuring out that I'm going to have enough to clean up without adding morning vomit.
The kitchen is a wreck, but it always is, so that isn't too disconcerting. The motorized treadmill is still running, and so is the stereo. Eminem is yelling about how he doesn't give a fuck, and I like that about him. I pull out the key that stops the treadmill, and grab my cigarettes off the top of the stereo. I light one up as I open my back door and step out into the yard.
The first thing I notice is the broken glass all over the concrete patio. The second thing I notice is the little grill that is brimful of ashes. I close the door behind me, and that's when I notice the third thing--that my door has all kinds writing on it, in several different colors of permanent marker. Shit.
Also, that's when I realize that my arms are also covered in all different kinds of permanent marker. I lift up my shirt, and sure enough, my chest is covered. Legs, too. I tuck my cigarette into the corner of my lips and do a quick down-the-pants check. Everything's covered in marker. I see a couple names I don't recognize on some of my more private areas, and make a mental note to ask my German friend about them.
In the corner of the backyard, I see a little color sticking up from a mound of freshly-dug dirt. I stumble across my yard and yank on the fabric. From underneath the dirt comes the remains of the shirt my friend was wearing last night. The bottom half has been burned off. I drop it back onto the ground and make my way around to the front.
On my front door is a giant picture of a penis, along with some of the filthiest words mankind has ever thought up. The door's unlocked.
The front room, which is usually completely bare, except for a couple of boxes stacked in the corner, has been...remodeled?
There's a giant blanket stapled to the ceiling, causing the light--still on--to cast a crazy red across the entire everything. There are pages of calendars stapled to the walls (six years worth, ranging in time from 1964 to 2000). The TV in the corner, which I thought was broken, is turned on and playing a muted porno movie. A stuffed animal given to me by an ex-girlfriend has been beheaded and gutted all across the top of a lamp.
I lurch into the next room and call my friend, the girl from last night, with the lap I was sitting in.
"Uhg," she says instead of hello. "What do you want?"
"What happened last night?"
"We are never talking about last night. All of us agreed."
"Do you have names written on you? And other things?"
"Like...all over you?"
"You don't remember?"
"I barely remember anything."
She laughs. "It's too early for this. We'll talk about it later."
I glance around my house for a few minutes, before I remember that it's Sunday morning and I have a giant dick drawn on my front door.
I grab a can of paint and begin erasing a past I can't remember.
So anyway, me and tequila aren't the best of friends. For some reason, I bought a bottle of it tonight.
This is the first time I've ever tried writing while drinking tequila. It wasn't quite as exciting as I'd hoped it would be.