Switchin’ it up a bit tonight, Strangelanders—tequila. Let me tell you a little something about tequila and I: I stay away from this stuff. The last time that I got serious about drinking tequila, it was what you could either call a complete disaster or a complete success, depending on how you look at it.
Before jumping right into that story, let me give you a little history. And before that, I think I’ll pour myself a drink. I’ve got a small bottle of Sauza Gold, which I think is what Trey used to drink when he felt like destroying himself back in the day.
One shot down, and I didn’t even projectile vomit it across the room. Maybe you aren’t surprised by that, what with me being a world class drunk and all, but I’m a bit shocked—like I said, tequila and I generally don’t get along.
The first time I tasted this shit, I was a senior in high school. I was hanging out with an ex-girlfriend, hoping to maybe rekindle that old flame that people are always carrying on about. We went out to the lake, along with another couple. We all tossed back a shot of tequila, and I almost puked. Just like that. I maintained, though, keeping cool, acting like it was nothing. My body finally realized that I was planning on keeping this shit down, so instead of the need to puke, I got a pretty wicked stomach cramp. The evening—although not a complete disaster—didn’t go nearly as well as I had hoped. As much as I hate to admit it, it was my fault that I didn’t get any action that night. She was giving all the right signals, but all I could think about was how horrible it would be to try to explain it to her if I suddenly vomited all over her. After one shot.
I stayed away from tequila for years after that. About three years, I think, and then someone showed up at a party with a bottle. This was during the more…turbulent…years of my life, where I would try just about anything that came through the door with the promise of wrecking my brain and destroying my memory.
I grabbed the bottle of tequila and took a couple of swallows—as was the custom when someone brought booze into my house—and everyone hooted and hollered, look at Ray, he’s a monster. And then I was running out the door, puking all over the can-littered flowerbed and trying to keep my balance enough so that I didn't fall off the porch.
This was no regular vomiting, either. This was like Olympic-grade vomiting. This was vomiting that would make that little girl from The Exorcist feel bad about herself, like maybe she should just give up the whole “being possessed” thing and start going to church again.
And again, I swore off the evil stuff. Flash forward something like four or five years. I’m older and wiser, right? An old friend is in town for a brief visit, and has stopped by with a couple of beers. I have a couple of beers in my refrigerator, too, so we’re just sitting around my living room, shooting the shit, talking about old times.
“So I told some people I was coming over here,” he says to me, “They said they might stop by later.”
Not a big deal. It was a weekend, I remember that. That’s about all I remember about that night. The thing is, the people that showed up, they showed up with a couple bottles of tequila. I drank my beers, and they offered me the tequila, and I politely declined. Over and over, I declined.
They’re all drinking, getting more rambunctious, and having more fun than I am. After being offered the bottle five or six times, I finally accept. I take a drink, and there isn’t any urge to puke. In fact, the stuff doesn’t even taste so bad. I take another quick drink, and the room cheers. Drunk people love it when you give into peer pressure. I pass the bottle to whoever is next, and we continue talking about whatever we were talking about.
The next memory I have of that night is sprinting on a treadmill, my shirt off—this was back in my thinner days—a bottle of tequila in my hand, tipping towards my mouth, everyone cheering.
Next memory I have, I’m in some room, I’m not sure which one, but it’s got a reddish tint, and some girl’s bare ass is in my hand. I have no pants. These are the two facts that register in my mind, and then it’s all gone.
I wake up the next morning in my front room. I have a pair of jeans on, nothing else. I’m covered in magic marker, and lots of it is my own handwriting. The first thing I see is the decapitated head of a teddy bear—I find out later that the rest of him has been stapled to the lamp shade. There are calendars nailed all over every wall in my front room, I don’t know where they all came from, and there are blankets stapled to the ceilings, obscuring the light fixtures. Which explained the red tint from my memory.
Most of my kitchen furniture—chairs, tables, silverware—is in my back yard, along with a burned shirt that I find buried under a mound of dirt. My charcoal grill is filled with twigs and broken glass, and reeks of lighter fluid. There are various names scribbled in permanent black marker all over my back door, along with various notes proclaiming how great my parties are, and profanities. Again, some of this is in my own handwriting.
I find the pair of boxer shorts I had been wearing the night before hanging on the treadmill, alongside two bras. There’s lipstick on one of the bras, and I see an exposed pack of Polaroid film crumpled at the end of the treadmill.
Candy wrappers all over the place, as well as packets of hot sauce. My toothpaste is missing. My shower curtain is in my kitchen sink.
I’ve heard several versions of what went down that night, but I’ll never know for sure. I remember the few scenes I described above, and nothing else.
I never found any bodies, which is nice, and I’ve barely touched tequila since then. I’ve had a shot or two, but I generally keep myself under heavy guard when I have the desire to ingest the rotten stuff.
So why tonight? I don’t know, man. I just felt like a change, I suppose. Maybe I wondered what would happen if the more responsible me (a.k.a. the boring grownup) had a few sips of it.
I don’t plan on anything exciting going down, if you want to know the truth. Any more, the only way I cut loose is with my writing. And let’s be honest: waking up and finding that you’ve written a story about a couple of people fucking—no matter how descriptive—is hardly as exciting as waking up to find lipstick-stained bras next to your boxer shorts and congratulatory messages about penis size written on your newly-shaven pubic region.