I’m still not quite ready to write about Scott, though you’re sure to meet him by default in my posts about everybody else. I do think I’ve found a way to blog about him harmlessly, but we’ll see. I’ve got to bounce it around in my own skull for awhile, then give him some time to really think about it before I put anything here.
In the meantime, we went to an egg hunt/party at a friend’s house yesterday and had a glorious time. Our hostess put away roughly a quart of Malibu Tropical Mojitos and spent the next several hours periodically asking “Are you laughing at me?” To which everyone would immediately respond “no no,” and then laugh harder. But it was true. We weren’t laughing at her. We were laughing at ourselves, because there wasn’t a single person at that party (well nobody over the age of 21 anyway) who hadn’t at some time been utterly drunk. It would have been impossible to explain to a woman who had just imbibed seven plastic cupfuls of liquor, but the reason we all kept breaking out in laughter was that we saw ourselves in her, and we loved what we saw.
For my part, I only drink on rare occasions. To begin with, there’s alcoholism in my family tree, and if my online gaming addiction is any sign, then yes, I do have the gene. But even more than that, I realized what a hangover looked like at a very young age and decided I never wanted to feel that disgusting. So I was probably the only sixteen year old on the planet whose mother was buying her bottles of rum with no concern for how they would be used. I made a killer rum cake (recipe courtesy of my semi-Aunt Mary), and Mom knew the alcohol went into the baking.
So I was twenty-two years old and in grad school before I ever got looped. In case you’re new to my life story, you should know I started college at sixteen, and finished my BA at twenty. There was an odd year in there where I kind of drifted, meaning I took more undergrad courses and debated grad school, and then I went to grad school at twenty-one, all of barely legal. Not that it mattered. As I said, I didn’t drink much. But. When I finished my English MA, I wanted to celebrate.
Scott and I, who had been together for a little under a year at that point, went over to a friend’s apartment for my birthday. There was champagne. More than that: there were margaritas, possibly my favorite beverage. We started with the champagne. Because I drink so rarely, I have almost no alcohol tolerance, and I was toasted by the end of the first glass and roasted by the end of the first bottle. There were two. And then, over the course of the evening, I had five margaritas.
I have no idea when Scott stopped drinking, but he was quite sober, and the rest of us were quite un-sober. I don’t think either Jen or Patrick got as Cherubimical as Jessie, but they were definitely still drinking. That, combined with the fact that Scott is fucking brilliant meant that when we sat down to play Trivial Pursuit, the game’s ultimate winner was a foregone conclusion. Within twenty minutes, he had every wedge in his pie filled except for pop culture, which he kept missing. I somehow kept nailing pop culture questions (even though I was the one who stopped watching TV at the age of fifteen), though I blew everything else, including, and especially, literature.
Q: “What religious group supplied the names of Whitman’s months?”
A: “Fucking Puritans. It’s all the fucking Puritans.”
Real A: “No, the Quakers.”
Q: “Which Madonna video…”
Real A: “I didn’t even finish the question.”
“Yeah, but I’m right.”
Q: “Which poet wrote “To My Dear and Loving Husband?”
A: “One of those fucking Puritans.”
Real A: [after a brief 3 way consultation which I wasn’t party to, since I had alcohol to drink.] “Close enough. Anne Bradstreet.”
“See? It’s always the fucking Puritans.”
Soon after, it became obvious that Scott was going to trounce us all rather completely, and interest in the game waned. Jen lived on campus, and we were playing around her standard-issue heavy round grad-housing table, which was roughly large enough for two people to sit at comfortably. Jen and Patrick had the apartment’s two chairs (also standard-issue: orange vinyl over heavy pressboard) and Scott and I were sinking into the couch, (still standard-issue: rough upholstery with no remaining springs to speak of) which was also too low for sitting comfortably at the table. I kept losing track of the conversation and slipping down further in my seat.
And then, without much warning, I wasn’t in my seat at all, but sitting in the floor under the table, staring at everyone’s knees. Now, there was room between Jen’s feet and the sofa for me to have simply crawled out. But this did not cross my mind, and I instead engaged myself in trying to regain my position by slithering back up onto the couch. It didn’t work at all. The hole was pretty much exactly the depth of my body, and now that I wasn’t oozing downwards, with gravity and my sitting position working in my favor, it was damn nigh impossible to fit back into my seat from below.
When I had finally achieved my goal, Jen asked, “Why didn’t you just come this way?” indicating the rather large gap I had ignored. I shrugged in merry bewilderment and felt inordinately pleased with myself for navigating my exit alone.
We left soon after, Scott supporting me down the stairs to the car. Riding home, the lines in the road kept moving and I could tell that, had I been driving, we would have plowed into the first tree we passed, because the damned thing was playing chicken with me, leaping out in front of the car, then moving back to the side of the road as soon as I looked at it head on. I pointed this out to Scott who said, “And this is why I have tonight’s keys.”
I went to bed dreading the hangover, but it never came. I woke up completely sober and without a headache or so much as a sour stomach. But I was mean. I was angry. Although I am a silly drunk, I have the potential to be a real bitch on the comedown. I think that’s another sign that I probably have that alcoholism gene, a rather sobering thought that limits my intake nearly all the time. Every once in awhile, I’ll get good and schnockered, and I’ve never had a mean-over as nasty as that first time, but I monitor my drinking carefully and usually stop before I even get a decent buzz. Most of the time, I just live through my friends and laugh uproariously at them when I see them drunk. For one thing, doing so leaves me free to remember the details later. And for another, I still don’t want to know how it feels to get hung over.
For anybody visiting from the Story Dam free linkup, this is an older piece from when I had just started blogging. It seems perfect for today’s request for anything but creative writing!