sometimes I get drunk
No really, I have been known to, now and again, experience altered states of conscious due to foreign substances entering into my body. I usually take time after such an event to write about it. But sometimes,days will go by without a break in the action. Unrelenting, the street calls. It begs for my presence across its spans of concrete and asphalt. In the past week, drunken fate has chosen to not yield to sobriety.
Tuesday: It started as most odd nights do, with something as innocuous as dinner with a friend. Never mind the fact that Rachel is a boisterous gal with a common disease of the mind I share that I call Orthodoxly Perceptionaly Challenged, and she likes beer too. Oh and she is a lesbian.
In this occasion the call came in that Brittany, a mutual friend will join us for dinner. I realize I will have two beer swilling dykes in my office in a couple of hours and have nothing to offer them. Post haste I make my way to Fred Meyer's on 39th to procure beverages.
Carrying two beer laden paper bags 8 blocks in Portland in March is not for just anyone. You can't set the bags down anywhere, because it is wet everywhere. The last time I tried that, the bottom of the bags started ripping out seconds later and it was only a transient's serendipitously abandoned shopping cart that saved me (I later returned
the cart to its resting place against a bike rack on the sidewalk, torn sock and all). It either requires heroic stamina, courage, and a willingness to overcome any obstacle, or a great deal of stupidity. As I rarely suffer from a lack of either, I bravely made my way back home in time to see my friends get off the bus in front of my building.
I decided that if I was going to die crossing the street, it might as well be while bringing beer to lesbians. An honorable death, I think you get awarded the Purple Heart, with pink triangular clusters and a crest of hops and barley.
It has since been brought to my attention that being a friend of mine does entail occasionally watching me risk my life without cause. Rachel and Brittany congratulate me on deftly dogging Hawthorne traffic and I present them with groceries.
Inside my office we share stories of buzzes long gone. Soon hunger moves us.
After eating some fabulous sandwiches at Okie Dokies and some browsing at In Other Words the gay woman's/straight woman's/gay man's book store we decided to hit Conan's Pub for the lubricant of my life.
What you should know about Conan's is that although it is listed as a sports bar, they have but two small T.V.s perched 15 ft up, which as far as I can tell, have never actually displayed more than a commercial for
sports. Being that it is located on the corner of 39th and Hawthorne what they do have is interesting clientele, and they got lots.
Somewhere in the evening Brittany brought up how her ex-girlfriend got her to try a number of sexual things she had never before experienced.
"I didn't seek out a butt plug, you understand," she said, "it just kinda happened."
"But your glad it did."
"Oh yea. A few years ago I couldn't imagine even considering it. I was being open minded..."
"...then you were just being opened."
"It was way better than I thought it would be."
Towards the beginning of the conversation Rachel began twitching somewhat. This is not entirely uncommon, as she is known for regular outward expression. By the end however she was in full arm-crossing, head-in-shirt burying, convulsions. We were able to keep up the pace of
the conversation not only because of my inquisitive nature but also a little to see if we could get her to squirm right off the bar stool.
She must have felt she was loosing her balance because she kept trying to excuse herself, but at about that time a 4-wheeled stranger introduced himself to Rachel.
"Hi my name is _______" ( I can't remember. He wasn't the first and lord knows he wont be the last.)
"Oh, hi. I'm Rachel."
"Are you going to be ok?"
"Yea, I should be fin..." She then looked at Brittany and the past 10 minuets of conversation came flooding back. "No, actually now I'm not so sure."
It turns out that, like us, our new friend is predisposed to entertaining phrases and antics. He would briefly describe one of his homosexual experiences then promptly hit on Rachel again.
I could tell that this kind of interaction would require more beer. Busty (the bartender) gave me the heads up on our friend in the wheelchair. Apparently harassing others was part of his M.O. As a patron of those who feel harassment is an under appreciated art form I immediately felt a kinship and told Busty that he was being fairly
entertaining, but I would monitor as best as I could (talk about the wolf guarding the hen house).
His greatest talent I observed was his ability to switch from being moderately funny to a little disturbing to downright gut busting. For instance he told a joke about skeleton with a drinking problem, then he busted out an old half-eaten sandwich he REALLY wanted to share with us, then began describing his preferred method for "stickin' it to the man."
This is a great example of what the human mind can accomplish when put to an ultimately meaningless task. For the longest time I didn't want to believe him, because reflected in his drive to obtain alcohol though
new and creative means was my own drive to obtain and
maintain the perfect buzz.
He would enter into the Fred Meyer's across the street (the same one I was in five hours earlier) with a bottle of water. Then go pick out his preferred bottle of champagne, (he specifically said champagne, and why not the bubbly, huh?) roll on over to the home/gardening department and
empty the water onto the soil of a poinsettia plant (are you following me here, can you feel our eyes widen?) then stuff the contraband into the pot.
As you can guess we had numbers questions, namely: "What!?!", "Really?", "That fucking works?", and "Really?" again.
For all of those aspiring to enter the lucrative field of stealing alcohol by hiding the bottle under a pot of earth you should know that according to leading sources, the top of a champagne bottle looks a lot like a poinsettia's trunk.
"What!?!", "Huh?", "Really", "That fucking works?", "Really?"
But wait, there's more. Before running down to your local
poinsettia/champagne merchant you should be aware of one last thing. He never buys just one plant, he always buys two poinsettias, but only steals ONE bottle of champagne.
At first I thought that having two plants would be an unnecessary risk. As the compare and contrast of having two plants next to each other (one with a bottle, one without) would only make your crime more obvious. (Some day I will create a Sunday cartoon of this guy in action where you
have two similar images but you have to circle the parts that are different. I could get a contract with Highlights for Children or something.) Then I realized that there may be some safety in numbers. Maybe, in a wheel chair, you could use one plant to shield the vision of the other. Or perhaps putting one plant on the conveyer belt while innocently holding the other and just having the unwitting accessory to theft scan the decoy twice.
"So why two plants?"
"Well I don't want them to think I am some sort of amateur."
Of course, I should have known. I was a little annoyed with myself for being caught off-guard by this guy yet again. I don't know how many times I have seen a guy in a wheelchair rolling around Fred Meyer with only one plant and I thought to myself, "what a fucking amateur."
The professional style of our friend was more than Rachel was able to take. She made her way to the bathroom trying to prevent drawing attention to herself which just works out to be her walking fast,laughing incredibly loud into her hand.
Shortly thereafter our new friend also excused himself to go dance. Somehow the conversation that Brittany and I were having prompted me to make an impression of a new Disney Character I called Masochistic Minnie. When Rachel returned she really wanted to tell us something but
we made her sit though a replay of my impression.
"I was just in the bathroom vomiting," she said matter-of-factly, without stopping, "when this girl walks in. And I guess it would have been smart for me to lock the door but," she shrugs her shoulders, "oh well. And she says, 'Oh my God, are you bulimic' And I look at her in disbelief and yell 'look at this body, does this look like the body of a bulimic to you?'"
Of course Rachel looks nothing like a bulimic. She nearly prides herself on her weight and makes no lame excuses for her size.
And that was it. Any sense of self-restraint was gone. I am thankful that the band was so loud because otherwise our laughter would certainly drowned them out. Rachel is not one of those waif kinda lesbians you might imagine vomiting to loose weight. No Rachel is my kinda gal, the type that vomits due to excess of beer. I apologized to her for making her sit though my impersonation of Disney's alter ego, Evil Walt's creation while that story boiled over.
Neither girl escaped from that bathroom without being embarrassed. I can imagine the concerned girl's feelings might have been a little hurt by our exaggerated hand movements and beating of the table, but at least this way she shouldn't have to be worried that she didn't do her part, right?