Monday, January 17, 2005

S.-A.-T.U.R.-D.A.Y. NIGHT!

Friday was an especially long day at the end of an especially long week. The especially late drive home was in especially dense traffic, and took and especially long time to get home. I was especially frustrated with no outlet, so I sat at home in front of the television and watched especially annoying Friday night programming, ready to leap out of my skin. I took an especially shitbucket walk down to the liquor store, past smiling couples and laughing groups of well scrubbed folks out for a night on the town, bought myself an especially cold case of beer, and walked back home. I started drinking my beer and it didn't seem to release any of my tension, and I was getting restless so I decided to walk down to an all night diner, where I bought myself a burger, scarfed it down, walked home and finished my case of beer. Saturday I slept in past one, then went down to a local pizza place and ate a pie while reading my book. I drove home and called Bob, whose wife, Nina answered the phone. 'You're Phil? Bob talks a lot about you.' I didn't know if that was bullshit - our interactions are so limited that there hasn't been enough social fodder exchanged to generate enough worthwhile material to mention to a spouse - but she sounded so sincere and chippy, just like Hubby with his blinding smile, that I believed her. Which isn't to say I liked her and looked forward to our dinner, but there you go. 'You're not a vegetarian, are you?' 'Fuck no!' I answered, then she paused and started giving me intensely detailed directions and I told her to just give me her address and I would look it up on the computer, she asked 'are you sure? it's difficult!' and I assured her that I would be okay. It's difficult? It's a goddamned HOUSE. On a goddamned STREET. In the same goddamn CITY. She was acting like Indiana Jones couldn't find it. I spent the remainder of the sunny afternoon reading, and looking at pornography on the internet. Eventually, the time for me to leave rolled around and I took a shower, dressed in some of my nicest duds, and looked up the address on Yahoo Maps. I've been fucked by the disgusting sludge at Map Quest before, so Phil is a Yahoo man. Yahoo gave me directions, which had a distressing amount of information, including many streets I was to be on for .1, and ,2 miles. I carefully folded up the directions are carried them to my car, and drove to the liquor store and bought a bottle of wine and a small bottle of vodka. I looked for the best deal, and I found a dusty bottle in a bin that looked fine and was drastically marked down. I paid for it, cleaned it off with my sleeve, drank the small vodka bottle, and drove toward their house. Finding their place was a world class pain in the ass, they were located up on a hill filled with switchbacks, one way streets, streets that stopped and continued blocks later, streets with the same name and different Ave, Blvd., Pl, St. suffixes, and to top it off, it was located in a neighborhood with no parking, and streets that were not wide enough to allow more then one car to pass at the same time. I immediately got lost and spent half an hour driving around not knowing where the fuck I was. I got sweaty and agitated and was considering calling the whole thing off and driving home (if I was lucky enough to find a way out of the nightmare, rather then having to spend the rest of eternity driving forlornly around in the hills), when I just happened to come across their street. Parking was another ordeal, and I parked a few blocks away and had to negotiate my way back. I arrived late and disheveled and short of breath, but their front door was open and I could hear inviting music inside. I walked in holding the wine. Bob said hello, profusely thanking me for the wine and shaking my hand. I met his wife, Nina, who was pretty, but had some weird eye thing going on where if you looked at her straight, both orbs seemed to be focusing in slightly opposing directions. It was distracting. Their home was small, but very tastefully decorated. A very pleasant home, they had been nice enough to take the time to set up a cheese and crackers spread, and they was a tin tub full of cold beers on ice. There was some wine that had already been opened, and they poured me a glass and gave me the grand tour. I was very impressed, the decor was all well done, with carefully placed bric a brac and framed prints, all making me more insecure about my apartment, which is a fucking horrible mess that isn't fit for human habitation. I started draining the expensive tasting wine and eating the cheese and crackers and drinking beers and the booze started getting on top of me, but it made the conversation much easier and I was feeling more comfortable - they did most of the talking, about Bob's transfer from different workplaces, and Nina's freelance work at home, they told me stories about Uncles, Aunts, close friends, siblings, successful nephews, and a Brother in Law that had just gotten out of jail after killing two people in a drunken car accident. I was glad I was rarely directly addressed, because when I did talk the I seemed to be missing a gear between my brain and my mouth, and my comments were stuttered and slurred from alcohol and general nervousness. I don't think it mattered, I wasn't a guest, I was an audience for their presentation of The Happy Couple Show. Eventually we got into my wine, and I saw Bob flinch when he took the first sip, but he gamely kept going. After his glass he went on to the beers, so I finished my bottle of wine. When the food was finished Bob & I retreated to the dining room table while Nina prepared the meal. It was a big hunk of roast beef, steam gently wafting on the side, and Bob carved it in front of me. It was great. They kept talking and I kept drinking, and they seemed to be filtered through fog and were always at least ten feet away, and I was always behind of their conversation by at least one sentence. I was dimly aware that I was chewing with my mouth wide open, and I didn't know if the horrified gazes on the part of the couple were alcohol induced paranoia, or legitimate. I had to get up to go to the bathroom, and when I got up I knocked over my chair, which crashed into some end table, which made a lamp fall over. I apologized profusely and offered to help clean up but my visit to the bathroom was getting urgent and the deep pangs of horror in my bowels were getting more insistent. I remember going into the bathroom, and the next thing I knew I was woken up by someone pounding on the bathroom door. I got up off the floor, not able to figure out if I had even managed to use the bathroom, and opened the door to Bob, who was flushed and angry looking. "I'VE BEEN POUNDING ON THIS DOOR FOR HALF A FUCKING HOUR!" he yelled, Nina screamed something, and then he screamed at her, and she screamed back to him. I tried to apologize but gibberish rather then intelligent defensive verbiage spilled out, so I started walking out while they yelled at each other. As soon as I got out the door, I heard it slam so hard that I heard a crash immediately after.

Then I couldn't find my car. I induced vomiting in some bushes and wandered around, my feet were heavy and not responding properly to my brain, I had a difficult time staying on the sidewalk, I was getting confused and lost my orientation and eventually became completely lost, verging on panic. I eventually made it back to Bob and Nina's house, where I was able to properly figure out the direction I arrived from, and made it to my car. I opened it, stuffed myself in the back seat, and fell asleep for a few hours. I woke up, got in the front seat, and still drunk (but not catastrophically so) drove home. I figured the only people on the road at that hour were drunks and teenagers up to no good, so if by chance I passed out and killed someone, the odds of me killing someone I would later feel guilty about were pretty low.

I woke up the next day with a horrible hangover. I tried to call Bob and Nina, but they didn't answer. I saw Bob at work today and he ignored me, which is fine by me.

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