You know that term, Don’t shit where you eat!? It should include Don’t drink where you work.
Friday night I’m off work and bored. Friends are busy, out with their boy/girlfriends, husbands/wives. The single ones can’t find sitters. There is always Daniel, of course. But movie night sounds kind of boring too. So I decide to stop and have a few drinks, see what the place is like from the other side of the bar.
Something about partying with the people I normally serve, it makes me nervous. My heart races, my foot taps incessantly, against my will. It doesn’t matter that they could care less, I still feel like I am under a microscope.
Sandy raises an eyebrow as I sit down at a stool across from her. “So you’re not too much of a snob to come out after all?” she chuckles.
“Ha ha,” I laugh.
“I thought maybe you didn’t drink,” she chuckles. “What are you having?”
Gin and tonic. I gulp it down.
And another. And another.
My friend Sasha shows up. She doesn’t live far away and her girlfriend is at work.
Jaeger probably isn’t the best thing to mix with gin. They don’t seem the likeliest of friends. One is mild mannered and botanical at first, but it keeps a .22 on its inside breast pocket and a shotgun behind it’s back. The other is rough and tough, semi-automatic black licorice. But its ok, I’m fine. I’m a pro.
Except I haven’t eaten all day.
It is an oversight, of course. I was busy, I forgot. But the thing about being a buck and a nickel, a buck and a dime at best is… if you’re going to drink, you cannot forget to eat! But I did. I forgot to eat. And the thing about that is it is something that creeps up on you, you don’t know where you’ve gone wrong until it is too late.
Not five minutes later one of the regulars, Justin, walks through the door. He is buying a round and he is buying it now. Of course, in the back of my mind I know it’s a bad idea, it is too much too soon no matter what the circumstances. Only disaster can come of it, but I do it anyway. I mean really, who passes up on a free drinks around here?
I feel fine at first. No, not just fine, I feel FANTASTIC. I am laughing and smiling and chain smoking on the porch, completely relaxed. Slowly, so slow I barely notice it is happening, things get hazy as I flicker between cognizance and blackout. Something bad happens, I’m not sure what, and Sasha rushes me out the door. We might stop in the bathroom first, I’m not sure. The next thing I remember is waking up to the feeling of someone staring at me. I don’t know where I am. It’s bright and there is a television on. I look around. It looks familiar but there is still gin and jaeger swirling around in my head and I can’t focus.
“How you feeling?” Sasha asks from the armchair next to me.
I rub my eyes, then my head. “Fanfuckingtastic,” I moan. “Did I… did I throw up last night?”
She giggles. “Yup.”
I groan. Something tells me I’m not going to like her answer to my next question even less. “Where?”
She doesn’t stop laughing to answer: “On the smoking porch.”
“Great. Did anyone see?”
Sasha nods. “Yup. Everyone saw.”
I try to smother myself with a throw pillow.
“That’s not going to help.”
“Why were you staring at me?”
“To wake you up.”
“Not as creepy as puking on the smoking porch in front of all your regulars.”