During that long hot summer there was always a house to drink at. Boisterous, drunken affairs that always seemed to wind down to quiet conversations in small, shadowy corners. The air that hung over everything seemed dark and heavy.
She attended a few of the parties that summer but he never paid her much attention. One night he stumbled upon her as he stepped outside to take a piss. She was seated on a quiet back patio and she invited him to sit with her. They talked and got drunk as the warm night slowly cooled.
They eventually made their way inside to a smattering of bodies lazily draped across each other on couches, beds and floors. In a front room they held each other close and caressed one another until dawn broke pale through a picture window and he heard her snoring in his arms.
Over the next few months she was vigilant to be with him.
They sat outside her apartment one rainy night and he told her things he never told anyone. She held him and stroked his shaved head as the rain beat on the hood of the car. The windows fogged and their breaths steamed in the cool humidity.
Eventually she gave up on him and those meaningful yet fleeting emotions that seemed just out reach. She was the first person that gave him hope and made him believe in something bigger. His gratitude dissipated into the ether and he hoped she understood how much those fleeting moments meant to him.
He awoke in dark bedroom laying in a heap next to a passed out girl he had never met before. They were both clothed, which was disappointing. He attempted to rouse her to ask her where they were. She didn’t move. He checked to see if she was still breathing and then stumbled out of the room and into the chaos of a raging party.
The apartment was small and packed with people. Music blasted making it difficult to think clearly. Smoke hung at eye level like an ominous fog. Around him he saw familiar faces. His body felt heavy, like a gravitational shift occurred the moment he walked out of the bedroom.
He made his way outside to a biting yet comforting cold. He walked down stairs and was surprised to see snow covering a vast parking lot. The flakes fell softly and quietly and the party became distant.
The quiet was almost deafening. He couldn’t tell if his ears were ringing from the party or from the silence. He trudged along in the snow and found his way to the street. It was deserted in both directions and the street lights cast a haunting glow over the white landscape.
He walked down the middle of the street for a long time, his feet crunching with each step. He fumbled in his pocket for a cigarette and lit it. He took a long drag and spit, his saliva seemingly freezing before it the ground.
He then cursed as he tried to remember what happened to his coat.
He stared across the bar as he took one long sip from a lukewarm glass of whiskey. The liquor in his system produced a wicked combination of agitation and unease and he felt the urge to light a cigarette and strike up a conversation with the drunk girl sitting next to him.
His friends were somewhere else in the packed room, and he enjoyed the brief, albeit loud, solitude. A thick layer of smoke hung overhead and he motioned to the bartender for another drink. As he attempted to light his cigarette, the drunk girl bumped into him and he dropped it onto the floor. He felt indifferent as it was ground into the moist floorboards. He looked over at the drunk girl and a wave of disgust washed over him as her head bobbed back and forth as she whispered “Sorry.” Her friend caught her as she almost fell off the back of the barstool.
He rubbed his eyes until they burned and tried to remember what day it was. Wednesday? Friday? The days were running together lately and he had almost forgotten what it was like to notice.
His friends were wrapped up in the night and drinking like conquering heroes completely unaware of who they were. The senseless emptiness of it all hit him hard as he walked back into the crowd with a fresh glass of whiskey.
The first night he first met her he saw her dancing from afar at a party. Swaying drunkenly to some soft, emotionless, radio-friendly anthem that she later told him was deep and meaningful to her. As the empty pop music spoke to her, she turned the wood paneled basement into her private dance floor.
No one else at the party was dancing but that didn’t stop her. She moved across the musty carpet and people watched her as they absently drank watered down beer and cheap wine. Groups of drunk girls in dark corners took languid pulls from their cigarettes and whispered to one another. He imagined they were judging her because she seemed more free than they were.
She wasn’t smart, or unique, or even beautiful. But she seemed different.
He pulled her aside and struck up a conversation. Later she would tell him that night was filled with poetry and magic. In a dusty laundry room on a concrete floor, they came together over a pack of cigarettes and red Solo cups full of keg beer.
It started the way he imagined all great love affairs do. Late nights that turned into dark mornings where the reality of it all hung heavy in the dawn’s cold light. Long, sad conversations were spawned by the emptiness in the world around them. He never remembered anything they talked about of significance, but he felt in those moments she understood him. She loved listening to Mazzy Star and he pretended to love listening to Mazzy Star. They made love for hours and she often fell asleep afterwards. With her long legs intertwined with his and her dark hair flowing across his chest, he felt content for the briefest of moments. He enjoyed laying there in the darkness with her and listening to the soft hum of traffic while smelling her shampoo over the ashes of their Marlboro Reds.
When he was with her, his sadness and depression seemed to ease, so he lost himself in the time he spent with her and longed for more of it. He smothered her and she quietly slipped away. Those eyes that once appeared so warm and vivacious turned distant and he finally saw her for what she was: vacuous.
He soaked his heartache in alcohol, determined to drown the memory of her.
He stumbled down the steps of that basement not long after it ended and there she was, dancing alone. The lost faces around the room watched her and either yearned to be her newest conquest or pitied her. He looked around and realized the basement and those furious nights were never filled with magic or poetry. Disgusted, he walked back up the stairs and out into the cold night where the snow had just begun to fall.
DJ:Something that makes the baby Jesus cry and me cry tears of happiness. Me: That would have helped us in Vegas. DJ: If we had that in Vegas one or both of us would be dead. Me: I disagree. A hooker and her family would definitely be dead. But us? Not a chance. DJ: Like hookers have families. Unless, of course, you mean the other hookers living in her hooker nest. Me: So like how rabbits live in dens? That’s how hookers live? In hooker dens? DJ: Exactly. Me: So if a whore dies, then another one just shows up to replace the dead one? DJ: Yes. Just like bunnies. They huddle together for warmth and know that if a predator comes, there’s safety in numbers. One may die, but at least they improve their survival odds. Me: By predators you mean guys that drink whiskey from a can? DJ: Bingo.
Me: Thanks for the Xmas card. Tanya: You are welcome. Me: I teared up a little because it was so nice. Tanya: Teared up on the inside, right? Because tearing up on the outside would make you gay. Me: Yes. I bury all my emotions deep inside because otherwise I would be gay. I would rather drink through my emotional issues and kill a kid in a crosswalk DUI style then talk about my feelings. Tanya: Sounds like the manly thing to do. Me: Indeed.
I must own this book and pass on its wisdom to the boy. Here are some of my favorites maxims with comments directed at my infant son as if he were an adult with the ability to reason:
Surround Yourself With Smart People. You are who you hang out with. Your friends will expect you to do what they are doing alongside them. Smart people expect you to be intelligent and well read. Drug addicts expect you to pass the Guns N’ Roses coke mirror you won at the carnival balloon-dart game after snorting a line.
It Is Not A Gang Without The Cool Girl. Be sure to always have at least one cool girl in your inner-circle of friends (bonus if she is hot). She can provide invaluable feminine perspective and is bound to bring around other cool girls. You may even marry her someday.
Ask Your Mother To Dance. There is no better way to make your mother’s night then taking her for a spin around the dance floor and acting like it is fun and not a chore. You will do this and you will like it.
Do Not Get All Fancy About Your Beer Or Coffee. Coffee? Black. Beer? Yes, please. It is as simple as that.
Do Not Have A Girlfriend In College. Think of all the awesome shenanigans you can get into while attending college. Now think about doing them while maintaining a steady relationship with an average looking girl that you met in the first week of your freshman year.
Never Sit Down On A Ball Field. Take A Knee. You do not sit down on a sports field unless you are severed at the torso and have no legs. Even then, you still take a stump.
Always Meet Your Date At The Door. Do not be the dickhead honking the horn in the driveway. Go up to the door and ring the bell. Doing this affords you the opportunity to open the car door for her as well. Double the points, my son.
Yes Ma’am. No Sir. No Exceptions. People that are older than you are always sir or ma’am. Even if your friends parents tell you to call them by name you still call them sir or ma’am.
Try To Lose The Adverbs. Nothing illustrates how weak your vocabulary is more than an adverb. You are not very tired. You are exhausted. You are not extremely happy. You are ecstatic.
Keep Your Word. Even the over-consumption of liquor does not excuse you from this one. If you tell someone you will do something, you do it.
If You Are Good At Something, Never Do It For Free. Excluding sex, masturbating and murder.
Walk It Off. This philosophy that can be applied to many situations including electrocution, being on fire and venereal diseases.
Never Be Afraid To Ask Out The Best Looking Girl In The Room. Be fearless. What is the worst that can happen? She says no and you call her a lesbian? You are still in the same position you were in when you walked into the room.
You Do Not Get To Choose Your Own Nickname. You are luckier than most as you have a sweet last name that can be shortened to “Broz” or “Brozo.” Even so, you do not ask anyone to call you this. They must do it of their own accord.
I have to give credit where credit is due: this kid has a fantastic idea for a Halloween costume. He does not need a double amputee to pull it off, however. Roll behind a Kohl’s and look for some discarded mannequin parts in the dumpsters. Piece together a torso and some arms and legs. Pick up some gold spray paint and you have yourself a rudimentary (yet light) C3P0. Imagine the logistics of having a double amputee strapped to your back all night. What happens if you (or the amputee) has to take a shit? Even without legs I am assuming a double amputee weighs 75 pounds (if not more). That is a lot of weight to be huffing around sober let alone with your veins pumping Jack Daniels. What if there is a slut dressed as Slave Leia at the party? Are you prepared for that menage-a-trois?
I think my idea for a Halloween costume is better than what this kid is attempting to pull of, anyway. Me as the “host body” and my infant son strapped to my mid-section as the alien Kuato from the movie Total Recall. I may have to hold out until next year for when the boy is talking so he can quip “Open your mind” upon presentation.
The wife and I braved freezing temperatures last night to watch game three of the National League Divisional Series in a four and a half hour affair that left our extremities numb. 50,000 faithful at Coors Field were in attendance, an impressive number considering the cold. Some highlights:
The Rockies organization once again fucked up some form of the post-season. The game started at ten after eight. We arrived at the gates at ten ‘till eight, happy we would be catching the first pitch. We waited outside Coors Field for forty five minutes in the cold. No announcements as to why tickets were not being taken. No signage explaining why there was a delay. Chants of “Let Us In,” almost degenerate into an angry mob poised to rush the gates and get into the game. My sweet wife even mentioned to me how easy it would be to get away with kidney-punching Phillies fan in the mayhem.
By the time we get to our seats, it is the bottom of the second inning and the Rockies are up 2-1. Fucking Rockies organization. I almost don’t enjoy my Rockies Dog and refreshing beer(s).
Our section is fun early on; good fans, good spirits and an overall good vibe. This situation changes as sobriety slips away and is replaced with stupidity. Once polite Phillies fans sitting a few sections below us become raging assholes and start picking fights. One of the fans is a fat white guy who has long dreadlocks. Insults are hurled his way. “Cut your hair, white Bob Marley,” and, “Got any weed?” and my personal favorite (because I said it), “Go home to your bottle of shampoo, hairbag.”
The couple in the row below us are stoned out of their mind. Through out the game, the guy eats slices of salami he has smuggled into the game via his coat pocket. No Ziploc. No brown bag. Literally eating slices of salami from his coat pocket.
The girl below us dances like she is at a rave every time music comes on. Her balance is so off I remark to the wife, “That girl is going to take a spill.” Within minutes of my comment, it happens. The crowd is on its feet after Carlos Gonzalez belts a solo shot to right field and the girl takes a head plant into the seats below her, flips over another row, lands on her head again and somehow manages to finish the maneuver with her ass in a seat four rows down. She looks confused, disoriented and possibly concussed. Her boyfriend expresses no concern and casually takes another slice of salami from his coat pocket.
We decide to head out in the bottom of the ninth as our infant son it at his grandparents and probably needs sleep. It kills us both considering Brad Lidge has been a nightmare closing ball games this season. By the time we arrive at the the car, the Rockies have lost 6-5, unable to cash in two walks.
Upon further reflection, I should have kidney-punched a Phillies fan to make my night more enjoyable. Especially the fat one with dreadlocks.
My mom called this morning to inform me that the boy was exposed to some form of a coughing disease a few weekends ago at her house (my young nephew being the little monkey from Outbreak in this scenario). I told my mom that this weekend the boy was exposed to the drunken stupidity of my sixteenth annual fantasy football draft, his dad repeatedly calling the Rockies a “bunch of dirty ball sacks” for getting swept in San Francisco and the assorted programming of the History Channel including Gangland and one very disappointing show about prison tattoos that mostly focused on the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. She said I should get him get him “checked out” just to be safe.