So it's snowing. Everywhere but here. Well, everywhere but here and Florida, but living in Florida is it's own certain punishment by way of batshit crazy meth-crime, so I'm pretty much doing better than you. All of you. Sorry. I feel bad, I really do. You can tell because I haven't been posting pictures of the sun, or palm trees or the beach AT ALL. I feel like that somewhat illustrates my sympathy, right? That being said, I've been through a few snowdays of my own. And because I remember the rush of a freshly powered town full of only open bars, I leave with you this--an excerpt from my first book, Rebound. Here ya go, it's a story about drinking on snowdays!
Oh and Bobby don't read it, it has SEX STUFF and also if some of it doesn't make perfect sense it's because there are "in" jokes from earlier in the book, a duhhhh. HAPPY SLEDDING and watch out for cement walls and micro-dicks!
Nothing Like a Good Day-Drink
by Auriane de Rudder
Christmas time was quickly approaching, and in true holiday form, not one, but two Christmas miracles would occur. The first of these miracles, was that, despite my inability to keep my pants on, Paul actually called. I was floored. Was it only actual penetration that sent men running in the other direction, and was receiving first-date-head okay? Was Paul just so smitten that he was willing to overlook my slutty mistake? Sure, it had been nearly a month since I’d seen him, but Paul was a busy guy, right? And busy Paul wanted to get dinner together. I accepted.
Dinner was an intimate affair. Paul and I sat tucked away in a tiny Vietnamese Noodle shop with an oddly high-end wine menu. Paul’s silver hair had returned, and his eyes sparkled in the low-lighting. He apologized for being out of touch, and explained that between volunteering to coach a youth basketball league, being a Big Brother to an underprivileged little boy named Tyrone, and running his own successful real estate business, he hadn’t had much time for romance. Basically, Paul was Jesus. A hot, hot Jesus. Well, that or he was married and totally full of shit. Shit that I happily ate up with a spoon, mind you.
I liked being out with someone so pulled together. It was immediately clear that to score with such Grade-A-Man-Meat, I would have to represent myself well. I told Paul about the stories I enjoyed writing, eliciting laughs from some of my better punch lines. I shied away from any stories involving drunken debauchery or the bar where I worked, aware that my clear alcoholism might be viewed as a negative by some. We talked about our tastes in food, art, and film. We shared an affinity for John Waters’ movies, and Paul liked that my love for the filmmaker was deeply rooted, thanks to the years I spent living in Baltimore. Things were going stunningly well. I was careful not to over-imbibe, hell-bent on proving to Paul I wasn’t just that floozy that he had taken home from the bar weeks prior.
The main problem with jumping into bed with someone right away is not that you’ve sped through the mystery of getting to know one another. It’s not the stigma attached to first date sex, either. Those are two legitimate problems, sure. But no. The main problem is that once you’ve been in bed together, it’s oh-so easy to go back. The fact that the restaurant was only steps away from Paul’s beautiful luxury condo was no accident. Floozy be damned, moments after dinner, I found myself right back where it all started.
Paul’s sheets still smelled like lemon pies and marshmallow, and this time? I put out.
As I slept in Paul’s oversized bed, I dreamt of fuzzy baby animals and attractive men. My mind filled only with my favorite things, I hoped that Paul and I would continue down this path. The night before, he had been funnier, more charming, and better looking than I had remembered. This guy had his life together, gave a serious shit about giving back to his community, and then? There was that condo. Of course, it couldn’t be all sunshine and roses. We all know how this trade-off works, right? Paul had sort of a micropenis.
A micropenis, in case you don’t know, is a penis that is so everloving small that most insurance companies will cover an enlargement. Seriously. Micropenis is a real term. Given his accomplishments and insane charisma, I expected Paul to have practically no penis at all. So I compromised when I saw that there was at least something between his legs. Small was okay, just this once. And it wasn’t so small he’d qualify, as, like, medically deformed. Besides, an orgasm is an orgasm, right?
While I snoozed, the second Christmas miracle would occur: As the temperature steadily dropped, it began to snow. It snowed through the night and well into the morning. Little flakes became big flakes, the temperature steadily dropping low enough to allow the snow a comfortable stay on our traditionally too-warm ground. I awoke to find Paul’s condo blanketed in a beautiful white. No traffic in the street, no birds chirping. The weather had gifted us with a romantic morning after, quiet and still. Although I hated snow—the shoveling, the plowing, the way it turns a sooty gray in the streets—I was excited to spend extra time with my new honey.
Now, snow in Nashville is not entirely uncommon, but any more than a quick dusting, mixed with sleet and rain, is pretty unheard of. Because of this we literally do not have snow plows. We do not have salt trucks. Seriously. We have to borrow them from neighboring counties. So when it really snows in Nashville? Nashville gets one hell of a day off. And what better to do on a snow day, than drink?
I was still in Paul’s bed when the girls called. Mandy, Cassandra and I met through our mutually shitty jobs at The Broadway Brewhouse. We also, partly because of said shitty jobs, shared a penchant for drinking to the point of excess. When wasted, each of us turned from a well-educated, level-headed woman, into a screeching, casually violent and impossible-to-handle lush. We were unforgivable caricatures, and yet we always understood and forgave one another. We were our own best enablers. By the sound of their voices over the phone, they had already been drinking.
“Girl! Wake the fuck up it’s a snow day!” Mandy shouted over the line.
Her voice was shrill with vodka shots, and Cassandra chuckled in the background.
“Ugh,” my voice was hoarse and sleepy, “I’m not even home yet.”
I had already gushed to the girls about my new love interest, sharing what women share. I told them how handsome Paul was, and how successful. I told them about our first night together, and all three of us were mutually shocked when Paul had asked me to dinner. Unfortunately I had also told the girls where Paul lived. Not one to take no for an answer, Mandy was parked in front of Paul’s condo and still screeching over the phone not ten minutes later.
I panicked. Paul meeting my drunkest of confidantes would cast a shadow over his opinion of me. The jig would be alarmingly up. I tossed on my outfit from the night before, and ran outside without giving Paul even a kiss goodbye. I muttered something about an important brunch meeting, which wasn’t exactly a lie, seeing as “brunch” was our code for drinking before noon. I felt terrible abandoning my new love without a goodbye, but one thing was clear: Either I would come out, or the girls would come in. I had no choice but to go with them. An innocent angel, I was forced by circumstance. Forced…to Day Drink.
Nearly everything in Nashville shuts down when it snows. No grocery stores, no banks. No hairdressers or businesses open their doors. Only a small handful of businesses open, and they are all local bars. Corporate, clean establishments, the kind you’d find in any town, go ahead and call it a snow day. This meant that Mandy, Cassandra and I were not expected to come in and work at the Brewhouse. But on the dingier side of town, it was business as usual. As we drove through east-East Nashville, a little before noon, people were walking the streets, already hoping to score a warm bar-side seat. Here, drunks and other day-offers were celebrating the snow with shot specials and extra layers of clothing. We were not alone in our mission. The fact that everyone else seemed to be up for a good Day Drink eased my mind. The shots would go down a little smoother, now. Heck, Paul may have even had the same day-off plans to get AM-wasted. Everyone was doing it. So why not me?
We began our journey into daytime alcoholism at a bar called Tippys Tavern. As usual, all three of us knew the bartender well. A busty blonde with a heavy hand, we had worked with Kimmie at Brewhouse several months prior. She had since moved on to this divey, smoke-filled establishment, not because the tips were much better, but because of the lack of management. Kimmie was now allowed to pour liquor into her friends’ mouths freely and without consequence. We threw back free shots and listened to a lone man on an acoustic guitar sing songs about warmer weather. We ordered margaritas and tropical shots, and thought about the same.
The next seven or twenty-two bars we hit are irrelevant. I remember shots of tequila being the last liquor on my lips before I staggered to a cab by myself. It was dark now, meaning that we had been drinking for a minimum of six hours. I managed to get home in one, sloppy piece, and, like the delicate jewel that I am, passed out half naked on the cool kitchen floor. A roommate walked in mid-strip, and stood above me, shaking her head in disapproval.
“Auriane, you’ve got to stop this shit,” she said.
She walked away, muttering words like “evict,” and “new roommate.” I couldn’t for the life of me figure out which roommate it was. She was taller than me, had hair, and probably eyes. The rest was too blurry to make out.
It was around 8pm when I passed out, and within an hour, Paul was calling my cell. This is one of those “If I hadn’t” moments I am sad to say that I have had so, so many of. “If only I hadn’t had that last cocktail.” “If only I hadn’t eaten that old sushi.” “If only I hadn’t gone commando in that skirt.” You understand the feeling, we all do. That night, it was an “If only I hadn’t answered that call...” But “If I hadn’ts” are futile. The fact is, when Paul called, I jumped off the floor, threw a dishtowel over my naked upper body and answered. I had.
“Heyyy,” I sounded like a drunken Fonzy.
“Hello Madammme,” Paul sounded a little different as well.
Maybe he really had been day drinking?
“I was calling to ask if you’d accompany me on a sledding trip, say, in forrrty-five minutes?” He continued.
I had no idea why he was talking all old-timey, but I found it cute, not bizarre.
“Indeed, schir,” I slurred.
“Pick me up? I’ve had a few…cocktailss.” I asked.
I was being honest-ish, although poor Paul had no idea that by “a few cocktails,” I meant about twenty.
Paul arrived on time and looking devilishly handsome. I had layered on some odd assortment of clothing to keep warm, and looked mostly like a marshmallow Peep, dipped in neon paint, and put in a microwave for ten seconds. I was big, bright, and puffy. I was also still hammered and watched the cars swirl by me as Paul drove us to a local sledding spot. I bobbed and weaved in my seat, gazing out the window. There may even have been a hiccup. As the car slowed, I shook my head to regain clarity. I looked at what seemed to be a slick, perversely steep hill, coated with only a thin sheet of rock hard ice. Where was the snow? Worse even, at the bottom of the hill was a large cement wall. This was clearly not a good idea.
I love to sled. Who doesn’t love to sled? But, prone to drunken accidents, I have learned that when I have been drinking, I need to take minor precautions to ensure I don’t land myself in a hospital. Again. So when I observed that Paul had brought me to possibly the most treacherous of all sledding locales on the planet, I knew I would have to decline the ride. I wasn’t being a baby, here. That hill was a no-go. No one drunk could have navigated themselves anywhere but directly into that CEMENT WALL. I wasn’t ending up in the hospital that night. No sir.
“Auriane you have to go down just once, I’ll go with you and you won’t get hurt,” a disappointed Paul pleaded with me.
Why was this guy always convincing me about going down in some way or another? Get a new schtick, bud. The swirly fun part of my drunk was wearing off, and I was starting to get aggressive.
“Come on, don’t be such a baby. It’s just sledding!” He was gesturing toward the cement wall as he laughed.
What the hell was wrong with this guy? Why was he trying to kill me? Now I was plain pissed.
“Don’t be a fucking retard, Paul. That hill dead-ends into a cement fucking wall. I am not going to the hospital tonight!” I shouted.
The other sledders pretended not to notice.
Paul didn’t know about my past drunken hospital visits, my drunken rage blackouts, or really much about me at all. I wanted so badly to keep things this way, to not show my true alcoholic colors just yet, but I was too fucked up to hold back. I pushed him away from me as he continued to try and convince me down the hill. I spotted a 12-pack of beer in a small pile of snow and popped one open, sitting my bright, puffy ass down alongside it. As I sat, my thick layers let out a “whoosh” or air that sounded like a fart. I looked up at Paul. He had heard it.
“Stupid fucking sleds. Stupid fucking hills,” I said to no one in particular.
I was losing control entirely now, and getting progressively more angry.
“Someone is gonna’ die tonight!” I shouted.
I was yelling, not just at Paul, but at all the other crazy people, risking their lives on this hill. What I had meant to be a warning came out more as a threat. People stared, fearfully. Paul finally left me alone, correctly assuming that I was a lost cause.
“Auriane!” I heard someone yell out from behind me.
I turned to face the voice calling out my name and was struck directly in the face with a hard-packed, icy snowball. Right. In. The. Face. For a moment, everything was silent. My face burned, and I felt my eyeliner and mascara running into my eyes. Then, slowly, through the silence, a whistling of sorts started to echo. Quiet at first, then louder, then louder, I soon realized it was my voice. I was screaming like a human tea-kettle, my face a monstrous red and black with running makeup. This was not going to end well.
I pawed at the ice chunks in my eyes, trying to clear enough of the thick black goop away so as to identify my attacker. I was staggering in a circle, pacing, as if performing some kind of retarded ritual dance. I had stopped screaming, but was still out for blood. Finally, my vision cleared. What asshole would throw an ice-ball into a girls face? You already guessed it. It was Paul.
Who the hell did this pompous asshole think he was? First he practically tries to murder/suicide me on the worst hill in all sledding history, and then he throws the equivalent of a frozen fucking baseball in my face? And he has a small penis? For chrissakes this guy is a nightmare! No wonder he has to volunteer so much! Drunken Auriane would take no more of this.
I stood up. It seemed as if everyone around us had quieted, and even Paul’s stream of apologies were muffled by my rage. I looked at him, wiping one last streak of melting slush from my brow. I approached slowly. I looked like a neon Sumo wrestler complete with scary face paint. One big step at a time, my movement hindered by so many layers of clothing. Paul looked appropriately fearful. We stood eye to eye, Paul babbling a string of apologies. But it was too late. For just a moment we both stood, silent. I only wish I would have taken a moment to stomp each foot in ceremony, or to take a brief bow. Instead, I punched Paul as hard as I could. Right. In. The. Face.
The next morning, I woke up in a sweat. I had passed out, under my blankets, still bundled in my ridiculous Rainbow Bright snow-gear. I ripped and tore-- still very, very drunk--at my outfit until I had stripped down enough to breathe. A tie dye long sleeve shirt hung from my nightstand. Mismatched-- but equally bright—legwarmers had been flung across the room. One dangled from a lampshade, a definite fire hazard, and the other conveniently covered my alarm clock. The cold air in the room cooled my skin, blotchy and damp. My phone was ringing, I heard it lost and muffled somewhere in another small pile of my day-glo duds.
“Hello?” I found it wrapped in magenta tights.
“Girl! What the hell happened to you last night? I looked around Brewhouse and you were gone,” It was Mandy.
“Well…” I replied.
I didn’t really know what had happened to me, exactly. I let the line go quiet.
“Okay, so you blacked out. Do you remember being at Brewhouse?” She asked.
She was such a professional drunk. How she remembered it all was beyond me. And no, I didn’t recall setting foot in my workplace.
“I thought they were closed. That’s why we were off, right?” I punctuated my answer with a raspy cough.
I was so confused.
“No they just closed early. So we went and drank there. It was all staff. It was pretty normal except you called Nick a cocksucker and told him you hate your job. But other than that,” Mandy laughed a little.
Nick was my boss.
“Oh, okay, good. That sounds perfect, glad we stopped in to say hello.” I was being sarcastic, but was still too groggy to be upset.
“So where did you go from there, missy? I bet you had quite the adventure.” Mandy was chipper, but her voice was hoarse from drinking and screeching.
My head was pounding. The idea of trying to recall and recant the stories from the night before was simply too daunting. I took a deep breath, and told Mandy all that I could muster.
“Well, if what you’re telling me about Brewhouse is true, I’m pretty sure I lost my job. So that’s fun. I think my roommate is going to evict me soon, and I absolutely ruined my new relationship with Paul by punching him in the face. I’m not kidding. I punched him in the face.” I exhaled and leaned back on my sweaty pillow.
“So you’re fired, single and homeless?” Mandy was really laughing now.
“Sounds like it,” I groaned.
I waited for her response. There was a short pause, as if she was evaluating, or God forbid, judging me.
“Yep. You’re gonna’ be fine. Nothin’ like a good Day-Drink to ruin your life and really put things in perspective, for ya. Chin up, kid,” she sounded like an old man, a wise uncle with an alcohol problem, the way she spoke.
She was so authoritative and sure.
“So what are you doing today?” I asked.
“I dunno," I said, looking out at even more snow.
"Wanna get a drink?”
P.S. I'm a dirty liar who IS gonna gloat, here ya' go, suckerssss!