Remember the first time you got to second base? You drank a six-pack of Zima and then puked all over your own tits. Then there was another time when you chased a half-bottle of Georgi with a swig of Fanta and passed out headfirst in a bowl of Fruit Loops. Three hours later you woke up, took off your pants, and went back to sleep.
At your best friend's 30th birthday dinner, you drank two bottles of rose and felt a sudden, powerful urge to dance — so you excused yourself and started furiously gyrating against a nearby wall to the beat of "No Diggity." Her mother had to steer you back to the table and command you to drink a glass of water.
Sometimes you went to that Chinese restaurant on the Upper West Side because it was near your gym and the lighting was flattering. You pretended to forget that they served jugs of free wine throughout the meal. Before you knew it, you were being escorted out by an ornery waiter because you'd just plunged your hand into the order of Kung Pao resting on the table of couple on a romantic date.
You'd cheated on every girlfriend or boyfriend you ever had and tried to blame it on whiskey, or beer, or that sixth martini you accidentally ordered.
Your pear-shaped co-worker had just decided that she was bi-curious, so she forced you to go with her to a lesbian bar for "one drink" because she was scared to do it alone. Eight Tecates later, you were dry humping her against a broken jukebox, even though she smelled like fennel and looked like Brian Krakow.
Then there was that bulldagger named "Jean." You found her sitting in a parked limo in an actual chauffeur hat and tried to climb in, hoping that the half-assed b.j. you were prepared to perform would score you and your friends a free air-conditioned ride home from the bar.
Somehow the word got out and a week later you came home to find your live-in girlfriend enraged, humiliated, face flushed, fists clenched, telling you that you're a whore and that she's leaving you.
You all know what I'm talking about. If you were to take stock of all the things you've done while under the influence, it would surely be profoundly humiliating. Right? You know. You've been there.
You liked to tell yourself that drunken, clownish antics served as fodder for artistic expression. It was a means to an end. When you're drunk you never had to take responsibility for anything because you always had an alibi. It's easier to dance, it's easier to fuck. It's easier to bound up to strangers like a deranged puppy and attempt to make new friends. If they like you, great. If they don't, you were drunk, so whatever. It's bred from a fear of being forgettable, of being yourself and of maybe then being dismissed. It's way less scary to be the jovial court jester who flounders around like a sloppy, colorful fish than it is to be a real person who's vulnerable and real. The perils of cheap thrills. It seems like everyone loves a good drunk — loud, eccentric caricatures of people who do loud, eccentric things that both entertain and shock. At least I'm different, you tell yourself.
Oscar Wilde said “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” You'll do anything to avoid being the latter, forgetting that most drunks are just that. You drink for other reasons too. To numb the pain of things that hurt. Also, it feels good. But sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes you really fuck shit up for yourself. Where do you go from there?