19 March 2006

I'm not an alcoholic, I'm a drunk

Mid-July, 1998. What kind of prompted me to start chronicalling my life and adventures was Lewis Black. The comedian. Have you ever heard his bit about how much people in Wisconsin drink, and how they must have a Federal Grant for it? I, too, have Wisconsin stories. I will do my best to write this out, but I don't really remember all of it. I may have to save this as a draft, and come back once I dig up my old journals, and add details.

The band I worked for had a show in Madison, WI. Fortunately, I wasn't working that night. Zoe, my tour partner, and I pulled into a campground that we stayed at for two nights. We spent that day with the puppies at the campground, Zoe complaining and swatting bugs and bitching that OMFG THERE IS NO OUTLET IN THE BATHROOMS FOR ME TO PLUG IN MY HAIR DRIER. Shut The fuck. Up. While we were gone from our campground, a couple raccoons came in and sabotaged our food supply, which was not put up anywhere close to "well." It was deathly hot there, the air still, and despite the tent being ventilated, Zoe refused to sleep in it, and instead slept in the stifling car. Our puppies, being smart, slept in the tent with me, and I woke to small piddles in the corners.

All I remember about the club the boys played was it was on a corner in a strip mall, which contained a t-shirt shop that had a shirt bearing "I'm not an alcoholic, I'm a drunk. Alcoholics go to meetings." and I wanted to get it for Glock, cause if anyone was a drunk, he was. I was one to talk though. I drank like it was my job. As we cruised around Madison and the surrounds, we (and when I say we I mean I but you get the point) were drinking silver tequila out of 20 oz Coke bottles. With no mixer or chaser. Alcoholism, table for one! I have no idea what Zoe was drinking, but probably rum.

When we got to the bar, we were remarkably toasty. I seem to recall that we brought the puppies with us - after all, the band had a dog, and they brought her to the club. I think people took turn with them outside, but I don't really remember that part. There was also a pretty famous band playing with the boys that night, but again, I don't remember who. I do remember being somewhat awestruck that ___ from ___ was holding my puppy (Terp) for a while.

Once inside the bar, we were informed by the adorably gorgeous (male and female) barkeeps that, woohoo, Wednesday night was Flips night! What the fuck is that? They flip a quarter, you call it in the air, and if you're right, you get a shot of your choice. Federal Grant indeed. I was on a roll and I think I paid a tip of $15 on a tab of $1. I had about uh, at least 10 shots of Jaegermeister. Yeah yeah, why bother, why not drink Nyquil. But cut me some slack. I was 23, and that's what you drink when you're 23.

We were about the only fans of our band in the place. Plus, after all, it was a Wednesday. We stood right in front of the stage, dancing like that was our job too, drunk off our asses, and yelling request after request at the boys. They played some pretty funny shit that night, and it was one of the more fun shows I'd been to.

Before the show, Jon and I sat outside, in a doorway, and talked for about an hour. Then between sets, we resumed our positions, and continued talking until Andre came looking for him to tell him he had to go back on stage. After the show was over, ___ from ___ watched Terp, and Jon and I went to dinner at a pizza place across the plaza. We sat alone, even though half the people from both bands had come with us, and just talked. Again, no clue what we talked about but I may have written it down.

That was just another random night in the "relationship" I had with Jon. Sometimes, we could be best friends, and attentive to one another to exclusion of everything else. Other times, he would be nasty, push me away, want nothing to do with me, and leave me standing there, my jaw agape, thinking Uh... whhhhat? The boys all wanted me to come back to the hotel and hang out (but not Zoe, although they'd let her come along since we were together), continue partying. I know you're thinking, and fuck but it wasn't like that at all. The most I'd ever been party to was some kissing, and people wandering off to use a hot tub. But that night, I wanted that more than anything. And in her typical manner, Zoe whined that she wanted to go back to the campsite, and was tired. At the root of it, I think she knew she was unwanted, and rather than face that, she'd prefer to leave. For her, it was probably a good decision. For me, it built up some resentment for her. Even though I'd been friends with these guys for 2 years at that point, I could never get enough of hanging out with them (obsession anyone?).

When we left, and I am not proud of this, I drove. Kids, if you're reading this, don't EVER drink and drive. Not only did I drive, but I turned the wrong way down a one-way, four-lane street, with cars coming. Then we got lost. And then I called Nat, the band's sound man, who had never liked me, to ask him how to get either back to their hotel, since we were still in downtown Madison somewhere, or back to our campsite (see above: "drunk"). He was curt, and short with me, and I got nothing out of him but a few snide replies, for which I don't blame him in the least. It was near 4 in the morning at that point and he'd been in bed since 230.

I did manage to find out campsite again, through my miraculous internal GPS, and the night ended on a relatively sour night. But there was enough magic to override it, and looking back now, 9 years later, the magic is still magical, but the sting has subsided.

Wow, almost nine years. I've got a lot more to write.

campsite, madison wi-ish. note dogs under table, in shade.

they may be puppies, but they're not dumb.
aggie (augustine - gold), terp's teddy bear (cut off), terp (terrapin - black)

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