I’ve always been a drinker.
Now, this isn’t a boast about how I can hold my liquor, because I must be the only Irish Catholic that can’t handle my Jameson. Nor is this a woe is me story about how I regret drinking and think about how good my life would be sober. It’s just a simple fact, a simple backbone to who I am, for better or worst.
My first drink? Mike’s Hard Lemonade, in my next door neighbor’s shed a Friday night in 8th grade. I also had a copious amounts of coke with Captain Morgan rum. Just imagine that, a tool shed filled with a dozen or so middle school kids, drinking and smoking and, in one young lad’s case, making out with Brandi Alton. Lucky, lucky fuck.
But that’s neither here nor there, this is all about establishing the fact that, since I was a wee lad, drinking has been a constant. It’s what you do when that first girl goes down on you, when that first girl dumps you, when you get a job, when you lose a job, and when the Ravens win the Super Bowl. It is the social and emotional glue that holds you together.
These days, I only go to a few bars regularly. They never get too crowded, unless it’s a Friday or Saturday night. The bartenders are friendly to the point of friends. And you find other regulars. If you say drinking alone is the sign of an alcoholic, then there is no chance I’m an alcoholic. I always have a friend at the bar, even if I only met them that night.
One of my faves at the bar next door to my house(Yeah, I live right next door to a bar. It’s fate, of course.) is a guy named Runaway Gray. He drinks there all the time, will get a bit too drunk, and just leave. He comes back the next day, and pays his tab. None of the guys at the bar mind because he always pays, always tips well, and he is just generally a hell of a nice guy. In fact, the first time I’d met him was a week or so after moving next door, I was drinking with my roomie and in a pretty good place. I saw a guy walk by, I said “Dude, you got some stellar hair”, and like that we became drinking buddies.
Gray is a good guy, his drink of choice is Rumplemintz. He’ll look at you and say, “Hey Kins, want to do a bumpl’ of rumpl’?” And even though you used to hate Rumplemeintz, you do it because he’s such a likeable guy. Oh, and free booze is free booze. Gray also knows the rule of a drinking buddy: You don’t always have to talk. Not all bartenders get this either. Sometimes, I just want to go to the bar, and drink quietly. I want to drink my beer, do my shots, and watch whatever NBA/MLB/NFL game is on the TV. A good bartender, even if he is a buddy, will realize this right away. He’ll say hi, make sure you never have an empty drink, but will otherwise leave you alone because clearly, you just want to stare at your lager for a bit. A good drinking buddy is the same. And Gray is the best about that. He picks up on when you need to talk, to bitch about getting dumped or talk about how excited you are for a new job. But he also gets just drinking alone, even when you aren’t alone. I’ve had many nights where I say next to Gray, drank with Gray, and we never said a word to each other. He’ll buy me a shot, I’ll buy him a shot. We’ll go take a cig together, but otherwise? Nada. We’re drinking buddies.
So that’s Gray. And then there is his sister.Her name is Claire. She just turned 21, she has big brown eyes and long brown hair, and no tits but an amazing ass. Her smile is crooked and her laugh is quiet and she loves Rumplemintz. So, yeah, pretty much into this girl as soon as I saw her.
It was a Friday night, and we had started early. It was my roomie, our buddy House, and myself. The bar next door does a $10 all you can drink ‘Boh/Miller/Wine from 7 til’ 10. We were there at 7, with all our favorite bartenders working. A decent amount of ‘Boh was consumed in 3 hours, to say the least.
We left the bar for another around 10:30. This place is a mixture of a local dive and a woo girl bar. Decent drinks, large place with dance floor, all that. House and Roomie go to the bar to buy a round while I stand there, by myself. I notice a group of three girls by themselves and think to myself, “Self, that’s three girls. There is three of us. PERFECT!”
I’d like to say I went over there, charmed them with my Irish accent and amazing eyes, House and Roomie came over with drinks and we had an amazing night together. That did not happen. You know what happened?
They stared at me like I had an ass for a face.
“So…my friends wandered off somewhere. All by myself.”
They crinkle their nose as if I just shit myself.
“You girls having a good night?”
Finally, I get a response, finally, one of the girls realizes how nice a guy I am. She comes over to me, grabs me by my arm, and finally, one of them speaks to me.
“I think you’ve had to much to drink. You should probably go home. Or, y’know, just leave.”
I promptly ran out of the bar, leaving House and Roomie to have their own adventure. I had planned on just calling it a night, just heading home. But, as I walked by the bar next door, I had that thought every drinker has: Well, I’ll just have one more drink.
I walk in, and it’s pretty much cleared out since the all you can drink ended. Not desolate but I get my spot at the bar and order an IPA, the preferred way to end a night. Moments later, Gray and his sister come in, and sit next to me.
I’m not exaggerating when I say, the next few hours flew by. Claire introduced herself and next thing I know, we’re having conversations with no break, no hesitation. There is a moment where Claire goes to the bathroom, and Gray walks over, sits down, and leans toward me.
“Kins,do me a favor, take my sister home and fuck her.”
I was shocked, to say the least. I expected the exact opposite from Gray. I expected a “Get the fuck away from my sister, you cunt!” or at the very least “You better watch yourself!” Instead, I get him encouraging me to fuck her?
“Gray, you’re my friend. I won’t dare fuck her, until I take her out first. Then, yeah, I’ll fuck her.”
I have a way with words.
That night ended in a fairly boring manner. Gray left us, making me promises to take her home safely. We stayed until last call, and then after last call, a perk that comes with boozing a lot. I walked her home, we said good-bye, and we hugged.
After that, things went by the script. She texted me a few days later and we grabbed drinks again. And like the first time, we clicked, we stayed until last call and beyond. Then we went back to her place, had an after hours drink, fooled around a bit, and that was that. Again, nothing to crazy, nothing memorable to the common person on the street.
Two weeks later, on a night I was supposed to see her, I get fired. Now, we’ll get back to the fired story some other time, but I come home, drop off my stuff, and go directly to the bar to see Claire. She had been waiting for me, she’s is a few drinks in. Now, while she can generally hang, she is a tiny girl. A few drinks in means she’s tipsy. We proceed to spend the next 4 hours ripping shots, drinking whiskey, while we talk about us and my job and every other thing a drunk Irishman will talk about. The bar we were at is a friendly bar, but not so friendly to let us to drink past last call, so we do a bumpl’ for the road, then I walk her home.
We get to the backdoor of her place, a car lot where those neighbors can all park, and we sit for a bit. And start to make out. And suddenly, we’re going at it pretty hardcore. Now, most people would take the 5 minutes and walk inside, go to the bedroom. Not us. Now, I won’t go into hardcore details because that is not what this is about, but she was wearing a skirt so I went down on her. A neighbor’s flood light comes on, which essentially illuminated the entire act for all to see. I thought about it, worried about it, for all of 12 seconds, and then just went back to doing what I was doing. I fall on my back, she keeps going, and it all ends with an explosion. We lay for a bit, on the asphalt with that damn flood light bearing down on us, and then finally gather ourselves up. She has to work early in the morning, so she kisses me good-night, which entails one big kiss followed immediately with 2 little quick kisses. And then, with a squeeze of my hand, she goes in side. It is 4 in the morning, I have a flood light beamed at me. I’m sweaty, I smell like sex, and I’ve got dirt all over me. Just hours early I was fired from the job I’d worked for 5 years and loved. And yet, I’m pretty fucking happy.
On the way home, I threw up in the streets. Fucking Rumplemintz.