Appears in Other Voices #44
We started on Thursdays. Thursdays at Shorty’s drinks were a dollar so we drank as many as we could. We squeezed past townies on Thursdays, we yelled over the noise and we ate popcorn on Thursdays and we listened to The Doors on Thursdays and we drank. We drank mostly beer unless we didn’t like beer and we drank anything sweet and we ordered our next drink before we finished the last. We noticed cute juniors on Thursdays and batted our eyelashes for cocktails and it worked and on Thursdays we thought sarcasm was funny. On Thursdays, we kept the buzz going. On Thursdays we drank because we were legal, we drank because we were young and because it was almost Friday and we drank until it was Friday. We drank on Fridays, wherever. On Fridays we heard there were cute juniors at a dorm party but there weren’t so we drank. On Fridays we drank in our rooms, down the hall, in the hall, in the lounge, on the eighth floor, on the ninth floor, at the stoner bar before it burned down, at preppy bars and frat parties and we drank at parties off campus where someone knew someone who roomed with someone who knew us somehow. We told everyone and anyone we liked cute juniors. We told stoned, preppy frat boys we didn’t know that we liked cute juniors. On Fridays at midnight, stoned, we went to see Kentucky Fried Movie or the Rocky Horror Picture Show and we shouted “Dammit Janet” at both movies even though you were only supposed to shout it at one. On Fridays, drunk and stoned, Kentucky Fried Movie was hilarious and so were we. On Fridays, drunk and stoned, everything was hilarious until we forgot where we parked the car and life was not worth living. We left our coats at the stoner bar or the preppy bar or the frat party or the midnight movie, we stumbled back to our dorms, freezing and lost and drunk, we laid down on our beds just for a minute before we changed, on Saturdays we woke up in our clothes but we never used the phrase “passed out.” On Saturdays we forgot stuff. On Saturdays we said to each other “We were so WASTED! last night, it was AWESOME!” even though we couldn’t remember half of it. We heard cute juniors were going to The Barge, for sure, on Saturdays. We took disco naps on Saturdays and we drank at The Barge, which was not really a barge, really it was a gay disco on the edge of town. We went shopping on Saturdays with money we didn’t have to buy a new outfit or at least a new accessory because we never wore the same exact outfit to The Barge twice, and on Saturday nights we got dressed up to go drink at The Barge and disco dance in our new accessories in front of semi-pornographic gay slides. We drank while waiting on line for The Barge, we drank while cutting the line for The Barge, we drank while we waited for the right song at The Barge, a song that wasn’t “beat,” and then we rushed the dance floor, drunkish, when the DJ finally played Sylvester. (Youuu maake me feeel…Mi-ighty reeeeeeal!) Saturdays we ate frozen Milky Way bars at The Barge, drunk, we flirted with everyone on Saturdays, drunk, we wanted everyone to love us, drunk, we made out at The Barge, drunk, sometimes with whoever, sometimes with cute juniors, sometimes on the dance floor, sometimes in the ladies’ room, sometimes right after making out with cute juniors in the ladies’ room when we saw them hitting on skanky sophomore transfers with their butts hanging out of their white pleather minis, we made out with whoever on Saturdays, preferably situated close enough to cute juniors so that jealousy could ensue, but far enough so that it seemed accidental. Jealousy never ensued, and it never seemed accidental but this was nothing one more Slow Comfortable Screw couldn’t fix. We thought saying “Slow Comfortable Screw,” especially to a cute bartender, was very funny and sexy, drunk. We thought adding “Up Against The Wall” to the end of “Slow Comfortable Screw” would seal the deal, drunk. On Saturdays we never left The Barge sober, we never left before the lights came on, before Last Dance, last chance for romance. We drove home, drunk, with someone, sometimes even cute juniors. We knew their first names, we knew who their friends were, we knew what we were doing, we said to us, we knew we wanted something different, sober. Saturdays we tried to sleep on someone’s dirty black sheets, less drunk. Saturdays we didn’t care, Sundays we regretted it. Never the drinking, not the drinking and the driving combination, only the driving home with someone, only the someone we woke up with, only the someone we woke up with whose roommates were all grinning with the promise of forthcoming gossip and horrible nicknames relating to various possible acts performed the night before, drunk. Sundays the someone who wouldn’t drive us to our home from the drive to their home, forced us to wait for a ride with a soon-to-be-gossiping roommate until a football game was over or take the train in our rumpled outfits from the night before, knowing that people on the train would recognize our Saturday night outfits on Sunday morning and shake their heads, possibly. Sundays waiting for a ride we drank bitter coffee made with paper towel filters at someone and his roommate’s apartment, hungover. Sundays there were also paper towels acting as toilet paper at someone and his roommate’s apartment (if we were so lucky that there was anything acting as toilet paper at all), Sundays in someone’s bathroom we didn’t dare look at anything for fear of extreme uncleanliness, especially ourselves in the mirror. Other Sundays we slept, woke up for a sandwich delivery or to put quarters in machines for cheese crackers or microwave pancakes, watched something on TV and went back to sleep. We never drank on Sundays, unless there was a barbecue or a Super Bowl party or an Oscar party or a dorm party or unless we knew we were going to fail the Astro test anyway or unless someone offered some. Mondays we ate baked potatoes or frozen yogurt in the cafeteria and called it lunch and we gossiped about who drove home with someone and if the gossip was about us we tried to do damage control. We said we didn’t really like cute juniors after all, even though we still did, in spite of everything. On Mondays we told tales out of school. We said cute juniors weren’t all that in the bedroom, even though we couldn’t really remember if they were or weren’t. For a while we didn’t drink on Mondays but then we did. Monday night was the night. We went to Shorty’s and drank and ate popcorn and played Name That Tune and it was always The Doors even when it wasn’t and this was hilarious. Tuesdays we skipped class and smoked some pot but only if someone had some. Sometimes on Tuesdays we smoked pot from bongs or little pipes on the ninth floor, sometimes they were ceramic, sometimes they were wood, sometimes they were tall, sometimes they smelled really bad, sometimes we didn’t care. On Tuesdays pot was never bought, by anyone, anywhere, any day, as far as we knew, and we watched TV stoned and thought it was hilarious until we saw four Kristy McNichols and freaked out. We almost never drank on Tuesdays until we did. Later our roommate who had a midterm yelled at us which brought us so down. On Tuesdays we made drama where there was none. We stormed out on Tuesdays and went to the lounge to look for someone to feel sorry for us, became best buds with the Iranian student who was actually studying who we never talked to before who understood where we were coming from and we hijacked him to Shorty’s, stoned, so we could drink. On Tuesdays we paid full price for drinks at Shorty’s and we ran into cute juniors and gave them a piece of our mind. Cute juniors told us we were so cute when we were mad and we got more mad and made cute juniors buy us drinks. On Tuesdays we teased cute juniors and made them go home alone. Wednesdays we went to class but slept through it or passed notes about weird transfer students or mean roommates or who we left The Barge with and what were we going to wear to The Barge this weekend. We almost never drank on Wednesdays until we did. We almost never went home with cute juniors unless we did. We went home over and over, not meaning to, with cute juniors we crushed on so hard for so long who would never feel the same until years later when they thought they might feel marginally the same and came to visit us after college but in the cold hard light of New York City we realized that big sleepy green eyes weren’t really a character trait we could build on and that our judgment about these things was maybe weak at best. That pot wasn’t something people had in common. We were almost never hung over until we were, we almost never threw up until we did. We almost never took pills until we did. We almost never mixed pills and alcohol until we did. We learned to pace ourselves, which means to drink a lot steadily as opposed to drinking a lot all in a row, which worked when we were eighteen but not when we were twenty. We did this for four and a half years until we graduated and we used the word party as a verb without irony. Sometimes we waited for the weekend, often we didn’t wait for the weekend, after that we mixed it up for several more years until we looked around and saw that it was not so much we anymore as it was just one of us.