By Matt Moon © 2008
I was at this Eastmont Catholic party Joe brought me to and I was hammered. Some generous fellow was quite liberal with his Jack Daniels and I felt very, very warm inside. I smiled continuously but the party was coming to an end. Joe was jabbering with this girl who kept touching him. A little push here, a grab of the hand, drinking from his cup of beer. The girl had a friend named Brittany with an "i" (who doesn't know there's an "i" in Brittany?). The four of us were talking and drinking.
"Is anyone else hungry?" Joe asked. "I'm starving!"
"I'm hungry too," the girl said.
So the four of us piled into Joe's automobile and hit the streets, as Joe transported us to some fine dining establishment. I tried talking and joking with Brittany but she was giving one-or-two-word responses. She was not digging me. She'd rather stare out the backseat window than associate with me. That was very unfortunate. I was really hammered and she had some cute aspects to her. I kept trying to progress the conversation but failed miserably every single time.
"Pizza!" Joe said. "Pizza would be damn good!"
"Oh yeah," the girl said. "I love pizza."
There was one pizza establishment with dine-in open until three o'clock in the morning. It was ten minutes away near a local college campus. Joe drove us there and double-parked and we went inside the place. We sat down and there were television sets everywhere. A re-run of Star Trek blared into our ears.
"I hate television" Brittany said. I bet she hated a lot of things.
"It makes people stupid."
"Before its invention," I said, "science-fiction writers described it in detail and proclaimed it to be the ultimate brain-control device."
She drank her water and turned to her friend. "Why in the hell would anyone want to go out to eat with friends and family and have a big goddamn television in their faces?"
"Yeah," the girl replied, "that is weird."
"I knew this would come in handy," Joe said, as he pulled something out of his coat.
"TV-Be-Gone" I laughed.
Joe received it from his little brother on Christmas. It was supposed to turn off every television made after 1989. The box didn't explain what technological innovation occurred which made 1990 television sets different than 1989 television sets.
Joe then pointed the tiny keychain contraption and the TV turned off. Silence filled the air. I laughed. Everyone was smiling. We ordered our pizza and the waitress-type employee turned on the TV.
"They must be watching the program" I said. "No one else is in here."
"Can't they see we don't want that goddamn thing on?" Brittany said.
"Maybe they don't know we turned it off."
"They know. How could they not know? We're the only ones in here. Maybe she should have asked whether we wanted it on or off."
The television turned off. A minute later, an employee turned it back on. Soon as she returned to the kitchen, it went off again.
"You know," I said, "those who end up suffering from Alzheimer's disease watch a lot more television than those who end up healthy in their elderly years."
No one responded. No one gave a shit about what I had to say. Joe asked the girl if there were any more parties happening that night.
"I just don't feel like going home yet," he said.
"I bet I could find one."
And the girl started dialing and gabbing with every single motherfucker on her cell phone's list of numbers. Some guy came up and turned on the TV. Immediately, it went off again. The guy turned it on and watched it for a minute. Then Joe turned it off again.
"Piece of junk!" the guy yelled. And he turned it back on. Twenty seconds later, it went off.
"Goddamn motherfucking piece of shit!"
The guy went irate. He kicked over a chair and threw over a table. He turned the television back on and it immediately turned off. The guy screamed something -- perhaps in a foreign language -- and he grabbed a chair and slammed it into the television screen and the TV fell off the wall and shattered on the floor. Sparks and smoke filled the air. Some employees came out to calm him down but he went at this girl's throat and threw her on the ground and spit on her and kicked her in the stomach and the cops came and pepper sprayed his eyes and beat him with nightsticks and the guy screamed and cried. They handcuffed him and dragged him away to somewhere. The girl sitting next to Joe told us about a party at a frat house nearby and then our pizza arrived. We ate and then drove to the party. Joe parallel parked about two feet away from the curb and we went inside this house and there were a decent amount of people. Keystone Light cans were being provided so we drank them.
"Creative writing? That'd be so awesome" some girl said. Somehow we ended up in a conversation circle.
"You would think that, but I'm certain no one else in the class smokes pot. All they do is drink Starbucks while talking about writing and how they love Starbucks and how unathletic they are."
The guy kept talking. He was one of those Jack Kerouac wannabe motherfuckers, who get high and ramble some first-thought-best-thought bullshit that I would read in those throwaway free literary newsletters. The more the guy talked, the more I knew that he sucked at writing. He was one of those guys who wrote cheesy, artificial, phony bullshit that just pissed off anyone with half a brain. I didn't care if he ended up selling millions of books. I knew he was absolutely awful. But Brittany didn't possess my keen senses and she was all gaga for this guy. I finished my beer and went back to the refrigerator. I drank and ended up talking with some girl.
"Do you go to school here?" she asked.
"What's your major?"
"Me too! Are you going into education?"
She kept talking. She had glasses. She was one of those nerdy girls who were slightly attractive. Ones you would get all up on simply because you wanted to see her less composed and less academic. You don't know anyone until you've seen them devolved.
Things were going well but then a friend found her.
"Well, I gotta go," she said. "See you around." And she was gone.
I drank two more beers. I wandered around from conversation to conversation. I'd listen for a while and try to interject myself into the conversation, but no one would respond or ever make eye contact with me and I'd eventually feel stupid and leave. After a while, I went to the upstairs bathroom and pissed. I looked in the mirror. Maybe it was my hair. It was all flat from wearing a hat all day. It was cold outside. I should have worn my hat to this party. It had to be my hair. I washed my hands and splashed water on my hair and tried to comb it with my fingers. Someone banged on the door.
"Hurry up in there!" some guy yelled.
He banged some more and I finished up my hair and dried it with a towel and opened the door.
"What the fuck were you doing in here?" he said. He pushed me aside and walked to the toilet. Mid-pace, he unzipped his pants, lost his balance, and hit his head on the side of the bathtub.
"Holy shit!" Two guys in the hallway burst into laughter and pushed into the bathroom.
"Blake is fuckin' wasted, man," the Chinese guy said. "You gotta take a picture." The other guy took out a digital camera and took some close-ups.
"He hit his head pretty hard on the bathtub," I said.
"What a fuckin' klutz" the Chinese guy laughed.
"Hey Charlie" the photographer said to his unresponsive face. "Know how to walk or just read about it?"
"He's bleeding pretty badly," I said. "It's all over the tub."
"Alcohol thins the blood, baby!" The two guys clinked their cans and chugged.
"He could be seriously hurt."
"Nah, man. He's fine. He does this every week."
The guys kept laughing and taking pictures so I left and went downstairs. That English major girl had returned and I went up to her.
"Thought you were leaving?"
"Yeah, well the party we went to was pretty dumb."
"Yeah. Is your hair wet?"
"Oh. Yeah. Some guy spilled beer on me."
"On your head?"
"Yeah. So I washed it." Then she gave me the most horrified look I'd ever seen directed toward me. The most horrible expression in my entire life. I was one of those smelly homeless guys who bathed in public bathrooms.
"The guy was really drunk. He fell and hit his head upstairs. Hit it right on the bathtub. I think he might be dead."
She looked at me and then looked around. "I think I'm gonna get another beer."
"Oh yeah. Me too."
I drained my beer. I went with her to get beer and then went over to some of her female friends. After listening to them talk for a long time, I realized the English major wasn't even looking at me. I was the creepy guy following her. I walked away and drank the beer. Joe and his girl weren't anywhere to be found though his car was still parked outside. The Brittany girl probably left with the phony fuck writer. Pretty soon the party had winded down and the only people left were a bunch of guys standing around talking about drinking and football. We were the losers. The rejects who couldn't even pick up an ugly broad lingering around at the end of a party. I drank another beer. I wanted to die.
I went outside and the wind was blowing twenty miles per hour and it was freezing. I tried to see if I could sleep in Joe's backseat but the car doors were locked. So I lay across the hood. I laid there and tried to sleep. It must have been twenty below. I was going to die out there. I was going to freeze to death and I didn't care. I decided that if God let me freeze to death than there probably wasn't much in store for my future anyway. But after a while, I thought about the possibility of a squad car seeing me before I died. And I thought about what a hassle it would be to get arrested and have to call my parents and hear them bitch at me.
So I rolled off the car and went back inside. Joe had probably already fucked that girl somewhere upstairs. Fucked her and passed out. I rinsed out a glass beer bottle and filled it with water. I drank one and a half bottles of water, felt sick, and vomited outside. Then I went inside, drank half a bottle of water, and passed out on the couch. At some point one of the frat boys said I couldn't sleep on the couch and made me sleep on the hardwood floor. I didn't care. I just crawled off the couch, lay on the hardwood, and used my arms as a pillow.
Matt Moon is a traveling mouth band music-maker. And so are you.