“I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.” – Red, “The Shawshank Redemption”
(The following diary takes creative license in formulating a coherent story from incoherent ramblings. The original diary was irreparably damaged by flagrant vomit and/or unmitigated piss. These ramblings were fueled by alcohol and the unexplainable high of becoming a 21-year old male in the United States.)
Monday, May 7th
(Roughly) 10:00 p.m: My friend Steeeve mixes drinks strong enough to kill a tee-ball team. Of course, he mixes my first drink of the night (Ketel-One/Seltzer/Rocks).
(Probably) 10:05: Drink number two (Ketel-One = Shot) comes from my friend T-Bone, high off the miracle Game 5 victory of the New York (Hockey) Rangers and looking to celebrate.
(Maybe) 10:20:The New York Mets are not to be outdone by that Kooky Kanadian Ksport. Their victory is cause for the first beer of the night.
Obviously, all intelligent moderation rules (Beer/Liquor/Never/Sicker) are obsolete for the next 24-48 hours.
(Feeling It) 10:40: The Girlfriend arrives to do girlfriend things. This list includes:
2) Peck Cheek
3) Wish me Happy Birthday
4) Complain about sloppiness of my room
5) Complain I should clean her room
6) Complain about day
7) Ask if I’m listening
8) Complain I’m not listening
9) Pout until badgered into believing I was listening
10) Repeat steps 4-9 until she has to text somebody
11) Inquire why I’m not drinking (I was listening to her)
12) Encourage my drinking because “It’s my birthday and you only turn 21 once and this is going to be the best birthday EVERRRR and you can’t YOLO like this everyday because this is your birthday HOORAY!”*
(*Quote Assumed/Amalgamated from conversations with The Girlfriend about birthdays)
(Ferociously Buzzed) 11:15: Fix the hair and flex the muscles, it’s mirror time BAYBEE! Does this look like a 20-year old boy? Or is this the face of a 21-year old man!?! Forty-Five minutes until I can legally do what I’ve illegally been doing in friends’ basements and college campuses for the past five years.
(Drunk) 11:45: After an excessive number of cheers to my virility/handsomeness/overall masculinity, The (sober) Girlfriend commandeers the S.S. Shitfaced On A Monday. The seven drunkest men on campus cram into the fearless vessel to give a bar their best Monday business since Memorial Day 2011.
(Red on the Zihuatanejo Beach) 11:55: The bouncer is making me wait the five minutes before the official coronation. The crown for the occasion will be a bar-stamp on my right hand.
(AHHHH!) 12:00: AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
• I remember my first beer: Age 16, Breezy Point, New York. My friend Bill stole a 6-pack of Budweiser Nips and we drank on a beach. I threw up a couple hours later from the spins.
• No matter when or where I smell beer, I always think of adults congregating around me when I was five-years old. The smell of beer was masculinity, adulthood, and forbiddance since I could form memories of my relatives. Now, I was being encouraged to legally drink my alcohol. Goodbye still-kind-of-a-teenager-but-not-really stage ANNNNNDDD hello maturity! HAVE A BEER!
• I was hoping for a rooftop to drink my first suds. Unfortunately, the Andy Dufresne special was too pricey for my pockets.
• (Raises Glass) Here’s to every opportunity I blew with a girl, every time I snuck past my parents while drunk, and every food I ate thanks to alcohol. I’ll miss doing this shit illegally almost as much as I’ll enjoy doing it legally.
Tuesday, May 8th
(WOOAHHHYEAHHHHALRIGGGHHHHT!) 12:05-12:25a.m. : I wish I could describe this feeling, but nirvana is best felt through experience. There were friends and friends of friends, each there to appreciate my being and existence. Everybody keeps congratulating me on making it to 21, which is odd. The tone behind each person’s kudos is so congratulatory that I begin to ponder if most of them didn’t think I would survive to this day….. BUT I DID BAYBEE!
(Immoratility!) 12:30: Shots!
(Mortality/Inevitable) 12:31: One shot too many results in my first destruction of a bar bathroom. I vomit hard enough to blast a hole through the wall. Luckily, the years have not been kind to this place, and it looks like someone emptied a Tommy Gun into this stall. The bouncers politely (“GET HIM THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!”) request my dismissal from their establishment, and I oblige.
(Incoherent Patient) 12:45-2:00ish: The Girlfriend is good. The Girlfriend is great. Sober to drive. Sober to carry me. Sober to rub my back while I throw up. Sober to watch me vomit. Sober to put a Gatorade next to my bed. Sober to prevent a John Bonham. Sober to care.
(Drunk Sleep) 2:00-8:30 a.m. : Wake up drunk. Take a picture of my pants covered in vomit. Twitpic that shit because that’s what drunk people do. Let everybody know I’m alive. Go to sleep fucked up. (This is what Wiz Khalifa sang about in “The Thrill,” right?)
(Blerrghhh) 11:15: Mind is willing, body is… not. I’ve had a Four Loko with caffeine on ice since “THE MAN!” took them off the shelves. Saved it for this occasion. Wanted to drink it. Had to drink it. Couldn’t drink it.
(Points to sky, asks God why) Noon: Sweaty Brow, no shirt, same underwear as last night, and surprisingly, a new pair of socks. Every pore on my body is open, and every orifice reeks of alcohol or shit.
(Contemplates sacrificing live animal to different God, fears power of current God, promises to go to church every single Sunday for the rest of eternity if I survive) 12:30 By the smell and look of my room, one would think I purged everything since my 17th birthday. Instead, I continue to vomit while T-Bone laughs and does the dishes. T-Bone is good that way, always doing the dishes. Thanks T-Bone!
(Convinced this is how Moses died) 12:45: Must. Stop. Vomiting.
(Cancel the birthday… Just cancel it) 12:50: Can’t. Stop. Vomiting.
(Making bulimics blush with envy) 1:00-2:30: My body was wrapped around a toilet for this entire time. I have friends who claim they “Vomit to feel better.” I call those friends liars.
(Resurrection) 2:45: I’ve had four people waiting for me at the same bar I vomited at last night. Time to shower, brush teeth and smile like it’s my 11th birthday. The Girlfriend is good, and drives me to YOLO “so hard that motherf**kers are going to try to find me.”
(Opposite of Easter) 3:00-7:00: Attempting to nap in front of people eager to see you drunk will lead to 4 reactions:
1) “Stop being a bitch dude!”
2) “I remember when I turned 21, and lemme tell ya’, I know how ya’ feel…
3) “You’re still fucked up from last night, so I guess this is alright.”
4) “Since you’re not drinking, and you just came into some birthday money, want to buy me a beer or two?”
(Jesus rested for three days after he was crucified, so just give me a minute) 7:30-9:30: I return home to “sleep so hard motherfuckers won’t even bother to look for me.”*
*(Original “Ni**as in Paris” lyric )
(Compromised) 10:00 p.m. -1:00 a.m.: “YO MAN, YOU GOTTA HIT UP KAROAKE AT KILDAIRE’S!” Tuesday is a big bar night at Delaware, but I had a case of punch-gut stomach, and couldn’t even force myself to commemorate the birthday properly. The only positive is one of the bouncers recognizes me from last night, so I am officially part of the cool kids club. (No more sitting at the kids’ table for OL’ GALLAGHER!) After a couple of beers and the 3rd and 4th drunkest versions of “Call Me Maybe” ever sung, I left the bar. The feeling of birthday euphoria began to subside, and 21 began to feel normal. Sadly, it started to feel adult.
Wednesday, May 9th
The Girlfriend bought tickets to the Mets/Phillies game for today because she is “…The best girlfriend in the world ever.”* My first legal alcohol purchase as a 21-year old was at the Mets/Phillies game. The beer smelled exactly as it did when I was five years old: crisp, carbonated, and too refined for my palette. I again imagined myself surrounded by my relatives and parents, each drinking to their best times while I stood knee-side in admiration. The beer was $7.75. It was icy cold. It was adult. It was normal.
(*Quote may possibly have been added to appease girlfriend.)