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This Ain't Livin'
This Ain't Livin'
I've always been old for my age. When I was in school I never had any friends because I was always too old to identify with my peers and too young to be accepted by people outside my age group. I hoped that when I aged into my mind I might finally find some peace and acceptance, but I never have.
S and I went out to a couple of parties Friday night with the dual aims of drinking ourselves into oblivion and meeting women. Right as we went out I knew the night was not going to live up to my expectations; I'd sprained my ankle playing basketball earlier in the day and I walked with a noticeable limp. Truth be told, my ankle was so swollen you couldn't tell I had an ankle. It was just one big ball of swollen foot, and every time I took a step a sharp stinging pain ran up from the inner edge of my foot right under my ankle to about my knee. I probably should have stayed in, but I'm stubborn and reckless, so I decided to ease the pain in my ankle with a night of heavy drinking.
Getting to the first party proved to be a real bitch. S said the place was on some street that I can't remember, and I thought that the street we had to be on was farther than it was, which meant we were driving out of our way for ten minutes. To make matters worse, although this was a four keg party, the hosts had no tap, so they were waiting for us to get there so they could start pouring their keystone light. (Note: if ever you throw a keg party, buy Shiner Bock. And not Shiner Light. Shiner Light is for pussies. Get Shiner Bock. Or Ziegen Bock Amber). When we finally found the place, we were 20 minutes late and all the people there had already formed into their own impenetrable groups. To make matters worse, I didn't know anybody there; I only knew S, and S only knew the host. So I was essentially adrift, lost in a sea of unfamiliar faces.
Now one of the things I always hate to do is go straight for the alcohol the second I walk through the door. To me, it smacks of desperation and sets a bad tone for the evening. However, I broke my own rule and headed for the keg because 1. my ankle was killing me, and 2. I was too sober to feel comfortable talking to anyone. I grabbed a cup and got in line behind a bunch of guys who were all about 2 inches taller than me, wore the same clothes as me, and had better hair than me, which is really to say that they had any hair at all. Right away I knew that I was not going to have fun here, because the people I was getting drunk enough to mingle with were not people with whom I would normally associate. Skinny girls in short white skirts with orange tans and blonde highlights, I started listening to some of things they were saying and had the violent urge to throw my beer at them (which would have been a better use of the beer than drinking it, because it was Keystone Light, and Keystone Light is about as good rusty water). A few snippets from the conversation I heard:
Stupid Bitch #1: Have you heard of, like, this new movie that's got Justine Timberlake and, like, a whole bunch of other people in it?
Stupid Bitch #2: Yea, I got so drunk I passed out and I don't remember anything!
Stupid Bitch #3: That was the fugliest skirt I've ever seen. I can't believe she thinks she looks good in that.
It was either drink my drink or throw it at them, so I drank. Hard.
I must have had at least ten beers and 5 jello shots before S and I decided to hit the road and travel to another party. Before we left I made cursory attempts to talk to women, but none of them really struck my interest and none of them really responded to me, which is just as well, because I might have ended up beating them.
We rolled to my place so S could pick up his car and I could garb a bottle of brandy. I try to be a considerate guest, and to me this involves bringing some sort of token of my appreciation for the hosts, especially for a party to which I wasn't specifically invited. Call me old fashioned, but that's just how I work. So I grabbed this bottle of brandy and followed S to a neighborhood around campus so we could pick up one of his bitches, then we drove we to his place where he dropped of his car and we all piled into mine. Then we drove over to another party around 40th and San Jac.
S has told me some good things about these people, so I went in with an open mind and a big bottle of brandy. The hosts were happy to see it; I was happy to give it to them, but unhappy to see other people drinking from it before I got mine. But what really irritated me, again, was the people. We had gone from a party filled with vapid, shallow, clueless idiots to a party filled with vapid, shallow, clueless, POLITICALLY CONSCIOUS idiots. I was surrounded by hipper than thou, Anybody-But-Bush Democrats with too many tattoos, too many piercings, and not enough sense.
So what did I do? I drank. I pretty much ran back to my bottle of brandy and started knocking back shots as quickly as could. Within about 15 minutes, I could barely see straight, let alone talk coherently. Not having all my mental faculties made it a bit easier to meet people; as long as I could shut off my mind and put myself on their level, I was good to go. And while I was blasted, some of those people seemed downright interesting, especially when I was insulting or harassing them. For example, a girl and I got into a heated exchange about why Kerry had lost. She believed that Kerry had been sabotaged by a cabal of right-wing extremists and oil interests who didn't want a progressive in the white house standing up for worker's rights and the environment. I believed that Kerry was a colorless windbag who couldn't inspire people to run out of a goddamn burning building, let alone vote for him. The exchage of the night went to her, when she said:
Hippie: The only reason people vote for Bush is because they're too stupid to realize that his propaganda machine is manipulating them into voting against their own economic interests.
To which I replied
Me: No, the only reason people vote for Bush is because he's a charismatic leader whom people like, and when you're only hope is Vietnam Vet who hasn't accomplished a single thing in nearly 20 years in the Senate, and who is as exciting as a bag of potatoes, and who doesn't have a clear ideological philosophy, and whose whole campaign centers around the idea that he would do the exact same things Bush has done, only better, you don't give voters much goddamn choice, you stupid hippie bitch!
Me 1, hippies nothing. Of course, you have to read that diatribe with a lot more slurring of the words, but you get the idea. Even when I can't think straight, I can still think circles around these people.
Well, after I had finished making a total jackass out of myself, S pulled me away from the few remaining people who weren't pissed at me and dragged me a to a frat party in it's death throes. I've never been to a frat party, but from what I saw, it's about as much fun as a strip club, except the women don't get entirely naked and they talk. Which means, it's not that much fun at all. However, of all the places we went, I think the frat party was the best, for 3 reasons. 1. I was blind, stinking drunk, and didn't have an ounce of social aplomb left in my body. 2. I met a very interesting girl from Japan named M; oh what the hell, her name was Masako, and she was easily the most polite person there. She was so polite, she apologized for everything, even things that were in no way her fault or responsibility. Like my ankle. When she saw me limping around, she asked me what was wrong, and I told her I had sprained my ankled. She said she was sorry, and I became really belligerent and started yelling at her that it wasn't her fault and she didn't have anything to be sorry about. Obviously she was not used to being yelled at, because she started to curl up within herself and her lip started quivering. This was the first (and only) time in the entire night I felt a bit of sympathy for anyone. She really hadn't done anything wrong, she was just trying to be polite, and what was my response? Anger and yelling. So I walked over to her, gave her a hug and told her I was sorry for hurting her feelings. I then proceeded to explain that, in America, we don't ever say we're sorry. Because we're not.
3. I ran into an old friend from my temple in SA. She is a nursing student and tried to make me sit down and put ice on my ankle. She could tell what I couldn't: that my ankle was much more fucked up than I had ever realized and that I probably shouldn't even be walking. She really had my best interest at heart, and that touched me. She also gave me everclear, and that touched me as well.
Around 4 in the morning, S dragged me away as the final remnants of the party melted into the night. We limped to my car, and S, being the relatively more sober of the two of us, drove my car back to his place. I limped up to his apartment and crashed on his couch, only one of my goals fulfilled. But why was this?
Before I passed out I made a cursory attempt to run through the events of the evening. The keg party, the hippies, the frat, these were people I was attracted to in a very base and animalistic way, but they weren't people who challenged me. They only excited my cock, not my brain, and this was the problem.
Which brings me back to the beginning of this post. I'm old. Not physically old, but mentally old. Too old to enjoy getting drunk and sleeping with random bitches for it's own sake. Too old to enjoy loud parties and idealistic kids. Too old to shut off my mind to appeal to people I don't like. Too old for all of it. Too old.
A man can't deny his nature. I've been trying to deny mine. Going to parties, getting wasted, hooking up, it's just not for me. It may be for my friends, and it's fun to go out with them and have a stupid fun every once in a while, but it's not something I actively want or seek out. It's not my thing, man. Which is why last Saturday was my last night of partying for the forseeable future.