Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Blackout Story

I've never been one to admit that I use the internet as a crutch for meeting women. But seeing as most of my major relationships have begun in some capacity before I've even met the girl, I think it's time I finally stop denying my reliability on the written word to woo females. It's just how I function, I suppose.

One of the girls I've done this with was named Bethany, back during the week of my 18th birthday, the summer before my senior year in high school. I was "introduced" to her via a friend from school, and told that she and I would really hit it off if we began talking.

So naturally, I took his advice and began playing the game I've come to partake in all-too often. She was pretty, smart, and had a great sense of humor, and I sincerely did enjoy talking to her. She seemed to enjoy my company well, and soon we developed small crushes on one another.

There was an issue with seeing her, however. Between work and babysitting her younger sibling, she didn't have a lot of free time. On top of that, she lived more than 45 minutes away, so a trip would take a while if we'd planned to see one another.

Then one night, she called me around 10:30, asking if I could meet up with her somewhere and go to a party in her part of town that she was invited to. My parents weren't exactly the "let your kid go to a party with a girl he's never met at 10:30 at night"-type parents, so I told them that I would be spending the night at my friend's house instead.

An hour and a half later, she showed up at a park that we'd decided to meet at, 50 minutes later than she said she would. Despite this fact, I was willing to forgive her and move on.

But there was a problem. Bethany was not all like she'd advertised herself to be online, and I'm not only talking about her physical appearance, but her attitude as well. 80 pounds heavier than me, with a callous, bitter personality, she was practically the exact opposite of what she'd told me and shown me she was before.

But I was stuck. It was midnight and I was supposed to be at my friend's house, and didn't have any other choice but to go with her to this party. So we left, and arrived there nearly an hour later, both exhausted and in bad moods (me because of her deception, her because of my attitude towards her).

Aside #1: Before you think I'm an asshole for judging her like this, then treating her badly afterwards, understand my level of disappointment by putting yourself in my shoes. She literally wasn't anything like the girl I'd began to like online, and I wasn't too happy about it.

I was introduced to a large group of people upon my arrival, including the redheaded girl who was hosting the party named Allison that I immediately hit it off with, much to Bethany's chagrin. Everyone there seemed glad that I had come, and they all welcomed me into their fold with open arms, telling me to drink as much booze and smoke as much hookah as I'd liked.

Happily, I obliged, taking a 2/3-full fifth of high-end vodka and making it my own. One of the patrons of the party saw this, and dared me to chug the whole thing in one go, without stopping. Not wanting to disappoint my newfound friends, and never willing to back down from a dare, I happily obliged.

The last thing I remember hearing, as the vodka was being emptied into my mouth, was the long-haired guy that had dared me saying the following:

"See you later, duuude."

I don't remember much after that. I vaguely recall getting into a pool in nothing but my boxers, and Allison jumping in after me. I remember swimming over to her and trying to kiss her, but I can't remember if I was successful. I also distinctly remember Bethany leaving shortly after my attempt at showing affection to a girl that wasn't her, telling me that I could find my own way home.

Aside #2: I realize that I could have very easily had sex with her that night, but I'm near-positive I didn't. As I've said before, alcohol usually makes my man-parts go all limp and unusable.

Six hours later I woke up at the end of her driveway next to a pile of my own vomit. A guy with dreds that was at the party was lightly prodding me with the toe of his shoe, telling me I needed to get up and that Allison's parents would be home soon. Still really, really drunk, I slowly stood up and asked him where I should go. He pointed down the street, and I slowly started shuffling in that direction.

What didn't really cross my mind was that I was easily a 45-minute drive away from home, didn't know where my cell phone was, and was deathly afraid of what my parents would do to me if they'd found out that I lied.

So I continued stumbling down the street, until a kind-looking woman pulled over and asked me if I was okay.

"No, I'm really drunk," I replied, slurring my words.

"Well get in, I'll help you," she said, unlocking the car door.

Not caring that I'd never seen this woman before, or that she may have a secondary adgenda when it came to helping me, I climbed into her car.

"You have writing all over your face," she informed me, as we headed in the direction I'd been walking in.

"What does it say?" I asked.

"The only word I can really make out is 'dick' on your cheek. I think there's an arrow pointing to your mouth, too," she admitted, clearly trying not to laugh.

Around then, we pulled up to a Starbucks. Tripping over myself to get inside, I sat down at one of the small tables while the woman walked up to the counter and placed an order. Putting my head down, I passed out until a few minutes later when my order was delivered to my table. The woman was nowhere to be seen, and the barista that gave me my black coffee and cinnamon cake told me that she'd told her to tell me that she was sorry that she had to leave, and that she'd had an appointment somewhere.

After trying to take a sip of my coffee, burning my mouth, and spilling it down my front, I resumed my head-down position on the table and passed out again.

Not long later, I awoke to four police officers and two firefighters standing around me, one putting a blood pressure monitor on my finger and another rummaging through my bag I'd brought with me. A third began talking to me.

"What is your name?" he asked, chuckling.

"Ty...Tyler..." I said.

"Well, Tyler, you're lucky to be alive, from the looks of it. How much did you drink?"

I raised both hands and put out my index fingers, holding them six inches apart.

"Th...this much vodka..."

He whistled. The other men started chattering.

"I couldn't drink that much," one said.

"Your liscense says you weigh around 115 pounds, is that correct?" asked the first officer, my wallet in-hand.

"Yes...I can't gain weight!" I gargled, laughing.

Aside #3: Three years later, and I don't weigh more than ten pounds more than this.

"Well, we're checking your blood pressure right now to make sure you don't have alchohol poisoning. I assume you drank all of this last night?"

"Yes...last night..."

"Well, your readings are okay, it looks like a lot of it is out of your system. You're just dealing with the residual stuff right now. We're not going to punish you, because it looks like this has done more than enough to teach you a lesson."

"I don't have a ride home..." I remembered, getting scared.

He then asked me where I lived, and after I told him, and he began to look worried. He then told me that they'd found my cell phone in my bag, and were going to call my parents to have them come pick me up. After a few half-assed attempts to prevent him from doing so, the officer was soon on the phone with my stepdad. He explained the situation, gave him the address of the Starbucks, and told him to come as soon as possible.

During their exchange, for a third time that morning, I put my head down on the table and passed out.

Some time later, I awakened while being dragged out of the shop by my shirt.

Aside #4: I'm not exaggerating, I literally woke up as I was being dragged out. My heels hit the door frame and it jarred me awake.

After being unceremoniously thrown into the passenger seat of my mother's Honda, my stepdad quickly walked around the car and sat down harshly, slamming his door. If I had any question as to if he was angry with me, it was answered by his actions.

The drive home was filled with no talking and lots of falling in and out of consciousness. When we finally arrived home, a lot of yelling was done, by both him and my mother, followed by me sitting and staring at them in a drunken stupor, not sure how to respond. They both said things to me that made me feel like the absolute worst person on the face of the planet for what I had done, as if this instance wasn't one amongst millions like it in the whole of teenager-dom.

Once they were finished with me, I walked into the bathroom and tried to kill myself by slicing my left wrist open with an X-Acto knife. But, as I've mentioned a dozen times previously, I was still incredibly drunk, and...well...missed every single vein I could have possibly hit. By a wide margin.

Aside #5: Fun fact: The reason that I started wearing watches regularly was to cover up some of the bigger scars from this day. I'm now a bona-fide watch fanatic.

After fifteen minutes of barely bleeding from the few cuts I'd managed to actually make, my mother knocked on the bathroom door.

"What are you doing in there?" she asked.

"Well...I was trying to kill myself, but I don't think it's working," I replied.

Quickly, she opened the door and found me standing there on the verge of tears.

Aside #6: The fact that I didn't lock the door should tell you how serious I was about killing myself.

The next few minutes were a blur. Nothing really important happened, aside from both of my parents being angry with me for trying to kill myself (which is EXACTLY how you should treat a "suicidal" person, by the way). After an hour of sitting on our couch and calming down, I took a shower and went to bed.

Aside #7: As I took a shower, I found that there wasn't just writing on my face. It was also on my stomach, my thighs, and shoulders. None of the things were pleasant.

Eleven hours later, around 9 'o clock that night, I woke up, still unable to walk in a straight line, but sobered up enough to face my parents. Except, something had happened to them in those few hours. I'll never know what, exactly, but a shift occurred in the both of them.

My stepdad hugged me after I walked into our living room, in a rare display of parental affection that I wasn't used to. He'd also gone to the store during my mini-coma, and had bought mango popsicles for me, to help with the dehydration that the booze had done to my system.

My mother, for the first time since I was a child, asked me to come into her room to watch a movie with her. Together we sat side-by-side on her bed at watched some lame romantic comedy as we talked about what had happened the night before. She assured me that I would be punished for it, but that I shouldn't worry about it for the next few hours, and should just relax.

This was the only time that I can remember my parents being this pleasant to me since I'd started high school, and the only time they were both nice to me at the same time since. If I would have known that all it took for them to be this way was a shitload of high-proof vodka and a botched suicide attempt, I would have done it a helluva lot sooner.

This post is dedicated to my friend and longtime supporter Jacob Seemann, to remind him that bad days happen to us all, and to keep soldiering on, no matter what.

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