Day 29: Oh, how I do not long to be that drunk kid who fell onto his face

15 Sep

1:30 am

Ode to Day 29: Oh, how I do not long to be that drunk kid who fell onto his face in the subway. DUDE. Thank God(dess) he wasn’t near the tracks. He was at the bottom of the escalator and literally tripped and went SPLAT onto his chest and face. Ouch. Of course, I laughed after I got past him (two other people helped his drunk ass up), mainly because it was one of those falls so utterly lacking in grace that you can’t perform it unless you’re totally shitfaced and your limbs are approximately 95% out of your conscious control.

How often have I done — and not remembered doing — something like that? I cringed and immediately took a reality check: I could have been him and could have done that, and something really bad (breaking my neck comes to mind — I know someone who did) could have happened. I suck in my breath a little at the thought of the absolute possibility.

I remember walking around [cold east coast city] a few years ago, pretty soon before I left (man, that sounds so sad; must get back). I was still drinking and blacking out, but it was taking its toll and I was moving into my serious-problem phase. (That makes me smile — which was what, pray tell? Rage-dialing a recent ex AND banging your laptop to death in the same night?). Anyway, it was dark and as I was crossing the street with the hoards of mainly 20s kids, I saw this 20s kid stumbling, lit as fuck. He could barely stand up, and kept weaving in and out of this wide swath of land that he considered his “dotted line.” He looked like he was in a trance and had no idea where he was or what he was doing. He’d move toward people, nearly fall on them, and they’d back away. Or, just pretend not to notice him at all.

It stands out because I remember wanting to go over to him and like, HELP HIM. I was worried that he might walk into traffic or trip over an open manhole. Or worse, fall into one of those storefront openings in the sidewalk that lead to the shop’s basement level. That could have been/probably was at some point ME. Did anyone help me? Did anyone care? Would strangers just let ME stumble about through the streets of [cold east coast city]? What makes him different than me?

I guess I must never have stumbled THAT badly around strangers in the bar, or outside on my own after my friends took off, or trying to find a cab… I doubt it, though, as I have more than one memory of “coming to” somewhere totally foreign and not in my ‘hood (sometimes not even in my borough). I know it’s happened here…when I got arrested and spent the night in a sobering cell in [cold west coast city], or when I blacked out for hours and ended up getting mugged and losing my glasses somewhere that felt like the Mission but to this day I have no idea where I was in the city, or when…the list goes on.

The point is, it gets worse. Kind of like the opposite of the Dan Savage anti-bullying campaign. It Gets Worse. Hopefully, though, that kid in [cold east coast city] didn’t turn up dead or seriously injured, and hopefully he’s not relying on the “kindness” of strangers anymore after he’s had too much to drink. If you think about it, HOW MANY times have we gone home shitfaced after a night out drinkin’? How many times have I walked, taken the subway, hailed a cab, climbed up seven flights of stairs or taken the elevator to my apartment COMPLETELY blacked out, or at least in severe brownout? Innumerable. Literally. I might as well count backward from 365. Now? Today? Today I don’t even think I’d trust myself in the shower drunk. IT GETS WORSE.

This post is all just to say, I’m consciously glad — finally — that I’m not falling onto my face at the bottom of a subway station’s escalator (which wasn’t even turned ON). Dude is going to hurt tomorrow.

9 Responses to “Day 29: Oh, how I do not long to be that drunk kid who fell onto his face”

  1. Chicago September 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    OK, first of all, the “It Gets Worse” campaign… Absolutely genius and true. Also cracked me up. It DOES get worse, never gets better. I am sad for that guy who fell and I have also been there a million times. So thankful today for no hangover, mystery bruises, achy limbs/back/muscles from doing God-knows-what while drinking, no headache or self-loathing that make me crawl back under the covers for the entire day, no wrecking my Saturday with guilt, shame, anxiety, fear, (and again) self-loathing for what I may have done or said last night… The list goes on and on. I’m happy that you will wake up today sober, safe, and none of the above too! Have a great weekend lady!

    • Drunky Drunk Girl September 15, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      Me, too! Wow, same story for me: mystery bruises! Holy cow, the things we forget. I’d wake up with so many “mystery bruises,” one of my exes actually accused me once of being a stripper (I know, right? I was raging drunk at the time he said it, but it made me laugh out loud, too.)! And, yes, the same achy limbs, lower back (poor kidneys) eww-iness, and that shame/fear/anxiety that keeps you in bed all day for literal guilt of getting out. Wow… thank YOU for sharing! And, today? Waking up sober, a bit headachy, but I’ll take that any day over being hung over. And, I love that comment you made the other day: I think another hangover would kill me. Yes, those two hangovers I had in August were like death on at stick — worse. I just cannot tolerate them anymore. Anyhoo, thanks, Chicago…great to have you on my side. Keep up the awesome work yourself!

  2. runningonsober September 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Yes, it does. Ha, auto-correct on my phone wanted to say, “yes, it dies.” Ironic how those two are likely the same.

  3. Belle (Tired2012) September 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    i hate to say it, but when i see serious drunkenness, i cross the street. i get off the train. i leave the party. it freaks me out because people get hurt and because it’s so unpredictable. my anxiety level goes through the roof knowing that ‘something bad’ is going to happen. I’m glad that you’ve turned away from the fall-down-the-stairs girl. if i saw that guy on the escalator, i would have turned and exited that station and walked to another one. i’m glad it’s not you there. so so glad it’s not you.

    • Chicago September 16, 2012 at 4:13 am #

      You just described that perfectly. I am horrified by drunk people now. Hard to be around boozing at all these days, not because I want to drink (I mean, I DO…. But I want it to be normal, which it will never be). So being around it is really kind of creepy, and seeing people be dangerous, sloppy, totally out of it is so very spooky now.

      • Drunky Drunk Girl September 17, 2012 at 3:59 am #

        My main issue these days with drunks is how LOUD they are! I never noticed just how annoying that is until now… 😉 I don’t like seeing people being dangerous, but sometimes people are being…so out of it, they’re more a danger to themselves and unintentionally to others. That’s when I am more apt to reach out and help rather than recoil and shy away. Unless, of course, there’s nothing you can do and they’re being belligerent. That’s a different story…

    • Drunky Drunk Girl September 17, 2012 at 4:02 am #

      I do, too! When I hear or see anything that looks serious (drunkenness or general partying, esp. in the ‘hoods in NYC), I discreetly cross the street! The difference with dude on the escalator and general rowdiness, to me, is that he was simply moving along and boom, fell down. It wasn’t until then that I noticed he was drunk. I would have helped him, he seemed so helpless himself. (Me, too, but honestly, I’m a pretty physically capable drunk! I think I’ve fallen a couple of times…the 1,000s of others, I somehow managed to get my body where it was supposed to go, usually not appearing like I was drunk, let alone blacked out. That was my problem!)

      • turningmyfacetowardthesun August 16, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

        Oh, yes, the absolute ridiculous decibels of LOUDNESS from drunk people make the hairs on my neck stand on high alert. It’s probably one of the biggest factors that keep me from joining a party well after it started, or at all. I simply cannot stand it. I hate to admit it, but I have visions of duct tape and a job-well-done, congratulatory cigarette, in silence.

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