Highways are the New Gutters
“Are you gay?” he asked.
“Nope.” I replied.
“Are you sure?”
“Alright, let’s do shots!”
And with that I was on my way to an underwear party. The gentlemen I had just befriended filled me in on the details while we did shots of gin in the kitchen. DJ’s, location, time. It sounded like a killer event. Not to mention their straight and single female friends were coming (supposedly). I was excited. What could go wrong? At that point, I had been drinking for five hours and was already piss-drunk. I didn’t think my drunkenness would be an issue because we weren’t partying for several hours, but then I asked what our game plan was.
“So, what’s the game plan then?” I asked
“After this, we’re going to pre-game at our friends place, go to Woody’s after that, and then go to the party.”
Drunk Me was excited, because Drunk Me has no foresight (or self-restraint) when it comes to alcohol. We toasted, chugged a few beers, had another round (or two) of shots, and then out the door we went.
Their friend’s house was better stocked than most bars and packed with people. Drinks were thrust into our hands mere seconds after stepping into the apartment. I was introduced to a bunch of friendly people. Each expressed their surprise that a straight man would want to go to a mostly male underwear party.
“Hey man,” I told them, “a good time is a good time.”
I went ahead and made myself several vodka-cranberries. We partied there for closer to an hour before everything hit me like a truck on the highway. All of a sudden, I was seeing double. It had become too difficult to piss without making a mess, and I was barely able to stand in general. I figured another drink would help me. It did not. Why the fuck would it have?!
Slowly but surely everyone was starting to leave the apartment to head to Woody’s. I finished my drink and left with the guys, and blacked out the moment I stepped out of their apartment. I somehow made it to Woody’s and needlessly drank more. I have no clue as to how much time I spent at the bar, nor do I have any recollection of what happened while I was there. My only memory is puking violently all over the side of the building and then wandering off down the street, alone, slipping once again into darkness.
I woke up (or sobered up rather) to the sound of car horns blaring and bright lights distorting my vision. It took a few seconds for the world to come into focus as I stumbled along, but when it did, I stopped dead in my tracks. I was wandering down the shoulder of the highway.
“Fuck!” I yelled.
The only things I could see when I looked around were billboards and the distinct lack of any nearby exit ramps. I let out a heavy, annoyed groan and I resumed my walk down the highway, taking a moment to put on my headphones. Drunk Me really wanted to listen to Coheed and Cambria one last time just in case I was suddenly splattered all over the highway.
I walked for ten minutes before coming to an overpass with no shoulder. My only options were to walk back in the opposite direction or inch along the wall, at the risk of being pureed at any second. Drunk Me is (and was) lazy. Cars whizzed by within inches of killing me. They were just as upset as I was with my poor decision, and expressed it with horns and loud, angry yells. One guy called me an asshole. He was right. I kept walking down the road without being killed somehow and after a little while help arrived: it was the boys in blue.
A highway patrol car pulled up next to me and I was greeted by some understandably upset state troopers. I stuck my head into the cruiser’s window.
“What the FUCK are you doing?!” one of them enthusiastically asked.
I simply slurred out the truth; I was incapable of lying at this point.
“I’m drunk and I don’t know how I got here. I need help,” I grumbled in a language that might have been English.
The troopers glanced at each other, nodded, and took mercy on my drunken little soul. They let me into the back of their car and we drove back to civilization. And we all lived happily ever after. The End.
Actually, that’s not what happened at all. They glanced at each other, nodded, and looked at me.
“Keep walking down the road. If we catch you on here again you will spend the night in jail,” the trooper in the passenger seat said.
I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I repeated my need for help. I didn’t know how I had gotten there. I was drunk off my ass. Hell, I didn’t even know what highway I was on. Without missing a beat he replied: “Walk down this road or you will spend the night in jail”.
I backed away from the car and, defeated, I continued my drunken pilgrimage. They followed behind me at a snail’s pace, creeping alongside me, watching me the whole time. They followed me for several minutes until I luckily spotted a taxi. I flagged that fucker down like a crazy person, calling loudly and drunkenly waving my arms in a panic. I fell into the backseat and yelled for the driver to take me to City Hall and he pulled off in a hurry. With the slamming of that car door, my nightmare was over. I was alive, not in a drunk tank, and on route back to sidewalks and street lights. I blacked out again after the taxi dropped me off, but I somehow found my way back home. When I woke up in the morning I discovered I left my phone in the cab and it felt like knives were being stuck into my head. I spent the rest of the weekend puking and swearing to never get “Highway Blackout Drunk” again. Luckily, I haven’t broken that promise yet.
The bottom line:
That night was a terrible one. I lost my phone, my dignity, and my faith in the police. I suffered one of the worst hangovers of my life so far, was almost killed because of my own stupidity, and I will forever be haunted by the question of how I ended up on that highway (which turned out to be I95). But the absolute worst part of the whole night? I never even made it to the party. How fucking disappointing is that?