I can’t remember when exactly I began to feel a sense of hesitation about Friday night’s plans, but by 12:00 AM, Saturday morning, I started to kick myself for opting out of staying home, watching Skins on Netflix and eating chips and salsa. But it was Ash’s birthday and birthdays are important.
Tuesday night I skimmed through a few Yelp reviews for the spot that was to be our party destination. Judging from what I was reading, this bar wasn’t NYC’s most well liked but it wasn’t my birthday and so I decided to prepare for the worst but hope for the best. As Friday drew nearer, my excitement failed to grow at all. Quite frankly, my new job had me running on E and I was flat out pooped. At 11:00 PM on Friday, my hair looked lifeless, my make-up looked boring and my attitude was equal to a bag of lemons. I needed a nap. I’d had the day off from work but had very little time to rest. The only thing that I was pleased with was my flawless choice of nail polish. “Just take a drink,” I told myself, “Maybe that will help.”
It wasn’t long before we were ready to leave Sam’s when we were informed that the venue had changed as well as some other plans. It turned out that a few of Ash’s friends that she invited were having car trouble and needed assistance. Already one hour behind schedule, the rest of us were not pleased to hear this and were quick to call bullshit the moment we saw it.
Just as suspected, the car trouble was more like “we don’t want to take our hooptie and we’d much rather drive Ash’s car because it’s nicer.” Sam, being the firecracker that she is, did not hesitate to protest. After 20 minutes of nothing getting accomplished, I started to feel my eyelids get heavy while I drank some more of the concoction I’d mixed up at the house that was meant to perk me up a little. It was midnight and we were nowhere near the city.
After one more trip back to Samantha’s and a pit stop in a Wendy’s drive thru, we were on our way. Ash was dressed in her finest pair of denim panties and we were ready to celebrate with her. But once we reached the bar, another obstacle presented itself. Where was the party promoter that was supposed to be letting us in? At the risk of sounding like someone who thinks she is important, I will say that I don’t do lines and neither do my friends. I suppose the universe felt that it was time to humble us, because that is exactly what we ended up doing for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The universe did throw us a bone though, because to keep us occupied, God sent a man with an orange beard for us to taunt and talk shit about as a way to pass the time. Want to entertain a kid on a long flight or something? Give him a toy. Want to entertain me? Give me something or someone to laugh at.
“What’s with the beard?”, I asked.
“Oh my cousin dyes his beard crazy colors and so I decided to try it out.”
Steph and I giggled because it did, in fact, look ridiculous. If leprechauns were 6 feet tall, dark skin and Haitian, I would have expected him to ask us about his pot of gold.
“Orange is the new beard I guess.” Steph said.
We snickered again and continued to observe the other interesting outfits on parade that evening. Once we took a break from our private roast session, we all noticed that Ash had disappeared and had been gone for quite sometime. Patience was wearing thin and when the question of whether to go do something else came up, I quickly volunteered that we either go home or go to another venue.
After an additional 10 minutes of being outside and not partying, we finally were admitted into the bar. Ash was given a bottle of champagne and Sam, Steph, Antoinette and I parked our selves by the bar and enjoyed a few beers. The DJ was terrible at transitioning smoothly from song to song but I figured that the drunken white people probably didn’t notice and were perfectly content with dancing off beat to mainstream reggae, old school house, and pop hits that dated back to when I still wore a B cup bra. Orange beard and his friend decided to float around us as we ignored them and danced with each other, stopping every once in awhile to see people making out ferociously in dark corners. Then I heard Orange Beard call me over to where he was standing.
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“What?! That’s crazy! You’re so pretty!”
“Ok that’s all I wanted to ask.”
A few minutes later I saw him buzzing in Steph’s ear and then Antoinette’s while he danced with her. He found his way back to me soon.
“I hate when people step all over my thousand dollar sneakers!”
“Who wears thousand dollar sneakers to a bar?”
“Can I have your number?”
“Oh my god I love this song!”
If you were to ask me what song it was right now, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. But I did love the song even if it was mostly because it was a window to escape this awkward and bothersome situation. I started to feel like the neon orange of his facial hair was actually a fungus and if I didn’t distance myself soon, I’d wake up the next day looking like a sesame street muppet. It was time to hit the ladies’ room.
“He’s been trying to talk to all of us!”
“He told me he was in love with me.”
“He said, ‘oh my gosh your ass is so soft!,’ while we were dancing.”
“And his breath is terrible!”
A few tinkles and a couple hair fluffs later, we were back at the bar and Orange Beard was back at it.
“So how about you take my number?”
“Do you want some gum?”
Seriously dude? If someone offers you gum, IT IS FOR A REASON! I pulled out my phone and pretended to take down his phone number while he rambled on about how he’d been arrested for scamming and the police stole his other phone.
“What time is it?” I asked the group. It was around 3 and I’d reached my limit. We agreed to find Ash and suggest to her that we start to head home. There was only one problem: we didn’t know where she’d gone. We looked everywhere in the bar and she was nowhere to be found. Panic and aggravation began to set in. We couldn’t leave her behind. She was drunk and missing.
We stepped outside and saw her boyfriend walking by himself in the direction of the club entrance.
He didn’t know. Awesome. It was assumed that she’d gone off with some other friends to get high and drink more in their car. At that moment, I’d had enough.
“I GOTTA GET HOME! MY MOTHER IS GONNA RIP ME A NEW ASSHOLE! SOMEONE AT LEAST DROP ME TO PENN STATION AND I’LL TAKE THE TRAIN!”
I guess you could say I was a bit cranky.
When we finally found Ash, it was clear that the party was over for her and we needed to get her home right away. It baffled us how she got that drunk as well as how the hell we were going to get her in and out of the car. She was dead weight and it was only a matter of time before she would throw up. In a feeble attempt to prop her up, Sam rested Ash on her back and I was afraid they would both fall and hit the pavement. I looked at the time. 3:45 AM. Can’t I just go home?
“I just stole something from the bar.”
It was Orange Beard again.
“It was the stamp so we can stamp ourselves and get in.”
Why aren’t we moving yet?!
We pulled off, leaving Ash’s boyfriend, Orange Beard, her other friends behind. We found a McDonald’s and Sam, Steph and myself proceeded to carry Ash in and into the restaurant’s bathroom.
“Nooo. I don’t wanna sit on that!”
“We’re going to hold you up. Squat.”
“I don’t have to peeeeee.”
I turned on the faucet and she began to piss like a champion racehourse.
“Who’s going to wipe her?”
We got her a cup of water and carried her back out to the car. It was then that she needed to vomit the rest of the liquor out of her system that hadn’t been released from her hour long piss. The stench of stomach acid, strawberry-ritas and various other alcoholic beverages made me gag and I feared for Sam who had to run out of the car into the dirty streets of Manhattan in her bare feet to pull her cousin’s hair back for her.
“Friends. How many of us have them?” Antoinette sang from the driver’s seat.
When she finished puking, we finally started our drive back to Queens. It was now past 4 AM.
“I’m never going anywhere with you guys again!”
During the car ride home, shade was thrown and jokes were exchanged about how ridiculous everyone and everything seemed to be that evening. I’d almost forgotten that we had to carry Ash inside until we pulled up to the front of Sam’s house. It took all four of us to carry her inside and try not to drop her or ourselves down the steep flight of stairs that lead to Sam’s basement bedroom. We only dropped her a couple of times but no real damage was done. The night was finally over.
“So how was the party?” my mother asked me the next day.
“I could’ve stayed home.”
“You got in pretty late for something you could’ve stayed home for.”
I told her all about the prior events and how it is only funny now that its already happened.
“You know what the lesson is here right?”
“Yes. I’m staying home.”