Wednesday, February 2, 2011

the bus doesn't stop here

Sometimes in life, you have moments you wish you could just forget ever happened. For me, a vast majority of those moments occurred somewhere between the years of 1999-2005.

The college years.

(Yes, it took me six years to graduate. No, I'm not a doctor. Shut up.)

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't that I was in a coke and meth induced haze for the early parts of the millennium.  Not at all. Never touched the stuff. I was mostly just really tired from staying up late all night studying...or drinking.

As a college co-ed fresh out of high school, I was a bit on the sheltered side. I grew up in a good ol' corn fed, God fearing home where R-rated movies were a rarity and church was a requirement every Sunday. Therefore, the transition from the "rules of this house" to "my house rules!" was a bit unexpected for me.

So I went a little nuts.

One way I took advantage of the sudden slack in structure was clubbing. On campus in 2000, the place to be was a little club called Flanigans. Every underage co-ed in the university could be found in this club after midnight on a Thursday, grinding with total strangers.  
Flanigan's was known for good DJ's, a packed dance floor, and 20:1 odds that even the ugliest among us could leave with a minimum of two phone numbers. And maybe syphilis.


My friends and I adored this club. But as afore mentioned, we were not 21. On a decent night, you could convince frat boys with laughable fake ID's to swipe you a drink from the bar. However, many times authority figures in dark hats and glasses would show up and card anyone they suspected was underage. Then you went to jail. No bueno.

As a remedy to the underage issue, my friends and I came up with an amazing master plan. Drinking before we left. Normally it'd be a beer or shot per person to loosen the nerves and head out the door.

But on one particular night my sophomore year, a few things went a bit...wrong.

It was Thursday, and my friend Erin and I got in our Flanigan's best. We were free from our boyfriend's from the night, and ready to live it up with the girls.

(For a small sampling of what I MAY have worn, read this. I'm actually thinking that this was one of the night's I chose to wear one of my halter tops as a skirt.)

(No, I'm not kidding.)

(But that's neither here nor there.)

Erin and I stopped at her friend Brooke's house prior to leaving for the night. No one wanted to be the DD, so I volunteered to "lightly drink" and drive everyone myself. The bar was less than a mile away, anyway.

(DISCLAIMER: I do NOT condone drinking and driving in any capacity. I was once a very young and ridiculous college student and thought I was invincible. I no longer think this.)

As we all stood around chatting, Brooke brilliantly decided to break out the drink of champions - Captain Morgan and Pepsi.

(I'm trying not to vomit at the thought of this right now.)

Each girl classily took turns drinking two gulps of Cap'n per half-sip of Pepsi. It was very easy to convince ourselves that we could down multiple ounces of hard liquor with no effects. During those years I usually only drank beer. I simply failed to realize that two shots of Captain was not equal to two bottles of beer.

(We hadn't covered that in chemistry yet, okay?)

(As if I took chemistry.)

At around 11:00, it was time to head out. I felt a little woozy but ignored it. It was my job to get these girls to the bar safely; I needed to focus. The three of us stumbled into my forest green Nissan Sentra, laughing at the fun night that was surely in front of us.

As I veered into the Flanigan's parking lot, I noticed my vision beginning to blur slightly. But no matter, we were there and looked way hot. Time to have a good time.

"OH SHIT!" Erin exclaimed from the back seat.

"Erin, you don't have to call your boyfriend," I reminded, glaring at her in the rear view mirror. "It's girls night, remember?"

"No no!" she shrieked back, hurriedly digging through her purse. "I forgot my ID! It's back at the dorm."

I groaned audibly. Yes I had gotten us here alive, but my vision was getting closer to double by the second. My arms were beginning to feel like they didn't even belong to my body.

"Wait!" Erin called out happily, holding something up. "I have my Bus Pass! Will that get me in if I smile?"

It was clear we had to go back. I put the car in gear and headed back to our dorm.

Two minutes later, I dropped the girls off at the front of the door and waited for them to return.

I felt weird.

Hmm, that tree next to the dorm...had there always been two of them? I swear it was just one. And those two red cars parked ahead...they were EXACTLY THE SAME! Slowly I realized that I may have crossed the border line from loopy to totally boozed out. To test my theory, I crossed my eyes and found everything returned to normal.

Did you hear that? CROSSING MY EYES made the world seem NORMAL.

At that moment, I felt a bubble in my stomach and a rush of saliva up my throat. Oh no. I knew that feeling. I was going to be sick. No way was I going to vomit in my own car.

If only there was a way to get rid of the gross tasting saliva in my mouth, I'd feel better. It tasted like Captain Morgan and felt hot on my tongue. I had to do something. My head swam as I leaned forward and ever so slowly, spit the liquid ONTO MY LAP.

There. Done. Better.

Minutes later, Erin and Brooke came back to the car, driver's license in hand.

"Everything good? You okay to drive still?" Brooke asked, probably not even caring about the answer.

"Yep! Just fine!" I confirmed, grateful for the darkness covering my spit spot.

I threw the car in gear, crossed my eyes again, and headed back to the bar.

By the time we arrived the second time, Erin was beyond hammered. Brooke managed to pull her out of the car, but her legs swiftly turned to Jell-O as she rambled about loving KU basketball, no matter how they played this year.

The line into Flanigan's was out the door. We would have to wait. So there we all stood, half-clothed and leaning against each other, trying to look sober. Rumor was, if the bouncers could tell you were drunk, they wouldn't let you in.

But we weren't drunk, right?

Finally we made it to Mr. Clean bouncer-man and his shiny bald head. He requested Brooke's ID and she showed it with only the slightest of wobbles and a slight wink. In she went. Erin was next.

It might have been the glazed look in her eyes, or perhaps the gurgles coming out of her mouth, but the bouncer looked at Erin, leveling her with his eyes.

"I'm ready to come in!" she announced loudly, handing the wall her ID.

He shook his head. "No, no way. You really think you're coming in here."  It wasn't a question.

"C'mon! I'mmot drenk! I've hud a fwew dreenks, butm' fine. I promi-"

"Sweetie, you aren't coming in," he said again. "You can't even stand. Your friend is holding you up."

Was I?  I hadn't even noticed.

"We'll take her, thanks man," a familiar voice came from behind me. It was J, Erin's boyfriend. I have never been go glad to see another human being in my entire life.

Like a wonderful and concerned best fiend, I swiftly deposited Erin into J's arms, wished her well and bid her adieu. It was time for me to go in. The bouncer did not look happy. Maybe he could see that I normally wasn't cross-eyed. 

"KIM!" a voice shouted from the back of the line. "KIM! What's going on? What the hell are you doing?"

It was my boyfriend. Well, kind of. It was actually the guy I had been dating for the last two years who still refused to call me his girlfriend while he was in college. But in his defense, he assured me I was the only one he was currently sleeping with.

Despite my anger at him for a multitude of things he'd done lately, I knew I needed help. I couldn't get myself home and I was getting drunker by the second.

I smiled and mumbled "Mrpmmdhf" to the bartender and headed to the back of the line, tripping over my own shoes as I approached Ex.

"Hi, Ex," I slurred. "Imso completely wursted and I dorn wanna be hur ennamore."

He laughed heartily at me, as per usual. So sweet.

"Look at her Dan! She's gone!" he laughed again,elbowing his friend. "Ya know, I really shouldn't even hang out with you tonight, Kim, remember? You promised you could be without me. I'm here with Dan. I told you I wanted to meet some other people tonight, and I want you to do the same-"

"I don full good," I managed to get out.

"Okay, we'll go," he sighed at me, straightening his button down shirt and winking at the girl in front of him. Then, to Dan, "We can come back tomorrow when she's not here. We can have fun tomorrow."

And with that, he ushered me to his car. It was too far. With what strength I had left, I wobbled a few feet and got sick. All over the side of the building.

 When I finally came up for air, I wondered if I even had any stomach lining left. Apparently this was having fun.


The next morning I awoke in Ex's dorm room. I felt like a freight train had driven through my head. Hobbling 6 floors up to my room, I opened the door and found Erin lying on our floor.

"Please, please let's never do this again," she whispered, looking at me through swollen slits in her eyes and burying her head in a pillow.

"Agreed. I don't even know what happened last night."  I laid on the bed and pulled the covers over my head.  "I think I spit on myself."

"Really!!???" Erin replied. "I think I tried to give the bouncer my bus pass."

"Let's forget this ever happened and never, ever drink Pepsi again." I said.


To this day, if I even come near a Captain Morgan bottle, my stomach lurches. On a side note, I think I look super hot with my eyes crossed and a pool of saliva in my lap.

Erin no longer rides the bus.

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