Welcome To Hell: The Flask Edition
Look at me. I look like shit.
I’m doing this weird thing where I’m breathing really heavy and my jaw looks like an old cash register on the fritz. It’s not even a good register that spits out money like a broken Vegas slot machine but a money sucking black hole of abuse and indulgence. I’ve left a trail of clothing that goes from my door to my bedroom which is now turning into a river of cranberry soaked jeans and sneakers. This is not my thing. How the fuck did I get so drunk? Why was I hanging off Chris Hires metal Jewish tenement balcony chain-smoking cigarettes like it was a competitive sport? My Blackberry’s Pandora app is on a Morrissey radio station while my snot is in one of the many balls of tissue on the kitchen counter. Why does my hand have spray paint on them? Oh god I’ve stayed up way too late, I’m watching fresh bread and morning newspaper deliveries being made all around me. Why does my girlfriend even put up with me?
Well, in part its her fault. But um, yeah not really…
I’ve never been a drinker. I mean I’ve gone out to bars and I’ve hung out with my neighborhood friends over a 40 ounce of St. Ides and Newport smokes but it was never my thing. I can drink a can of PBR for 3 hours. In part it had to do with this memory I have of the first time I cut High School. The high-lights of this adventure were watching my male friends dance Reggae music with each other while drowning in a jug of Smirnoff vodka and vomiting on the entire floor of some random bedroom while magically not getting a drop of it on the bed. And there was also the unspeakable cold shower. My horrible, horrible friends had me convinced for years that I had been “rectal examined” by one of them while I blacked out nude in a tub. Let’s just say I never became a fan of those friends or any liquor. Ever. Until I started dating Kara.
Kara on the other hand is a huge fan.
She has a specific taste… and its for Jack Daniels premium grade whiskey. This is a girl who warriors it up on the weekends and wines out on the weekdays while making million dollar decisions for a fortune 500 company. She’s also a girl with an extensive collection of shoes and a knack for one of a kind designer shit that can’t be resold anywhere due to no one ever recognizing the brands. Between her vices and her South Williamsburg rent it’s baffling how a lower middle class corporate girl in NYC can afford all of this without having to waste time with any man at a bar or a sugar daddy in a nursing home. Everywhere we went she had more fun than everyone else and had more cups of booze in her hand than I had beer bottles or tolerance. I would still be playing catch up while putting her in a cab home as gravity and her liver have caught up rendering her body useless and very accident prone. She also has a pretty interesting collection of mysterious scratches and bruises, and yet this flawless, amazing.. skin. Don’t ask me how, I’m just in love with her.
Welcome to the “Pre-Party”.
I’ve always felt this was something invented by urban college kids on a “Mom and Dad don’t got it” budget. I think the first time I heard it coined was on a MySpace bulletin, some fashion emo goth from F.I.T. offering his apartment for a booze and shnooze session before going to Trash when it was at Rififfi’s or Darkroom on Ludlow street. That was back when I was much younger and lived in Manhattan. Now I’m older and live in Brooklyn which is more dive bars than lounges and has more barbecues in backyards then block parties on asphalt. Que my best friend and Facebook fiancé Brooke, who’s inviting me to a small gathering in a backyard around the corner from my apartment building. Fast forward to the part here I’m in attendance with a girlfriend who doesn’t like beer, at all, which is in abundance, along with a tent holding a flip cup table and male drunk wrestling . Ah Never Scared… I grab a beer. Kara gives me a spunky look then goes into her purse… What’s this I spy? A bottle of Jack Daniels conveniently stashed in her Alexander Wang camera bag.
Welcome to The Flask.
What? No more waiting in line at the free drink troff at art openings because I keep a “nip nip” on me? Sure I’ll buy the picture of a fish or whatever post apocalyptic interpretation on what you think New York will be based on what you read in a Jet Magazine you found at a dentist office. Nigga I’m drunk. Now I understand why Bedford Avenue is so packed at all hours… It’s a freaking bar with traffic lights and food trucks and the occasional cop thats gonna fuck you up if you piss on that Subaru. Wait, what was I saying?
I’ve always had the luck of knowing one or two bartenders when I go out keeping the relative prices of a good beer binge down. But I do catch myself over tipping, in part because I know the piece of shit tourist or bridge and tunneler has stiffed my hard-working friend. Instead of doing what I think Patrick Swayze would do in “Road house” I just leave a little extra cash, no big deal. Every visiting douche out swears they are playing a supportive role in nightlife with the one dollar tip after slurring their order while perched on a bar stool like some slow walrus that’s off the wagon. No. When you just sit at full bar and don’t allow people who want to spend money the access they need, you’re just fucking the bartender over. Whatever, I try not to get into the politics. The one thing I can always do without is the small talk I’m forced to have or the shoving my way through the drunk zoo in order to get my Friends and Family drink discount. It’s a busy night or it’s not so busy, but really who cares? Some times I just want my drink and a quick exit to the next nocturnal fiasco. So why not cut my time in half and give the flask a shot?
I’ll tell you why, without even mentioning the fact that I’m also fucking the bar over.
This experiment with the flask lasted about 3 weeks. My friends loved it, I still can’t remember most of it. There I was one night huddled in a dark corner of Gallery Bar with a cup of ice I tipped 5 dollars for out of guilt for not buying a drink. Mint is egging me on and the next thing I know I’m table dancing like a Hilton on spring break in Columbia. My clothes are filled with ink stains from drunk tagging and I radiate a funk that only true alcoholics can appreciate. I drool every sentence in between the hand shakes I use while greeting people and the cautious sips of my smuggled in contraband. It’s 4 in the morning and I’m just a marionette with no strings. My flask is empty and I’m now on my 4th beer. I stumble to the bathroom for a life raft of a bump and shake the dizzy off my face. I grab my warm beer and take a sip as I’m walking towards the door to meet the rest of my night….
I’ve just drank someones urine.
Let’s try this again…
I’m at Alro and Emse with Frog and the gang, you know, just stopping by on our way to this new bar called Good Company in Brooklyn. My bottle of Jack is conveniently wrapped around a newspaper and stashed in my back pocket. To my surprise no one is questioning why I have a NY Post with me at 2:30 in the morning except Brittany who is bartending. I’m in the middle of an order for 7 shots of Jameson. I tell her I didn’t get the chance to read Page Six yet. She then asks to borrow it. Sure enough there goes my bottle sliding across the bar room floor. I would have retained more dignity if it had shattered, at least scoring some sympathy points. But no. She spots it laying casually near a bar stool and just gives me a minor scowl. I shrug my shoulders. I’m just happy the bouncers didn’t see it. The rush of the possibility of getting caught has pushed my drunk levels up to ten. What the hell is going on? The bathroom attendant keeps hugging me like I’m his long-lost brother. Project Matt is burning dollar bills while I heroin lean over DJ Erock and scream out “REST IN PEACE GURU” as he’s dj’ing to a crowd of day traders and executive assistants. A few of them surprisingly respond. I don’t even think I’m funny.
Good company is more of the same. My friend Man Man eats shit in the middle of an impromptu dance off and I cower from the lights and nosey barbacks with a small group of party refugee’s in the bathroom. Everyone is talking about the after party taking place on this rooftop being thrown by The Shank. I still don’t know who or what The Shank is just that the bathroom lines are always gross and long. A sniff here and some warm beer over there and we’re off! This is where the line that separate “aware” and “in a coma” gets blurry. All I remember is the tarp on the roof and the shitty Baltimore, Techno, House Music hybrid noise being spun by some nerd who survived Freshman Week . The party looks like the L train at 8am complete with some mom and dads, 40-year-old really good with a fiddle, and a bunch of ethnic teenagers in skinny jeans. I remember is Same looking real sincere against the black tarp and some small pow wow I had with Nick the Duke, probably about the internets. I’m surrounded by mooches. I must have turned Mr. and Mrs. Knuckles down 20 times, after the 21 mind numbing attempts to get into my inner circle. I finally give in, then black out. The next thing I know my girlfriend is laughing at me hysterically. I’m in bed. Apparently I came home and pissed all over my trashcan and all over the walls in the bathroom.
What a great way to discover you sleep walk. And suck at drinking.
The love if my complicated and confused life wants to go out. It’s a Saturday so in decide it keep it Brooklyn with the exception of an event Good Peoples is throwing with Jessica 6 in China Town. It’s a little early in the evening so I suggest a stop at the liquor store and some random party that DJ Chaddubz twittered about at the Mckibben Lofts in Bushwhick. I got our 2 bottles of Jack and this beginning of summer excitement vibrating in me so don’t do any research on the party and just go on a whim. Next thing you know I’m at some Neo Soul, Hip Hop, live band, R&B show being thrown by what I think are the children of Eryka Badu and John legend. Everything feels and sounds like Jay Dilla is the national language and 10 Deep is the national flag. Personally I’m fluent in Slum Village so I’m having a ball getting lost in the smooth Pete Rock type bass lines with some baby Common Sense look alike rapping… My girlfriend? Not so much. I can tell by the amount of nervous swigs she’s taking from the bottle while I pass around a blunt filled with Sour Diesel, trading head nods and free-styling in my head as the smoke clouds my better judgement. When I realize I have nothing in common with anyone here I start to mirror her down to the hair flips. Now I’m drunk and stoned, bumping into the fake Phife Dog from A Tribe Called Quest, accidentally spilling his jungle juice while trying to make a beeline to the dance floor. Kara’s high heels are over dressed and unsuitable for the steep wooden steps that take us from the backyard to the exit. Everyone is like 19 years old. Time to go.
By the time Jessica 6 get’s on stage at 88 East Broadway, Kara and I have run through our 2 bottles of BYOB. Our conversation are now simple cute and intimate giggles. We share our bummed cigarettes like kisses under a lovers moonlight. Alexandra and Michelle swear we are the cutest couple, I think they’re just as drunk as we are. Soon after settling in I get a text message from Puja promising me a drink ticket if I go to her party at Savalas. I hate that place with a passion. Not the bar itself just the dick-head, black, fixed gear bikers that frequent the place… well just two of them, but that’s another story. Fuck it, DJ Ayres is dj’ing so why not? Plus I already know at the hour that I’m arriving Puja would have been ran out of drink tickets. I was gonna just ask her anyway. Sure enough. Lucky for her, what she lacks in perks at the moment she makes up in adorableness. Then POOF! All of the sudden I got Prince Terrence and Bathroom Sexxx from Ninjasonik. Wow, I’m being followed by a conga line of shots and unbridled revelry, great.
Blackout. No wait, I’m now with Chris Hires on a rickety fire escape. No, no I’m not… another black out.
Next morning my ever patient and loving girlfriend tells me I pissed all over our brown antique coffee table in the living room.
No more flasking for me.