I’m absurdly drunk right now. Now, I know, this might be hard to believe… anyone can feign soused via email or a post on a ‘blog (I love the apostrophe). There’s no slur, only misspellings and an absurd amount of digressions (I know myself; scholars would be proud).
When I was 14, and my father was at a NY Ranger’s game with my younger sister, Lea, I got absurdly drunk with my best friend Nicole Klinsky. We had gone to the movies, prior to driving, and my mother had collected us (as though we were items at a flee market) from the mall movie theater… asking only, "is anyone hungry?" Nicole and I were the type of girls who never turned down a meal. So we headed to the diner.
Diner menus are absurd. Half lobster tails, surf and turf? Who the fcuk orders linguine with clam sauce from a diner? I’d really like to know (total tangent… but one of my favorite movies, aside from anything with Albert Brookes, is a movie called, "shite, I forget." No, that’s not the name… I forget… this is my life? Something like that with the woman who does Marge Simpson’s voice. Soooo good… and my favorite Joni Mitchel… strike that, Carly Simon… shite, they all sound the same… song is from that movie… "You’re the love of my life"… God I love that song… because it’s not about a guy… it’s about your children. And yes, for now, I’ve got Linus… and I love him to kisses up the nose in my naked lap eternity… but I digress). The point is… wait Chris ordered TORTELLINI at the diner. He was drunk. I guess diners count on the drunken and the hungover to substantiate the need for choice at a diner. ANYWAY…
So I’m at the diner, and I could make a night out of reading a menu. I can never decide, and I derive nearly as much pleasure from food as I do from deciding what I’m in the mood for. It’s so Ira & Barry from City Slickers… picking the best ice cream for the meal… I can pick the best food for my craving… but it takes a while of verbal decisions. So aloud, I play the, "Oooooh, a cheeseburger with well-done fries… or onion rings… ooooh, or a hot open turkey with stuffing. Yum." Then the waitress with a souffle of hair grabs our order… "You go. ‘m still deciding," I order Nicole and my mother. So they order very decadent things. Fried. Carbs. Golden. Yellow. Deliciousness. Then it’s my turn. And, I feel fat at that moment. So I order (close your eyes) a fruit cup. They can’t believe what I’ve done. I sit with my hands in my lap smiling… it’s was like fibbing to someone Kosher, telling them my stuffed mushrooms don’t have sausage in them. "No, really, it’s meat substitute." E-ville. If I’d had a mustache, I’d have twisted it. And I never understood, wringing hands,’ but I would’ve done that too.
Then, my mother notices employees of my father are across the way, at a booth. They’re scrolling pages of their personal jukebox (I miss those… Ipods so don’t count. There’s something special about what quarters can do for you these days.) Nicole lets out an absurd sound effect worthy burp, then rolls out with a peal of laughter. Mother closes her eyes for longer than one does in a blink. She’s mortified, her temples in her hands. Nicole decides she wants a drink, just like that, as if deciding to wear open-toe shoes in summer. It was expected in her mind. We’re talking DRINK, not shake. My mother barters because Nikki, at this point, is out of control. The Greek man in the white shirt with the belly is looking over, past the cashier and the bowl of stool-laden mints, his hand weaved through his dark ample hair. My mother shoots back, "you can have a drink at home if you quit it and behave." Nicole goes mute, as if Mother’s words were a dull blade splitting her tongue horizontally.
Back at the range, my mother locks herself in her room upstairs. She’s pissed that Nicole flicked a buger at my father’s receptionist. Nikki whispers, "so, where is our drink?" And when I inquire with the mother ship, she responds through the locked door, "drink the whole damn bottle. I don’t give a shite."
Nicole and I were both older siblings, so we didn’t know from ‘I never,’ ‘chicken,’ ‘quarters,’ ‘whale’s tales,’ or ‘thumper.’ We knew ‘once-twice-three-shoot.’ Odds or even? We filled a 16oz. glass with warm vodka and a splash of Tropicana. Rubbing alcohol. So I poured a gulp out and topped it with Fresca soda. We held our noses as we drank (which doesn’t work)… and before long, I was banging my arm against a wall saying, "cool. look. I don’t feel a thing." Then I drunk dialed Barry Rosenberg and told him I loved him since the second grade, and when I heard Phil Collins songs, I thought only of him.
He didn’t believe I was drunk. "It’s too easy to fake," he said. Here I was declaring my love, asking if he reciprocated, and instead of answering with something solid, some groovy kind of love or against all odds answer, I got the wavy, "you’re faking it." If he only knew, Stephanie Klein isn’t one to fake anything.
So when Poppa returns home with an enormous orange thumb on his hand from the game, I ask him a question as I lean over the porcelain bowl. "Promise you won’t be mad?"
"Tell me what it’s about first."
"No. Promise." I was slurring.
"Okay, I promise."
"DRUNK." Then I laughed, which then lead to a gag which lead to another bout in the bowl.
"Get out of here." He doesn’t believe me until he confirmed things with my mother, who opened the locked door for him.
I vomited for 3 days. Even the mention of "Orange Juice" or "Cocktail" made me sprint towards the bowl in a heave of bile. I never drank again until senior year of college. I had a serious case of alcohol poisoning for 3 days… solid… or liquid, as it were.
That entire experience made me get it together. Yet people still don’t believe me. Actions speak louder than words, especially drunken words. But a drunken dial or drunken email is action… it’s veritas, right?
The worst thing about being drunk at home alone is I can’t even get off. It takes too long, and it’s never satisfying. How sad for me. When will this life of mine change? Actually, that’s just seexual frustration talking. I love my life, and the wine, and the drunk post. I would lick it up if it didn’t make me randy.