Sunday, November 19, 2006

DRUNKEN TRUMPETS AND THE QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS:
Of Booze, Judgment Calls, And Carl Sandburg

OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- The bar tab for the evening says it all...

Three Vodka Tonics, four Red Needles, two Long Islands, and a Rum and Coke...I think.

So...uh... I thought I was pacing myself.

At least I don't feel the paintball bruises from earlier this weekend, and somebody else picked up the about half of the tab.

Err...

Yeah.

* * * *

I hate getting shitfaced; I hate the loss of control, the vulnerability. I enjoy a few drinks every once and a while, but I'm a little too old for the whole drink until wasted thing.

Not sure if my laptop is holding me up or I'm holding it down right now...

On my way back to my apartment to sleep off the whole mess, I ran into a former roommate of the woman who helped me design the infamous "Information is Power" poster.

C. had just finished celebrating her 22nd birthday - for the second night in a row. All of her friends were either in Columbus for one of the biggest college football games in modern history or had already bailed for home for a long Thanksgiving break.

She said she just wanted me to walk her home, three blocks past my apartment. As soon as I agreed, the "drunk girl hanging on for dear life" commenced. The only thing she wanted to talk about was how bored she was with Oxford, how she hated the guys here, how the pressure to get near perfect grades and to maintain a social life had left her burnt out and spent.

I thought C. was just taking in the scenery as she clung onto me, my arm around her waist in a rather futile attempt to keep both of us walking in a straight line.

I helped her up the stairs to her apartment. I had to dig through her purse to find her keys, as she couldn't seem to stand up without holding onto my belt. Three of her neighbors came out of the apartment next door.

I knew one of the guys. He whispered something like "somebody's getting laid tonight," patting me on the shoulder as he staggered down the stairs to some house party.

Um... no.

I don't do drunk girls. I won't let drunk girls do me, either, especially while I'm also intoxicated. Never a good idea. Been there, done that, bought the fucking tee shirt.

* * * *

It's not like I didn't see it coming. I did, just not in time.

That's why I may occasionally get slightly tipsy but no longer enjoy the youthful binge-drinking thing. I don't like the loss of control that goes along with being blitzed. I don't like the impaired judgment, the potential for poor risk management, the unnecessary choices that one wouldn't make under normal circumstances.

I knew that, well, the No. 1 reason C. had asked me to walk her home had to do with her feeling lonely and abandoned, that she would be going back to an empty apartment. I recognized the rather amateurish seduction techniques, the neediness and clinginess, the body language typical of an intoxicated woman who, well, just didn't want to sleep alone.

* * * *

Normally, in my professional life (particularly my old "information analyst/private contractor" days), I could spot this sort of thing rather quickly. Lately - on the advice of several friends - I've been figuring out how to integrate that skill back into my personal life. Surprisingly, it's not as difficult of a task as I once thought.

The problem with being intoxicated while trying to exercise those skills is that alcohol dulls the senses just enough to allow for delayed reactions to stimuli. But, save for a brownout or blackout moment, those stimuli can only be ignored for so long before the conscience catches up with the liquor-fueled reflex.

If I'd noticed, for instance, that C. had started stripping off her clothes the moment we entered the apartment, how she'd turned on the radio and wandered into the kitchen for a drink of water, I would've seized on my opportunity for an easy out, a quick hollered goodbye without the awkwardness of having to explain my still rather sound logic in not wanting to make yet another mistake.

But no... I had to notice the Carl Fucking Sandburg sitting on the couch next to a frigging iBook.

That's the problem with me being completely wasted. I'm still a rather deep thinker, but I end up with the simple curiosity of a typical seven-year-old serving as my guide.

* * * *

One of the things I re-learned during the whole Richmond Blue Balls Experience was the fact that there is a lot to be said for the intimacy and the value of subtlety behind seduction. I'm thoroughly convinced that most women - and probably a handful of guys - learn this sometime during their "Quarter-Life Crisis" years (approx. 24-28). With experience comes not only wisdom but the appreciation of concepts like grace, elegance, and charm.

C. came back into her living room, giggled, and fell onto the couch. While I'm trying to focus enough to dig through the Sandburg anthology, stuck reading the same lines of the long-dead bard's Working Girls, I notice that somebody's put their face in my lap and that same somebody is trying to shove my hand down her panties.

I'm still stuck on the same line:
Each morning as I move through this river of young-
woman life I feel a wonder about where it is all
going, so many with a peach bloom of young years
on them and laughter of red lips and memories in
their eyes of dances the night before and plays and
walks.
It's 3:30 in the fucking morning, I have a very cute brunette trying desperately to get me to just pay attention to her, trying to do what I guess she thinks drunk women are supposed to do to turn on a drunk guy, the only thing I guess way too many guys expect women to do with their mouths whilst shitfaced.

I should've paid better attention to my surroundings, to the circumstance, to the environment. I could've stopped things a little sooner.

Stupid friggin' Sandburg anthologies...

* * * *

When my alcohol-filled body finally caught up with my brain, I just stood up. I accidentally kneed my would-be seducer in the chin, to her annoyance. And, well, I guess my fingers had been just doing what came naturally while my mind was catching up to my body - which just made her angry.

Hell, I threw somebody out of my apartment for not understanding that I didn't want to be somebody's fuck buddy; I guess it's only fair for me to be kicked out of someone else's apartment for not wanting to be another fucking One Night Stand for yet another woman looking for affirmation and comfort from an external source.

There was something going on that I wanted no part of, something I think I've finally been able to put my finger on in regards to how I wander through life.

I don't care for being the go-to guy when a woman feels neglected and needs a release. I don't like being the training wheels on life's bicycle, the guy who has, for the most part, chosen simply to live in self-imposed ignorance when it comes to the ramifications of one's actions in interpersonal relationships.

I'm tired of being the educated - worldly - former - punker - hoodlum - turned - kinda -scary - scholar - man - of -fucking - mystery - who -used - to - date - adult entertainers - and - who - likes - Tom- Waits (ha...I'll pull a Wombat and mimic the Bohemian Literary style) experiment for women from sheltered backgrounds, self-centered and more worried about preserving an image than actually engaging intimacy like an enemy on the battlefield, than treating seduction and passion like something to be conquered and savored for all of its fleeting moments.

Simply put, I'm rather tired of my own "Quarter-Life Crisis." I'm ready to move on now.

* * * *

It's amazing what goes through a guy's mind when another person is trying to go down on them.

Or while hanging over a toilet bowl, praying to the Porcelain God of Drunken Vengeance for sweet relief, thinking of what one of my night's drinking partners - a local aspiring writer - had pointed out while watching two scenester women grind on the dance floor of one of Oxford's clubs...

One of the things that makes me fucking sick of this town is the fact that there are so many fucking hot women without enough brains to figure out that being a good fuck will only get you so far.

It's amazing what guys talk about when women aren't listening, what really goes through the bigger brain in relation to the smaller brain.

Hell, half the time I'm not sure if I even like the smaller brain anymore. Damned thing has caused me more trouble than its worth...

But at least I'm learning.

Fucking Quarter-Life Crisis.


# # #

19 comments:

xmichra said...

the only thing that could make it worse is marriage. heh. quarter life crisis is always more difficult when things are going on around you that you are not aware of.. and your married. yep.

Smurf said...

Wow Jason. I so love your take on it all. "Making Love"- is different than just a good fuck. Its amazing how much deeper and more meaningful and more magical that is. But I hear you... I went through withdrawls after Joel and I split up... it was bad. But now.. even though I am still young and still want to ... yea, this is coming out very wrong.

However, I finally understand what you mean about just living by myself. Learning how to do things without someone else around. I don't hate the "single mom" idea anymore either. Its weird. You were right as seems to be the case often. ;) But... life and like Kfigment talked about in her last post the "biological clock" thing is rather intriguing.. Like she gives reference to in it... we all come up with self imposed ideas of the way things should be rather than taking them for what they are.

I am so amazed at how far you have come in life. Not that you ever were not an extremely intelligent guy... but... I am proud of who you have become... now that we are adults. (We "technically" were back in the days we all lived together, but we have so much more life under our belts now. I like the effect it has had on you.)

Take care friend. *hug*

KFigment said...

ALCOHOL is BAD!!!!

Going to a bar and slamming drinks doesn't make anything any better, it doesn't make you any smarter or a better catch when you were when you walked in, it does allow the people who are not totally shitfaced to laugh and point at you and all the dumb shit you do.

I figured that out a little earlier in my own quarter life crisis. The good news is that you figured it out. Better late than never right. You could be someone who thinks that a night like that is a dream come true then I would be truly worried about you.

Bad news the quarter life crisis usually just morphs into the oh fuck I am almost 30 and I haven't ______ crisis.

A.C. said...

Hahaha. See, I knew I saw you at Balcony Saturday with some black dude and this guy i see in king all the time. You looked pretty wasted or i would've introduced myself :-) stay away from needy bitches.

cooper said...

Sounds like time to stop drinking, to me anyway.
I couldn't stand that loss of control.

Who knows, maybe I'll feel differently at my quarter life crisis.

Anonymous said...

I am not much for getting wasted no matter what, but hey maybe I'll feel differently at my quarter life crisis.

Many thoughtful moments you have, even while intoxicated.

cooper said...

they are both from me but the first one supposedly didn't go thru...fick blogger

The ZenFo Pro said...

xmichra:
Lol. Yeah...sometimes I'm glad I'm been a fiance but never a husband ;)

Smurf:
Lol, yeah, still fighting that whole adult thing. But I guess I can only fight it so far, before things just get insane :)

Kfig:
Lord, tell me about it. I went to an early Thanksgiving dinner later that day...couldn't even deal with the smell of beer or wine...

Oh, well...from what I hear, I guess I appeared more sober than I really was...

A.C.:
LMAO!

Err...can I get a witness?!? Yep, me, the aspiring writer, and Oxford's (legendary?) Soup Man...

Good advice, hence why I sorta bailed on the, er, situation.

Cooper:
Yep...gonna cut back a bit. Looking at my receipts (you know it's bad when you're listed as "The Librarian" on your bill), I need to stay dry fo a while. Lol...just realized that I sure have a lot of those "One Night at the Bar..." posts. I tend to get a bit embarrassed when I lose control or go to far...

Wrote the post to sober up a bit...black coffee, scrambled eggs, Motrin...writing. Helps to come down in a hurry :)

Steph said...

Good on you for not taking advantage of a drunk chick, but more importantly, for having enough self respect to not allow yourself to be used.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Steph:
Yeah, just wished I hadn't walked right into a trap. Around these parts, a few people have asked me if the woman in question was playing the "Uptown Drunk Walk" game - where a woman pretends to be more drunk than she really is, figuring some guy will just, well...

Yeah. Not a fan of that kinda thing. As I told someone recently, I'm just not into the whole manipulative games thing - life's just too fucking short. I'm way past the whole "need someone to warm the bed" shit, drunk or sober. It does get old, and, well, that kind of sex is just like doing a hundred crunches with four or five orgasms at the end.

Holy hell, I just realized that this really was a deep post, even with the editing I did the next morning...lord...

Anonymous said...

binge-drinking librarians. so do you ever just fuck somebody or is it always blue balls? ;-P

you do some things very well like thinking deep about things. and you do other things well i'm sure or so ive heard

The ZenFo Pro said...

Anon:
Why oh why do I get the feeling that I know who you are...

Err...no comment.

Leigh said...

Hmmmm... that's quite a few drinks. Being shitfaced never appealed to me. Neither did having a quarter life crisis, but that doesn't seem to stop it from happening.

InterstellarLass said...

Deep indeed. But it's not just your town that has the dumb, hot women. They're all over. And I can't figure out why so many people want to be them. And why so many men are attracted to that level of shallow. Maybe it's because it's exhausting to be deep.

pia said...

Another great post Jason

some of the most thrilling, sad but true, moments in my life have been the nights that I was the only girl in the room not wasted, and still could seduce

The problem with that was it was too easy as I was the only not wasted girl--and uh the guys were totally shit faced

But small victories count--and most women and men never learn the art of seduction. Everybody is too obsessed with their own perceived wonder or short comings

Miz BoheMia said...

I am not much for being wasted but have had my short-lived, yet fair share of drinking days... now half a glass of wine is too much since I never really drink but back then I could drink most of my guy friends under the table... a tolerance built up from knowing the bar owners and being forced to accept freebie after freebie... thing is, as a woman, having always had very clear boundaries, never, EVER did a drunk friend ever try anything... and after partying guy friends, not together, would sometimes crash at my place and we would wake up in the same bed (happened with two I think) but never with anything, not even a touch or a kiss, having ever come in the way, just sleep... I was luck to have good friends and to be clear with my boundaries and in spite of my self-loathing (I did become anorexic shortly thereafter) I would never go the demean-yourself-and-cheapen-yourself-to-the-level-of-a-lost-and-lonely-whorish-nothing... not to be judgemental either but it pisses me off beyond what words can convey to see women cheapen themselves so much... there is power to wanting a good fuck and geting it without cheapening yourself... but cheapen yourself and any and all respect flies out the window... you know?

And as for your hyphenated talk? BRILLIANT! BOHEMIANS EVERYWHERE APPLAUD YOU FO SHO!!!

Pixie said...

How in the HELL did I miss my quarter-life crisis?

Excellent post.

sassinak said...

oh geeze

this is so funny from my perspective...

just wait, the thirties are much much better than the twenties

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