Yoknapatawpha Crossing


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When done properly, the day after a night of drinking is pretty exciting. If you’ve balanced your alcohol tolerance (measured as a barrier to drunkenness number, or BTD) against your actual consumption, or BAC, then you don’t have a hangover, but neither do you remember exactly what you were up to the previous evening. Then, as the coffee hits your system and you have a chance to reflect and IM whoever you were causing trouble with, bits and pieces begin to come back to you. Your mind is like that box of old photographs your grandmother has. They’re not in order; they’re old and dusty; you have no idea who the people in them are or what’s going on; many of them are out of focus; many of them just look stupid. If you stare at them long enough, though, threads start to develop, you start to recognize the recurring characters, and the past shapes itself before your eyes.

It would seem that my Friday night included having too much beer at a bar while it was still the afternoon; almost forgetting to go downtown to a hookah joint; going downtown to a hookah joint; randomly meeting a friend from Virginia at an el station in the middle of the city; being cuffed and cited by some plainclothesmen for drinking on the el; and being a jackass to people I don’t think I knew.

Once upon a Friday night long ago, it was the last day of classes for the semester, and then I woke up the next morning. I had not minded my BTD/BAC ratio as I should have, and Saturday was not fun. Monday I went to work, and one of the guys I worked with told me a story about Friday night. He said he saw me at the Wawa standing in line and talking to two girls I apparently did not know. He said that he said hi to me, and I was delighted to see him. “Dan!” I said. “We’re going to go streak the Sunken Gardens! You should come!” He said that this was apparently the first these two girls had heard about this plan, and they asked me what was going on. “Oh, man!” I said to them as I turned back around. “Dan and I are going to go streak the Sunken Gardens! You guys should come!”

Dan, apparently, did not go streak with us, and though the two girls must have had a high alcoholic tolerance, I feel confident that they also declined to accompany me to the Sunken Gardens. I may very well have streaked alone, and perhaps one day I will wake up and discover the memory of the chill Virginia air speeding by my nuts to comfort me when life seems bad.

Friday night memories secrete themselves in odd nooks of the chest of your mind, sitting quietly until you overturn them.

They lie in wait.


Written by Daniel Grady

January 15, 2007 at 14:03

Posted in Alcohol

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