Say It, Don't Spray It
I was 18 years old.
I was still in that "I just got to college and I am free I am free I am free so I need to overcompensate by raging too hard" stage of my life. I mean, come on, who isn't going to take full advantage of newfound freedom? Squares and people who've already had the privilege of lenient parents would be my guess.
I had been dating this guy, *Peter. We really enjoyed each other's company but out in Riverside, we got SO BORED. It was just so goddamn boring all the time because the only thing "cultural" to the nightlife was downtown. But if you went downtown, you'd get a couple drinks and a complimentary stabbing by a crackhead. No thank you. We were restless and in need of some excitement so we were thrilled when we discovered the whereabouts of a frat party.
FINALLY, something to do. I was thrilled to just leave the dorms and get out because I had cabin fever being holed up in my room all day. I got dolled up in big lashes, teased hair, heels, and a nice top that relayed the message, "Enter classy, leave trashy." Peter put on his usual attire of streetwear that looked like he stumbled out of Karmaloop. Black windbreaker jacket hoodie, check. Brand name skinny jeans, check. Graphic Tee, check. He had sprayed his usual blue bottle of Versace cologne which smelled musky and stunk up a trail of where he'd been. I knew he'd smoked because his jacket smelled like a subtle hint of cigarettes mixed with his cologne. The two smells intertwined and bit my nose a bit.
We waited outside of our dorm building where a circuit of cars would pick up the other freshmen and shuttle them over to the party group by group. Some other friends had already gone ahead so he and I waited outside in the cold night air for the next car. Standing in the freezing air in heels and a sheer top fucking sucked. I shoved my hands under my armpits. Shit, at least I looked good. Eventually a car pulled into the drop off point and we entered the car. The ride there was SO FUCKING AWKWARD. It was like we were interviewing for jobs when we tried to hold a pitiful attempt at conversation with the driver. Minutes felt like I was trapped in the fucking frozen sands of time.
Driver: So, you guys going to the party?
Peter: Uh, yeah, man.
Driver: Oh cool. So are you interesting in joining our fraternity?
Peter: Sure, man.
Driver: Have you been to one of our parties before?
Peter: No, I haven't.
After a cringeworthy twelve minutes, we were dropped off at the house where we quickly thanked the driver and booked it into the house. See, THIS is why alcohol is such a staple for social events.
As we approached the house, I noticed the rising crescendo of voices. As we opened the door, the sound hit its apex and the smell of salt, beer, and pot escaped into the cold night air. Right when we got to the party, we headed to the table filled with little white dixie cups. It was bittersweet. Alcohol! Yes! BUT. The table was crowded so badly that to grab drinks, I literally had to use my hand to forge a path through the masses of people. I was basically Moses trying to part the red seas, but replace the promised land of fruit and honey with vodka and coca cola. I grabbed as many cups as I could grip with fingers inside the paper cylinders and made my way back to Peter and friends. It was just so hot, sweaty, stinky, and noisy that the only way to make the situation bearable was to dull all my senses with alcohol. And that's exactly what we did.
I forgot what happened exactly, but Peter pissed me off (I was drunk and obviously right) and we argued a bit outside. To cool off, we went our separate ways. He played a game of flip cup while I played beer pong. Despite our little argument, I decided I was too awesome to let Peter ruin my night so I did what I always do: drink until my problems go away, and celebrate my youth with sloppiness and yelling. I chose to ignore him, and I found that the more I threw back vodka, the less I remembered why I was even pissed off in the first place. Oh the magic of alcohol. The night soon turned into a blur of lights, shadowy faces, a symphony of voices and laughter, and the smell of sweat.
It became overwhelming, so I stepped outside into the backyard. Some girls were chatting, laughing it up, and "borrowing" cigarettes from boys they knew they'd never have sex with. Other boys were off by the bushes lighting a bowl through colorful glass pipes while others were cackling at their drunken friends passed out in a chair while their friends snapped pictures for all of Facebook to see. I felt like I was being pulled into a spiraling tilt-a-whirl so I leaned against a wall by the door and closed my eyes. I felt like gravity was heavy on my body. I leaned my head back and tried to make the earth beneath me stop spinning so goddamn fast.
I opened my eyes and saw Peter standing before me red in the face from Asian glow. His eyes were bloodshot and dried out. His face glistened with sweat and his lips were chapped and peeling with flecks of white. My first thought was that he looked like he had a mouth full of wood shavings. He needed chapstick. Badly.
Peter: Hey, can we talk?
I nodded my head and he held out his hand. Although the alcohol had numbed my senses, I faintly remembered my dormant anger. I still grabbed his hand because I knew if I didn't, I was probably going to trip and bite the curb. We walked over to a dirty but empty part of the backyard by a metal link fence that was practically rusting over about to crumble to dust. We stood in a lifeless yard with dirt and dry, yellow grass that looked like a sickly bald man's head that had become patchy. We both apologized and explained our sides of the story.
Peter: I'm sorry... I was pissed off because (insert explanation here)... and I hope (insert other mushy bull shit in here)... etc.
I looked at him blankly not processing anything he was saying because I felt the familiar bubbling in my gut along with the saliva shooting out the bottom of my tongue which tasted like alcohol. SHIT. I felt nauseous. The rising feeling reached my chest. I calmly walked away from him while he was still talking and made my way to the fence while my heels crunched the dead grass. I then begin to vomit violently.
Peter ran over to me and instinctively bunched my hair into a pony tail with his hands. I was stumbling and stepping back and forth like some kind of donkey dropped on its head at birth learning how to walk. He patted my back and sighed. I stepped in my own vomit. He steadied me and moved me away from the giant splatters of mediocre dining hall food, stomach acid, and vodka. Peter was no stranger to my drunken antics. This was all normal procedure for him. I was puking so much that it started to shoot out my nose like a fire hose rodeo gone awry. I pinched off my nostrils to stop the burning liquid from spewing out. It was too late.
THE SMELL. OH GOD I CAN SMELL THE SOUR SMELL AND IT'S MAKING ME SICK OH GOD NO NO NO BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUGH.
It actually literally hurt. I teared up, heaved loudly, and gasped for air in between hurls. There was a burning sensation in my throat. Warm, salty tears burned the whites of my eyes. Eventually the shooting vomit was less frequent and eventually stopped all together. Peter decided it was time for me to go home. He wiped my mouth with the sleeve of his favorite jacket. He offered me his clean arm and I gripped it like I was hanging onto the railing of the Titanic as it was going down.
I blacked out.
I then remember we were at the front of the house in the driveway as a car from the circuit pulled up to drop students back off at their respective locations. Peter opened the door and only saw the backseat behind the passenger available.
Peter: Um, hey man, it's just me and my girlfriend. Is there any way we could squeeze? She could sit on my lap.
Driver: Yeah, that's fine. Just try to keep your head down whenever you see a cop.
We squeezed in the back next to two strangers--I was so drunk I couldn't even tell you if they were male or female. All I recall is that they were people... I think. I sat down on Peter's lap and he whispered to me. Well, hissing would have been a more accurate term.
Peter: DO NOT PUKE. We are in a stranger's car. I am begging you, keep it down no matter how much you feel like shit.
I smiled a goofy smile at him and shook my head up and down like a toddler in daycare. The car bumped up and down, and the driver seemed to love stomping his brakes while accelerating like he was trying to Gas, Break, and Dip like E-40. Asshole. I felt the vomit rise. I closed my eyes and put my mind somewhere else.
I'm back at the party playing pong.
I'm snuggling in my warm, comfortable bed.
I'm sitting in a cramped car with foggy windows and no breathing space.
I try my hardest to keep it under control but I couldn't fight it. Everything rose up and I puked. I had a mouth full of vomit. I kept my mouth shut like a big girl and put my hand over my mouth so nothing leaked. I was shut like a pressurized valve. Peter asked me if I'd make it back. I nodded my head yes. My answer must have not reassured him because he still looked mad. I tried to swallow the acid swashing in my mouth with no success. I'd be damned if anything got past this pie hole.
The driver pulled into the parking lot in front of the dorms and I was so happy. I was home free. So close I could feel the soft comforter on my bed. FUCK. I saw the path in front of me and it was filled with these little speed bumps that served no purpose but make life difficult for everyone, especially me. And it wasn't those fat, gradual bumps that you can usually just pass over without your brakes. Oh no, no, no. The school decided to put in the tiny, thin bumps that made your head tap the ceiling of your car. With each bump, my head spun harder and faster. Peter turned me toward him halfway.
Peter: Are you oka---
The timing was all too sickeningly perfect. The last bump. All I had to do was hold it in until the last bump. I was literally FIFTY FUCKING FEET from the building. The violent puking had started its second wind. Because I had my hand up to my mouth, my watery vomit reflected off my hand into EVERY FUCKING DIRECTION. I puked so hard that it resembled the Bellagio water show in Las Vegas. I was puking a full 360 degrees of the unit circle. I was puking in multiple radians. It was all over the window, the headrest, and in Peter's mouth. Yes, you read that right. The timing was impeccable. I puked right when he was talking, leaving him with his face drenched in human waste and a mouth full whatever I had partially digested that night. Apparently the people next to us were just as trashed as me because they laughed hysterically.
Girl Next To Me: LOL, IT SPRAYED US!
The driver looked at the shit show in his backseat through the rear view mirror and just shook his head. Peter apologized profusely and wiped what he could with his already crusty jacket and rushed me the fuck out of the car.
Then I blacked out again.
*Names have been changed.