“I’ll take..uh…a double bourbon ginger, two vodka tonics and…” he took a moment to look back at his friends at the table they all shared a few steps away as if looking in their direction would jog his memory. Turns out it actually did, “And a diet coke.” The bartender delivers the drinks quickly as these are always the best sort of orders, simple. Bartenders love simple, not like those mother fuckers that think a Mojito on a cold busy Saturday night is a good idea. If you order a Mojito anywhere that isn’t hot sunny and in the afternoon you are a dick. Even if you don’t know you are a dick you don’t get a get out of dick jail card because you didn’t know, you’re a dick all bartenders think so.
Turner grabbed his drink mumbled his last name to please put it on his tab, the bartender didn’t need the name he knew whose tab to put it on this was the fifth time Turner had been to the bar to order a drink since arriving and he’d only arrived an hour and half ago.
Joining his friends he triumphantly sets down the drinks as if he actually accomplished something, which he knew deep down he did not. He accomplished throwing away money on a substance that poisons us slowly, something we willingly partake in that does nothing for us that is healthy, oh except it makes us feel wonderful. You can make an argument that in and of itself is in fact healthy. We often focus on health as a physical thing, what about mental health. Booze is great for your mental health, until of course it’s not anymore.
“The task at hand gentlemen, daddy needs a cheeseburger!” Turner is referring to what he and his friends refer to women or rather a woman of interest. Sounds sexist or possibly crude but they have good intentions. Usually at least. Does this reference objectify women? Does it trivialize each individual womans personality and worth? Does it really? Yeah, it completely does.
The table points out a cute girl seated at the bar that everyone knows is just Turner’s type, doesn’t have a penis. “Ok ok..yeah…just after I uh..finish my drink.” Turner takes in a little more liquid courage. ‘Liquid Courage” probably the truest statement ever made about a beverage or food ever. Booze beyond being good for our mental health and our heart (Doctors tell me this) also provides courage and the ability to do things that we couldn’t do sober. Booze makes us a super hero, except when it doesn’t.
The thing with booze and courage is finding the right spot, that perfectly balanced place where you are drunk enough to be confident and hopefully witty (often these points don’t intersect despite our thought that they do) and not overdoing it to where we can’t speak without slurring. Often twice a week your average single male will try and find this point, this precious spot balancing on that wire where he will be invincible. Where he can speak to any woman without a care in the world at his maximum charm with hopes and dreams of meeting a nice lady that he’ll marry and who will bare him children and make him a happy man for the rest of his life. Or help him find someone he can love for the night and hope to forget about tomorrow.
Turner looks at the girl pointed out earlier, she’s still there talking to her friend. He can’t not try that would be pathetic. But what does he have to prove to his friends? Nothing actually, he needs to prove to himself that he isn’t a pussy, his friends he know won’t judge him, that’s why they are his friends. They support each other. The reason they are out tonight is because he asked them to be out, they all had other plans they all had to work but they changed plans because they knew tonight he needed them.
“Ok, ok…I’ll go get a drink then talk to her. What’s my opener?” He doesn’t need an opener, not really, this was a way of stalling. The best opener anyone can provide or anyone ever has is “Hi my name is…” then fill in that fucking part with your name dipshit. If you didn’t figure that part out then you shouldn’t be talking to people. Opinions, openers thoughts on the subject are provided. They are all good, Turner ponders each in turn rejecting each, still stalling. A buddy offers to provide support and even open up the girls by talking to her friend, Turner also rejects this. Training wheels he doesn’t need, he needs to prove to himself that he can do this.
Approaching the bar he starts to feel the effects of that last double, did I overstep he wonders? He’s too drunk to comprehend if he’s over reached so instead of going directly to talk to the girl he first orders another double this as we’ll soon discover is a grave mistake as he has indeed overdone it, something he’ll regret but not yet.
He approaches the girl, uses the best pickup line known to man as he has found that point the bourbon courage flows threw his veins he fears nothing. Leaning against the bar next to his target those words are spoken those amazing words that every man must learn if he wants to meet a woman the words that can change a woman with a single phrase from a stranger to a friend, lover or somewhat familiar stranger. “Hi” he says, “My name is Turner.”
She looks at him a bit taken aback that he so suddenly interrupted her, but only takes her a moment to recover. She introduces herself and they begin to chat. Turner unfortunately thinks he is a bit wittier than he actually is, such a good start he had but is losing ground quickly. After three too many breaks in the conversation where he looks at her swaying ever so slightly a part of him kicks in and signals to his reptilian brain that it’s time to bail. Without warning he acknowledges it was nice meeting her and abruptly returns to his table.
More drinks follow and at least two more attempts at making conversation with women are made, a phone number is received. More booze is consumed. The line is crossed, Turner has fallen off of the wire. But he has already won, he has shown himself that he can indeed talk to a woman. This night is not a failure.
They exit the club and meet another friend outside, a small pipe is produced. Turner finds this to be an excellent idea a nice big hit from a pipe is the best idea he’s had all night. Turner’s friends again are supporting they don’t know what Turner needs tonight but they know he needs something and they aren’t intend on getting in his way on his quest to find it.
The pipe hit turns out to be a terrible idea. Turner getting out of the taxi loses the ability to move his feet, waiting for the elevator with a friend he then loses the ability to stay conscious. A bloody nose, bruised rib and vomit on the floor later he is in the guest bed of his buddy drifting into..no not drifting crashing into unconsciousness.
Over breakfast the next morning he’ll meet the worst hangover of recent memory. The friends are there again, after all you can’t support someone merely the night of, support continues into the next day. They know that this is what he needed, he needed to “go hard” as they’d say. He needed to consume too much and drink himself into oblivion. Mission unfortunately accomplished.
As they leave the restaurant everyone goes their separate ways except Turner and Matthew. “Jesus, I really had a mission last night didn’t I?” Matthew smiles and nods his head.
Matthew stops and turns to Turner. “That was it Turner. That was the last time. Not for us but for you. It’s been four years, you don’t get to do this anymore, at least not for that reason. If you want to get shit faced drunk and pass out, that’s fine we all support that we don’t give a shit. But it has to be because you feel like it or you had a shitty day at work. Not because of this, four years is enough and it’s time to leave this behind. I tell you this as a friend, that it’s over. Next year when this day comes we can still go out if you’d like but if we do it will just be another night, it won’t be because of her. She’s gone and she’s been gone for four years. It’s time to move on, it’s time to stop mourning.”
Turner takes a moment to process all this, his brain tired from over consumption of chemicals takes a few beats to process. He opens his mouth to protest, pauses, he knows what Matthew says is true. Enough time has passed, it is time to move on. He’s done celebrating this day through violent abuse of his liver. This is the last time today is anything but just another day.