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Recollections The Morning After

I’m up early. Unexpectedly. After last night I figured I’d be sleeping in a bit. But a bizarre dream woke me up, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. Not because I was so disturbed from the dream or anything. I got up to use the bathroom and my brain sort of kicked in. No getting back to sleep after that.
I had fun yesterday. If was Katie’s birthday. 22 years old. Any old farts like me able to remember being 22? Not the kid.
We went to Kobe’s to celebrate. That would be Katie, of course, Victoria and I, Bruce and Mary, Jennifer (Miler), Jennifer (?), and Katie’s friend, Courtney. That was fun, as you can imagine. Good food. Great company.
I kicked off the evening by drinking some sake at the bar that Bruce had ordered by accident. Naturally, as soon as I got it our table was ready, and I was obliged to knock out four shots of hot sake. Not to self: you don’t drink four shots of hot sake quickly. It’s just not done. And for good reason. Once we got to the table, I switched over to plum wine. It probably saved my life.
I had steak and lobster for dinner (the first time in about twenty years that I’ve eaten lobster). I tend to avoid lobster for moral reasons. But the lobster was really good. I could almost taste the suffering. Buttery, with just a tang of regret at a life unfulfilled.
Nothing major happened at dinner. Eating, some drinking, and enjoying good company. Just what a birthday dinner should be.
Afterward we came back to the house. Michelle and Ryan and some of Katie’s friends came over, and we all separated into different rooms. The old folks in one and the youngins in the other. I made a B-52 for Katie, and another for each of the Jennifers. Then I wound up drinking shots of Grand Marnier and, improbably, chasing them with sangria. However it sounds, we weren’t partying it up. Just relaxing and talking.
After awhile, Bruce and Mary left. Some of Katie’s friends left. And talk turned to “what do ya’ll want to do now?” I’ve learned through my amazing powers of observation that this loosely translates to “Let’s go clubbing. Ya’ll pick where.” At first I tried to talk Victoria into going without me and making it a girl’s night out. I mean, it was Katie, Courtney, the two Jennifers, Victoria and myself. Past experience has taught me that one guy out with five women usually equals trouble (as in eventually hearing one of the women tell someone “Oh, yeah? Well, my friend will kick your ass!”). But Victoria made it clear that while she wanted to go, she wouldn’t go without me. So I went.
We wound up downtown at a place called The Bishop Tavern. On the way in, all of the women got nice comments from the door guy, when he made out like the ink was coming off of their ID’s, but when he got to mine he said “That’s the first AARP card I’ve seen tonight”. Pffffft!
Thanks to Katie’s friend, David, we were put in the VIP room upstairs. When we went in there, some young girl was dry humping some young guy on one of the sofas. It wasn’t long before they were ejected by the bouncers. There was a little drama when the girl bucked on the bouncers, while the guy was trying to get her to shut up and leave with him. You could see it in his eyes that he just knew she was going to get his ass kicked.
After they left, David handed me some sunglasses that one of them had left behind. Against my better judgment, I put them on. That kind of became my thing. I sat there the rest of the evening wearing those shades, drinking whatever libations anyone put into my hand. David brought me a couple of shots of rum. And a couple shots of tequila. And some sweet abomination that I was told was made with Red Bull. People drink the damndest things.
David tried to get us all to pitch in on a bottle of something. But no one ever agreed on anything. We wound up drinking whatever showed up. Which, thanks to David, I imagine, there was no shortage of.
After awhile, Katie and the two Jennifers disappeared downstairs. I assumed they went down to dance or something, but they didn’t come back. That left Victoria and I up in the VIP lounge. Not long after that we discovered that David and Courtney had been dating. We found this out mostly because David caught Courtney kissing on “some white guy”. Much drama followed, with David coming over often to Victoria and saying “Mom, get her out of here”. I was fascinated by watching the fireworks, but Victoria wanted to leave. So we wound up on the sidewalk outside. Shortly after that, David wound up out there with us, and we all talked a bit about his trouble. Courtney eventually wound up out there as well, and Victoria and I left them with their pain and wandered off in search of the parking garage where rumor had it that we had parked our car.
Victoria and I immediately wound up going in the wrong direction. I knew this, but Victoria insisted we were going the right way. Personally, I think she was drawn by the pretty lights on the three police cruisers that had cornered someone in an alley. All I knew was that we weaved through the cruisers on our way to parts unknown, and finally wound up at the elevators to an apartment building, where Victoria, after some thought, concluded “this is not the right place”.
I then got her going back up the street in the right direction (this time on the opposite side of the street from the police cruisers). After walking about a block and a half, we were hailed by Katie and the two Jennifers, who had seen us wander by from inside of a different club and had decided they’d better collect us. I think the idea was floated of going to Denny’s for some food, and we were going to do that.  But then the ongoing sage of David and Courtney again caught up to us, and we all stood on the sidewalk for awhile, trying to broker a peace deal, or at least a cease-fire.
Peace was not to be, but the fireworks died down a bit. We got Courtney to give David her keys, because she was in no shape to drive. And after getting David to promise to get Courtney home safely, we made our way to the parking garage and made our retreat. Nothing else was said about Denny’s and we all went home; the two Jennifers in one car, and Victoria, Katie and I in another.
We got home around 02:30 this morning. Katie went straight to her room. Victoria asked me if I wanted to smoke some, but I didn’t think it’d go over too well. By 03:00 we were both dead to the world.
Right now I can’t remember the dream that roused me up. I feel surprisingly well, considering. I imagine I’ll go back to bed in a bit. I also figure lack of sleep might be a great foundation for a hangover later on, which I have no intention of tempting. Right now I’m fine. All in all, I didn’t drink an awful lot. Well, maybe in total volume. But it was spread over eight hours or so. I think as I’ve gotten older I’ve perfected the art of attaining and maintaining a buzz. That’s all I’m after, really. I guess I’ve also retained some of my tolerance for alcohol. Unlike some people I could mention, but won’t.
I had a good time. Maybe I don’t dance and carry on, but I definitely enjoy seeing other people dance and carry on. It was fun to get to hang out with Katie and her friends and family, to celebrate her 22nd birthday. Hopefully next year our finances will be such that we can throw a proper shindig worthy of the parties of lore thrown by Victoria’s brothers in their youth.

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