For some reason, I found myself wondering about the first time I was stupid enough to get drunk - as in, drunk. Interestingly, I'm not sure which of two events actually came first, since they were loosely connected and equally ridiculous.
I thought it might be interesting to share the stories, so let's go. Remember that I'm not entirely sure which of these events occurred first, and also remember that I don't condone the drinking of alcohol when you're under the legal age to do so. Yes, I did that, but I'm covering my ass here, shush.
The first story is just silly - stick with me, the second story is much more interesting. I visited my friend's place when his parents were away somewhere on the other side of the country (where the psychopaths belonged) and they'd left his twenty-something year-old cousin to watch over him - either that or my friend invited him over, I'm not sure. I think we were fifteen, so a babysitter, so to speak, wouldn't have been necessary. In fact, turned out to be a bad idea.
It was a night of two vodka bottles, Enter The Matrix and repetitive trance/techno music. As is to be expected, without a responsible adult either in charge or having given us an idea about how to handle hard liquor, it was also a night of throwing up like we were drinking emetic-flavored milkshakes.
To be honest, no, it wasn't as stupid a night as I make it sound there. We were in a safe location with an adult (wow, damn, he would've been about my age...), only a small group of trusting friends, and though we were technically binge drinking, and I had quite a lot, nobody was in danger of hospitalization or worse.
But have you ever had a hangover so bad you felt like killing the first cute little puppy that made a noise of any kind within ten miles of you? Or wondered where the cut on your leg came from? Or wondered why you had a half-memory of the previous night where you were trying to pull a black, nylon gym-bag up as if they were your pants?
Wouldn't ever, ever drink that much ever again and I don't recommend anyone ever does. Especially not if you're the age I was. It was the slippery slope effect, where the drunker you are, the more you forget that booze takes time to kick in. "Oh, I just finished that triple-shot of vodka and coke, I'll have another, I'm fine." Yeah, no shit, in thirty minutes that last drink would've had you on your ass, now instead you're going to be puking all night. Calm down, just relax and- no! No, don't have another, you idiot! Ugh, see, now your face is halfway down the S-bend. Nice going, genius.
You think you're above that. Right. I know you do. Trust me, you're not, that mistake is so easy to make that people who are fully educated on the issue and have been drinking for thirty years still fuck it up.
The second story is far more interesting, and I think it's sprung to mind because I recently bought a casket of cheap, shitty wine - which I actually took 6 days to finish and I shared it with someone, so it's not like I'm buying cheap wine just to get wasted. I don't even know why I bothered, I hate it.
But we're talking... four litres of this shit for $10. $2.50 a litre.
Which of course is why certain groups find it appealing. Here, it's referred to as a "goon bag", since the casket houses an aluminium bladder-skin and... I have no idea what "goon" means, truth be told it's likely an Aboriginal word.
So, one day, I was heading to the bus stop to catch a ride up to the same place I had been before - or rather, an internet cafe near there, where I was going to meet my friends, including one person who is probably going to read this. It was the first time he met me, in fact.
I had been waiting there a moment when a congregation of aboriginal teenagers and young adults showed up. I knew that I really should've just got up and left the stop. That's not racism, by the by, it's simple street-smarts. They had clearly been drinking and, well, the streets are simply more dangerous for teenaged males - if this group was going to start a fight, it would've been with me. If I had been a sixty-two-year-old granny they would've ignored me.
Now, I had borrowed a pair of Oakley sunglasses from my friend and I was planning to return them that night - they were actually his father's and probably worth about $300.
As it turned out, they didn't start a fight. Er, immediately. We started chatting, though I was pretty fucking wary. A bunch of half-drunk males at a bus-stop is a dangerous group to be around, period. Now, because I was pretty much determined to get to see my friend and return the glasses, thus I "needed" to catch this bus, and because I was flat out intimidated - I was either 14 or 15, I'm not sure - I ended up partaking in some of their booze. Which of course meant ten-buck shitty wine in a "goon bag." Which they had several of, by the way, and were quite happy to share, and intimidation-factor aside, I pretty much had to take some when I was offered.
Now, it's hard to explain what happened here, because a lot of you simply won't get it. To put it one way, I got along fine with them all. But on the other hand, oh yeah they totally did get aggressive. Rather, the older ones did. They took the sunglasses and when I asked for them back, the response was pretty much: "Yeah? You wanna fuckin' fight? Huh? I'll fuckin' make you piss, cunt! You still want these fuckin' things back?"
We're talking about someone half a foot taller than me and clearly insane. Right in my face.
What happened next still sits in my memory today as one of the most bizarre moments in my life. All of this happened. None of this is embellished or untrue.
Now, it's not entirely true to call them a group of Aborigines. Many of them were of mixed descent and some of them were my own age. One of the younger guys must've felt sorry for me and he actually semi-pulled me aside to tell me the following.
"Hey, he's just testin' you. That's all bro, keep goin'."
So I did. I kept it classy and didn't make any mention of how expensive the glasses were. By the end of the night, I had the glasses back without having to fight a twenty-something-year-old adult, was pretty well on my way to being drunk, and they wanted me to come hang out with them that night.
Not only did I have somewhere to be, but that would've just been world class stupidity. I wasn't that drunk.
So yeah, cheers, dude, wherever you are. Thanks for helping the clueless white boy out. *rolls eyes*
Note that this continued when we were on the bus. There was a bunch of teenagers/young-adults at the back of the bus getting fucking plastered and swearing like pirates and the driver didn't do a thing. I was so highly strung and nervous that I don't even know how I would've reacted to the cops getting involved and arresting us all. But no, the driver, who was Indian as I recall, didn't seem to care.
But honestly, aside from the slight nervousness (I'd been in situations similar before, I was quite used to assholes getting in my face - was more concerned for the glasses, oddly enough) it was kind of fun. Felt like a hell of a high when I got off the train at my destination and got to the internet cafe.
Like I said, some of this is hard to explain, such as why they were sharing their booze with a random kid they met at the bus-stop and why I had to accept. If it sounds crazy, it actually isn't. It's related to Aboriginal culture, or rather, urban delinquent Aboriginal culture.
I was no angel myself, and that's not so different from the rest of the fuckhead culture here, but I still needed that guy to reassure me I wasn't about to get stabbed. That was... new. Hey, more experience. Oh, sure, I really should've just turned around and walked away, even though my friend's dad would've not even tried to understand why I was late returning his sunglasses, but you had to have been there to understand. I'm not as street-dumb as it sounds here.
Oh trust me, my friend's dad was a dick. I don't mean that amusingly either, I mean "this man has attacked his own son with a hockey stick before."
So, basically, one of those two stories was the tale of me first getting properly drunk outside of my own home. Funny thing? I think the first story was a more dangerous scenario.
The second story also ended on a Counter-Strike marathon while tipsy, which is way better than throwing up. Even if the gym-bag thing makes me laugh to this day.