Magic Night #4
The first night of Spring Break, my junior year in college. I was exhausted—I’d written three papers in four nights and had gotten very little sleep, but Dan and Cathy wanted to go out clubbing. Dan put on Combat Rock and within minutes I was bouncing off the walls. We started drinking and primping. I ended up wearing a white t-shirt, black spandex bicycle shorts, combat boots, and eyeliner. Earlier that day I had gotten my head shaved for the first time.
First we stopped off at the Marlin, the local English-major bar, to show off our looks. We ran into some people we knew and played a drinking game that involved saying the names of different types of shit (dog shit, worm shit...) and doing lots of beer shots.
The club was called Quick! and had two winged pigs at the entrance. We got in fast—by this time I wasn’t wearing the shirt. This little drag queen Goldilocks had a box hanging from her neck full of capsules of ecstasy, which was pretty new at the time, certainly new to me. I got one in exchange for a kiss. Soon I was running around the club determined to make out with girls without talking to them. There were these three chicks dressed in black two of whom—one fat—did make out with me, but that was about it. At a certain point this pimp kinda character was buying me drinks at the bar and talking about getting me a job as a go-go dancer, which was my dream at the time. I downed my vodka shot. He asked me if I wanted another and I said sure and downed that. He asked me if I wanted another and I downed that, thinking this might be trouble, and ran off.
I awoke in the
I slept for most of the next couple days and couldn’t stop shivering for a while, and I got mono, which I had for the rest of the semester. Some woman found and returned my wallet (which I had precariously jammed between my bicycle shorts and my skin)—nothing was missing. My parents never got billed by the hospital, as far as I know, and I told them that the scratches on my face were from falling into a hole.
Magic Night #18
Southern Thailand now. This bar that’s right on the beach has a dj and mushroom shakes. I drink a third of a shake and take a walk and smoke a joint with this Australian kid Nifty. When we come back my shake is gone but I’m already tripping—Nifty and everything else looks upside down and somehow it has something to do with the spacey techno the dj is playing. I’m pointing out to Nifty how the color scheme of the place has kind of a Nazi quality about it. He eventually leaves and I start getting drunk at the bar. The dj, a young Thai dude with long frizzy hair, ends the night with a country song and that gets me excited—I was pretty into country music at the time—and I’m applauding and whooping a bit. He sits down with me—his name is Jim, I think—and we get to talking and I eventually ask him, of all the people of all the different nationalities that have hung out there, who drinks the most? He thinks a bit and replies, “Actually, I do.”
We keep drinking and I start telling him that, because of several situations I had gotten into in
Pretty soon it’s just us and a lady boy and a couple taxi girls at the other end of the bar and Jim’s trying to keep me from acting like an asshole. Dawn over the sea is amazing, all pink and lavender cotton candy. We’re out of whiskey and zoom out to my guest house on his motorcycle to get my pint bottle. I remember going really fast on the way back. Then we’re sitting on his futon in his little loft, which is built over the bar and perched right over the beach, along with one or two other long-haired Thai dudes, a European couple, and a little kid who’s sleeping in the middle of all of us all. My bottle—or maybe a new one—keeps coming around. Then I’m lying on my stomach on the futon vomiting my guts out onto the beach and pissing and pissing and pissing.
When I wake up with me on that futon is an older Thai dude with long hair and a mustache who’s upset because somebody’s stolen his money—or at least that’s what he’s saying—and the little kid, who has a monkey on a leash and is torturing it with a water gun. We hang out for a while, listening to a James Brown tape on a little boom box. I eventually climb down from the loft, take a dip in the sea, and walk home, relieved to find that I still have all my stuff in my wallet and feeling drunk, hungry, and pretty good.
Afterward I felt really bad about having fucked up Jim’s futon, but I was too embarrassed to go back to the bar and try to give him money for a new one. Actually, I was too cheap. I tried to find Jim years later but he had moved on to a different beach place.
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