I haven’t written a post since May 28th, 2012.
It’s not that I haven’t had incidences, occurrences, milestones, but rather that I somehow felt I just didnt have the time to put them onto screen.
After the New Year I had told myself that I would start writing again. Even if it was only for me and the handful of folks that may find their way to this small space that I have carved out on the internet.
So, it’s the middle of March, and in order to kick my ass into gear I joined up with the Scintilla Project. I’m looking at this as a writing challenge. A way to warm up and stretch back into telling my stories.
Today’s prompt is: “Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally old enough to do so”
When I was 13 I took my first drag of a cigarette, and my first swig of alcohol in a social setting that wasn’t under the confines of my parents company. Mind you, this was from a forty of Old English. I shudder now to think that I would put such a ghastly tasting fermented beverage across my lips, but I did, and after that night in October of 1994 I did it many times after. It wasn’t always OE — sometimes it was St. Ides (gag) or a touch of Boone’s (blech), or a handle of Mr. Boston’s. In any case, by the time I was 16 I was a pro at drinking cheap, gross booze.
High School. Bayside Queens, New York. A Sophomore at Benjamin Cardozo H.S. It was Spring. I recall only because how mild and lovely the temperature was that day. Per usual, around 10a me, Victor*, Christine*, and Micheal* would meet up and sneak ourselves out of school through the hole that was cut into one of the side chain link fences. Once outside we would cautiously stroll up Springfield Blvd. Always on the lookout for the paddy wagon (or the 5-0 as we ridiculous children would refer to them).
It’s 1997, and I am rolling knee deep in Jnco jeans, purple hair and all that is Trent Reznor. I have friends that think wearing Crow make-up is a totally reasonable way to walk amongst the public. We find ourselves behind a strip mall in Queens, NY. Drinking, smoking, flirting. Pretending that this is what kids do. Playing hacky sack and getting sloshed, isn’t that what all teenagers do?
Fast forward to the group moving along to my place (or my parent’s place). A spot that we all headed to when we were done with the sun behind the businesses that ran along the boulevard. It was always my place because it was the closest and my folks both worked during the day. Stumbling, so much stumbling down the 3 blocks to get to the the door of my parent’s garden apartment. I try to slide my key in the door so that we can continue the party for a few more hours and hmmm…nope, the key does not fit.
What in Sam’s Hell is this I think. I try again. Yea, that key is not going to fit in the space provided by the lock. I struggle a touch longer, no use. Sober 31 year old me knows now that my Dad had changed the lock. That it was his was of embarrassingly punishing me. 16 year old me did not get the hint. I frantically thought of ways I could pick the lock. First with a credit card (so damn dumb). After a bit a gave up on that and somehow got it in my head that if I stuck a fork (yes a fork) I could snap open that lock. I clearly thought that I was heist worthy. Unfortunately no group of bandits were calling for my favor. Someone found a plastic fork after I had demanded that I needed a fork-esque utensil. I bent the fork (still unsure why I did such) and within moments there was an audible “snap”. Oh yea, I had broken the damned thing — Inside the fucking mechanism. Crap.
I’m embarrassed. Friends are waiting to go inside and I have successfully secured us not doing so. People start to leave. In the end, I’m left alone to fend for myself against my father. A man that woke at 2am to go to work, only to find his eldest sitting outside the door of their home. Sobbing does not work. Once he realizes what was happened he leaves furiously and returned later with a new lock and a drill.
Once the lock is replaced my father walks into the apartment and sits on the couch. I lurch in. Slumped over hoping that he sees my remorse and leaves it at that. No, that is not my dad’s way. He rubs in my face what a moron I am. A fucking plastic fork? What were you thinking? And for me, this works because my dad knows that I am just like he is. Running into walls is something that we do. You say not to touch something because it is too hot and we say “oh this?” as we bring our hands to the smoldering surface.
After a stint of agonizing crying and apologizing I find myself sober after the day’s events. My dad at one point starts to smile and tells me that he can’t believe how stupid I am. I know then that I can never do any real damage to our relationship no matter what dumb ass shenanigans I get myself into. I don’t fully realize how lucky I am until much later.