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  • Writer's pictureMr. Jamoke

Degenerate Confessions

I let my guard down at this company drinking event yesterday and I’m frustrated about it. I usually avoid such events because (1) I’m a recovering degenerate and I don’t want my associates to know this (2) I find the vast majority of my colleagues to be boring. Both concerns go together in that I wouldn’t be as worried about point 1 if it weren’t for point 2.

After a few hours of community drinking my little team broke off and went to a cocktail bar; my cup of tea for sure. All 5 of my teammates ordered either wine or beer. I was both infuriated and embarrassed, we’re at a freaking cocktail bar! Peasants. Anyway, I decided it was on me to try and salvage our group’s reputation so I ordered the fanciest but strongest drink I could think of: A diamondback. Our waiter / “mixologist” was quite relieved and the group was impressed.

Here’s the problem, those diamondbacks go down easy and hit like a truck, and I was already chilling on three mezcal manhattans. After the first diamondback I realized I was getting drunk so I sat there listening, nodding and hoping that nobody would engage me. My lifeline was this: Even if someone talks to me it will probably be about something boring and I won’t have much to say.

I underestimated my colleagues. About three quarters of the way through my second glass the conversation turns to: “How do you know when you’re really wasted.” I must have smirked because all of a sudden everyone’s looking at me eager to hear my response…. “Well, sometimes, up until my early 20’s, I’d get so fucked up, I’d have a really hard time just getting out of the bathroom.”…. Mistake # 1, too honest and too intriguing a response……… “What do you mean? Like, you were puking so much?”…………. “Well no, what I mean is that it was just hard to………….” FUCK! Halfway through my response to the follow up question I realized that I was in way too deep and that I had no idea how to wiggle out of finishing that statement. Five sets of eyes wide and beaming with curiosity to see how this ends. In a way it’s not my fault, had I not been the first person called on I could have gauged the room and modified my answer accordingly. I ended up spilling the beans. I told them that I would be so drunk and high that at times it was hard for me to get out of the bathroom. Not cause I was puking, but because I was so goddamn crushed, my faculties so diminished, that finding the door and turning the knob and exiting the bathroom became a Herculean effort.

Two days removed from this incident I choose to focus on the positives. This could have ended up even worse for me. I could have told them about the time that I, trying to avoid creating a smell that would wake up my parents, emptied my bookbag, draped it over my head and smoked a bowl in the walk-in closet: The world’s smallest and most devastating hotbox. I actually slept in the closet that night because I was flat out unable to navigate my way out. I could have told them about the time in grad school when I woke up face down in my living room, in my boxer briefs, in a superman pose, with a McRib clutched in my extended right hand. And when I came to, I microwaved it and ate it. Don’t judge me, that shit only comes around so often.

The reality is that the statement: “You know you’re f-ed up when……” could make for an evening of tremendous laughs in the right company. But this crew wasn’t ready for my response. Stunned and speechless there was a seven second pause before anyone responded. I suspect they spent the first 4 seconds in disbelief that they’re at the same hierarchical level as me, and the next three formulating their actual response. They just talked about how they have bad headaches or feel very dehydrated the next day…. the conversation shifted and nobody called on me again.

Perhaps word/gossip will spread around the office about my uncouth commentary the other day and the other closet degenerates will come find me in time for the next drinking event. God I hope so. Moving forward I won’t be as diplomatic. If the person across from me orders a drink that isn’t at least 50% liquor, I’m getting up and walking away. I have a buddy who once told me that he doesn’t remember the first half of 2009. Where’s that guy in my company? At the next work drinking event I’ll sit at a two-person table, order two diamondbacks, place one across from me and see who takes the bait. More likely than not, my new best friend.

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