Today. It’s today. It’s finally here! The day I drink to be merry until my eyes tear! My name is Brian and I’m turning 21 today. I’ve been looking forward to this since last May. I’ve got it all planned out, down to the very last beer. Finally, finally today is here.
Or so went the resounding cheer inside my head, before the day began, before my coffee, before 3:24 in the morning the next day. Its 10:34 Friday morning and my best friend Billy is standing over me, smiling ridiculously. “Happy birthday motherfucker!” I know that tone. I will not be responsible for the next 24 hours of my life. He hands me a doughnut and a beer. “Breakfast of champions.” He says as he pops open a Guinness and chomps on a devil’s food crumb doughnut, our mutual favorite.
I look from the doughnut to the Sam Adams Oktoberfest, then back again. “Trust me.” He says, smile still on his face. I shrug and take a bite. Then a sip. Not too bad actually. “Thanks.” I say. I take another bite-sip combo. Not too bad at all. I finish. “I’ll be down in two.”
He hands me a hot pocket. “Hurry, we have a full day.”
I put the somewhat-hot-pocket in my mouth, roll out of bed, and search for the cleanest clothes. I find my favorite pair of jeans under my favorite hoodie and zip the both them up. I love the feeling of ripped, worn jeans and time-thinned, thumb-hole hoodies in the fall. It’s like the coating of a Klondike. Fucking delicious. I look out my window at the all the autumn colors and can’t help but think, ‘It’s going to be a good day.’
And so it was, so it was. There was alcohol and good times in everything. Cups, glasses, kegs, watermelons, everything. The world was my drunken oyster so I sang the national anthem to it. At noon. I climbed a bell tower and apparently played the theme song to the ‘Lion King’ on it. It sounded horrible in a wonderful kind of way. Who knew I had a thing for music?
It was the watermelon that really got me. We had just gotten back from ninja-fighting when the drunkmunchy monkey climbed aboard my back. I told Billy that I was hungry. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was eating what he told me to. My third mistake was washing down the watermelon with the vodka leftover from spiking said watermelon. Those are the only three mistakes I can currently remember.
The day was turning out to be quite the memorable occasion. I can’t say the same for the night; I lost a few too many hours. After sobering up just enough to regain the ability to walk a straight line, Billy and I stumbled to the local pizza joint and woofed down an anchovy-feta cheese-banana pepper-extra pineapple-white sauce pizza. Then we settled our stomachs with Tums and beer.
I have a vague recollection of watching a Jennifer Aniston movie with guns and giant explosions and aliens, which is impossible. And I also have a brand new appreciation for the fine people at Pixar. They’re really very talented. Finding Nemo is my new hero. Not only can he lead his people to freedom but his name has an E and an O in it in just like the word “hero.”
It made sense at the time.
The last thing I can recall from that night was the sudden realization that whatever I was eating was dry, tasted like tuna, and was unnecessarily crunchy. I looked down, shook my head and tried to figure out where I was. Then I realized the receipt in my right hand. It was from CVS. I turned around and lo and behold, in the distance, was a flickering 24 Hour pharmacy sign. I looked at the time. It was 3:24 in the morning. I facepalmed then flipped open my phone, selected ‘Dad’ on my contact list, and hit the send button.
(412): I’m walking the streets of B-Ville with a bag of cat food… looking for my car. I don’t ever want to turn 21 again.