Saturday, December 13, 2008

Drunk and Incompetent

I should never have gone in the first place.  I don't like bars, I don't like drunks, and I don't particularly like being up very late in the company of the latter at a table in the former.  But it was a farewell party for a friend/co-worker, and I'd said I would attend, so I did.  We'd been through a rough week: the water heater in our apartment has been broken for about two weeks, and this week the landlady sent someone in to fix it.  After many, many miscommunications about the time and the keys and the apartment number (they replaced the water heater in a different apartment, but not ours), a workman showed up, punched a hole in the wall, turned the lights on and off, and left.  Today another three came, punched a couple more holes in the wall, and now we can get hot water, but only if the sink in the bathroom is on at the same time as the shower.  Katy and I got home from our respective schools and had a lovely talk about hardcore music and the debatable merits of being angry, so perhaps I was not in the right frame of mind to be patient by the time we left.  

The friend -- let's call him Bob -- was obviously drunk by the time I arrived.  He was banging on the table with enough force to knock glasses over, and somehow still being served and not being thrown out.  I sat on the other side of the table, ordered some mulled wine (first experience - not bad), and tried to be entertaining and entertained instead of appalled and angry.  I don't think I succeeded very well.  Bob kept apologizing to me, but as the evening wore on, he got less and less coherent about it, until he was just saying "I'm sorry," at regular intervals, without anything in between.  Finally, after lots of shouting and banging, he came around the table and sat next to me, leaning in.  "Rowan, I'm sorry," he said.  "For what?" I asked.  "Just, I'm sorry."  I looked across the table.  This appeared to be the wrong thing to do.  He grabbed my face with his hand and turned my head back toward him.

Now, maybe it's the teaching, maybe it's the brief amount of time I spent learning the basics of street fighting (cheat, cheat early, often, and ruthlessly), or maybe it's the ridiculous ways people tend to see me, but I don't have any trouble communicating when I'm really, truly angry.  "Bob," I said.  I did not yell.  The guy across the table heard me and immediately started paying attention, but I'm pretty sure no one else did.  "Bob, if you touch me again I will disembowel you."  He dropped his hand and cocked his head to the side.  "Really?" he said, like he was questioning the answer to a confusing math problem.  "Yes," I said. "Really."  The guy across the table said, "Bob-" and Bob said, "No.  I want her to kill me."  I decided it was time for me to leave, so I slid under the table and shook hands with everyone and toddled off to the MRT.

Now.  Can anyone tell me what is so attractive about drinking to excess?


Andrew said...

It's simple, it makes other people more attractive to you.

Or so I've been told.

mollysidera said...

I just re-stumbled upon your blog. Don't know how I forgot about it even though it's in my favorites. Too many random crises happening around me to fully process what is right in front of me, I suppose.

In any case, you are dead on that there is absolutely nothing attractive about drinking to excess, which is why I was momentarily frightened and confused as I started to read your blog, thinking you were the one ending up drunk and incompetent. I was relieved to discover otherwise.

Hope all is well and that your maintenance issues have subsided.

pickett said...

Sometimes you have to kill your own brain so you don't kill anything else. That is the only justifiable excuse. But those who get drunk in that manner have no excuse.