Now you fancy yourself the kind of person who would be above such a thing, the kind of person who sips warm brandy in a place like the bar at RL, where people murmur their opinions and assignations are agreed to demurely and where you are still the youngest person there because everyone else is the same age as Ted Kennedy. That’s your fantasy boozy self.
But, the reality is different. The reality is that it when you still drank, it ended at the five o’clock bar. Yours was Tai’s Lounge—a little scary and a little, “Wow! That bouncer has a headset and a gun!”
Why the gun? You’ll never bother to know. They’re most likely not going to start shooting you, even if you hit the Jagermeister again, and let’s face it, you’re just not that stupid anymore and your liver frankly won’t tolerate such nonsense.
It’s never your idea to go to Tai’s but it’s never a suggestion you’d disagree with either. In fact you find yourself agreeing wholeheartedly with whoever suggested it. The group of guys you were hanging out with all knew how to drink like Russians. They treated you like a stupid kid sister and given the amount of alcohol you were consuming “stupid” was the appropriate term. Tara Reid comes to mind, albeit sans the boob job, the bikini-friendly body and the blonde hair. You hung out with them because you were waiting to hook up with the man you hadn’t yet met, with whom you’d hopefully spend the rest of your life. When you first met these guys you’d thought maybe one of them might be that man and a few of them had maybe thought you might be that girl, but the ones you were into weren’t into you and vice versa. While sorting it out you became the best of drinking friends, never wasting a minute of bar time on the Golden Nugget Pancake House because you knew that would be there, ready and willing enough to receive you after Tai’s had finally closed for the night.
Tai’s, the place you’d tell yourself you weren’t too drunk to drive to. Tai’s, the place to have a couple more. Tai’s, the place where you, as you once did, fell deep and hard—not in love—but ass first into a trashcan, with only your fingers and feet poking out the top. Stuck in there, wondering if you would be left like baby Jessica in the well. But the guys finally stopped laughing, took mercy on you and dumped you out on the floor of Tai’s—a place rather forgiving of drunken stupidity, bouncer’s guns aside.
No, you never found Mr. Right at 4am at Tai’s, but sometimes when you’ve been drinking for hours and the night is not as great as you needed it to be, you might need to try a little harder for something to happen to you before you can bear to settle for pancakes and the eventuality of your empty bed followed by inevitable hangover.
Time passes, you meet Mr. Right and go to tell the guys—who’ve been drinking well into the night. You flash your ring at them and they will scream C–T! And you know that you clean up nice and aspire to finer things, but they’ve shared too many nights with you at Tai’s to offer a different type of congratulations.