Last night I got ripped at the Buena Vista. The Buena Vista is a two-faced outlet up on the hill, with a splendid and expensive restaurant upstairs and a drunk lounge in the down. The Lounge is a classic iron range bar, with drink specials that range from beer to beer to beer. This is not a bar you go to on your 21st birthday and show off to the bartender all the crazy little froo-froo mixed drinks you know. This is a bar you go to on your 22nd birthday, when you have settled in to the whole drinking thing and just want booze.
The establishment soaks into your soul. A night at the Buena will leave your clothes smelling fine and dingy. You will need to burn your sweater. Clothes that you didn’t even bring to the Buena will smell dingy. Your skin will smell dingy, but can reclaim its neutral scent after a bath in brillo pads.
We tried to start the night off with three pitchers of Killian’s, but they didn’t have enough pitchers so they gave it to us in installments. The conversation was surprisingly lively, spanning subjects from Iraq, participatory government, outlawing stupid people from having a say in political matters, the rise of the nation-state, digging up Plato’s bones so we can clone ourselves a philosopher king, military might, and the recent re-election of Hitler in Germany (who rallied up the leftist vote by spouting anti-American sentiments (but that’s OK because now that Schroeder has been reelected he canned the minister of justice who compared Bush to Hitler and that should patch every up… right?).
Then the malaise of alcohol tightened its grip. I argued the non-existence of God with some ladies. They weren’t drunk enough yet and got upset. I started up conversations with a number of other people. One ended up being a guy from my modern philosophy class last year. Another ended up being a girl who’s birthday was today. I don’t remember what I said to them. Other people I knew kept fading in and out at the edges. I talked to them. I hope I said nice things.
The true test of any night of drinking is the walk to the bathroom. You make every attempt to pretend you aren’t drunk as you walk across the bar, but really end up stumbling around and banging into chairs and people. Luckily most of the chairs and people are as drunk as you are and don’t really mind. In the bathroom there was a chalk board that guys had been writing on during the night. I stood there reading it and muttered to myself. “Huh. Pussy is still free. That’s good to know.”
At around 10:30 I realized that my birthday was creeping up. At midnight the bartender gave me a shot of tequila. Under normal circumstances I can’t do shots (they always seem to come out my nose), but since I had had eight mugs of Killian’s and was already plastered beyond recognition, the tequila was no problem. Then Deet insisted on buying me a beer. I did not want another beer, but next thing I knew the glass was empty. “Who drank my drink?” I demanded in a Southern pa kind of voice. I eventually decided the only logical conclusion was I drank my own drink but didn’t remember it. I don’t remember a lot of things from that night.
By the end of the night our conversation had degraded to howls of “Hey, must be his birthday!” and toasts to the drunk yelling that resulted. You can always test the drunkenness of a room by hollering nonsense and seeing how many people holler back. The Buena lounge was liquid.
I don’t remember much of leaving. At one point we were sitting at the bar, and the next thing I know we were filing out the back door to get a ride home from Kelly. She had a nice car, but I don’t remember what kind it was. Memory or not, Doug and I got back to the apartment and I stumbled into my room. I tried to go to sleep but the room kept rotating every time I closed my eyes. I turned on the light and used my Big Wu poster as an anchor, but then everything kept spinning around it.
I must have fallen asleep at some point because I woke up to Oranges and Graphic Design. My head hurt so I went back to sleep for a few more hours. I finally dragged myself out of bed at ten, scraped the Buena off my soul and went to work at the Wooch! table.
I was still drunk.