(Originally appeared in Mutant Renegade Zine #12, Fall 1999)
I hate the taste of beer. I always have. I’m not to found of the foamy texture either. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in the world that the trick of ‘parents giving their child a drink of beer when they’re young so that will hate the taste for life’ has ever worked on. It took a little more than that to wean myself of the habit of letting myself get totally fucked up.
That all happened at a point in my life when I was working at the college radio station. Somehow a three of us at the station managed to have the college pay for us to attend a radio conference in Providence, Rhode Island. The three of us drove my little Hyundai car over sixteen hours to get to the conference.
Being my first conference and all, I set out of a mission to get more wasted than I have ever been in my life. I first had to find some alcohol. I managed to secure my poison in the form of a pint of vodka at a liquor store that was around the corner from the hotel. I then tried to find some orange juice to go with it, but when my search came up short, I decided to experiment and bought a couple of cans of Hawaiian Punch.
The combination of the two wasn’t the greatest, but dammit I was on a mission and I was going to see that I accomplished it. I emptied the bottle of vodka just in time to go with a few people to a bar called Club Babyhead. At the club they had a special on tequila and beer. It was something like if you ordered one of both, you got them at half price or something like that. I managed to form a partnership with a fellow where we would order the special and I got the tequila while he got the beer. He drank a lot of beer, which meant that I got to drink a lot of tequila. This is the point where my memory starts to get fuzzy.
I somehow remember that the band that was playing was getting ready to be the opening bands for Tin Machine tour. After downing a few shots of tequila and dancing feverishly I started to notice that the bar was very hot and was spinning a bit. I managed to get to a couch that was behind the soundboard. I sat next to one of my travel companions and informed her that I wasn’t feeling to well and that I needed to get back to the hotel. She was schmoozing with a fellow and just kind of ignored me.
It was then that I got her attention when I grabbed a large cup from the soundboard and proceeded to fill it with vomit. The next thing that I knew I was getting pushed into a cab, while someone was asking how I managed to get puke on the back of my coat. As we stepped out of the cab, I vomited once more in front of the hotel entrance before I passed out.
It’s at this point that something happened that I have no recollection of. I was told that after I was dragged up to our hotel room, a few people came to our room and had a party. Apparently during the party, while my female friend was jumping on the bed that I was on, I stood up, put her in a headlock, started screaming at her and then passed out again. I have no recollection of it what-so-ever.
What I do remember is waking up the next day with the stench of alcohol oozing from the pours of my skin. I immediately when to the restroom and vomited furiously until all the contents of my stomach where emptied. I then took a shower and started to dry heave for about a half-hour. Upon exiting the bathroom my companions informed me that I still stunk of alcohol. I then took two more showers to no avail. It was then that I was told to get my stuff together because we had to check out.
It was bad enough that it was our day to check out and we had to drive all the way back home to Dayton. What made it worse was that we were on the eighth floor. This meant that as we had to go up and down on the elevator as we moved our luggage to the lobby. This gave me another half-hour of the dry heaves. I vaguely remember getting into the car. In fact the only part of the trip home that I remember was when I woke up to the car smelling like the fried cheese sticks that my companions had stopped to get along the way It resulted in another bout of dry heaves before I passed out.
I was awakened 16-hours later when we arrived back in Dayton. I was still stinking of alcohol and proceeded to get the dry heaves again. It wasn’t until the next day that I rejoiced in the familiarity of a hangover, which I saw as the final step in ending my private journey of alcohol hell.