Summary: Alex's sarcastic and bitter inner-commentary greatly differs from what she says aloud. Her true emotions differ greatly from the ones she expresses. Her perception of events differs greatly from reality. And all of this really sucks for the poor guy who likes her.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the companies, brands, bands, songs, products, etc. mentioned. I do not make any money from this. I'm dirt poor, so suing me will get you nowhere. I do not condone illegal drug use or the underage consumption of tobacco or alcohol. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is merely paranoia on your part.
Warning:liberal use of the word fuck- as a noun, adverb, adjective, as well as various verb tenses.
Two Bowls for Breakfast
In Which Beer Pong Brings Everyone Closer Together
'Let's have some fun. This beat is sick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.'
I groaned into my hands before thudding my head against my desk. My housemates were having yet another party, which is all fine and dandy with me. It's just that their parties involved shitty music, an overabundance of Natty Light, frat boys in polo t-shirts, and documenting on film all their slutty escapades.
Alright, I lied. They weren't really all that slutty (except one of them, who is really, actually a whore). Rather, it's many of their acquaintances who show up for these shindigs that act salaciously (random dictionary word of the day, boo ya).
I am not adverse to loud, pounding music and a heavy bass line, so long as it is decent. My housemates seem unaware that good dance music actually exists. Nevertheless, I don't blame them for it; it took me many fruitless hours sampling songs on YouTube and SoundCloud- which sometimes has free downloads, might I add for my fellow college students and/or the unemployed scrounging around for cash- before I found some. I am currently digging the Moombahton sub-genre a great deal… the 'beat is sick' to reiterate the words of Lady Gaga (I am ashamed to admit that, yes, I do know the artist responsible for the piece of shit blasting throughout the house).
I am also in full support of alcohol consumption. I do it all the time. I drink whenever it's available. However, somehow, fuck knows why, I am one of the few college students who understands concepts like pacing and self-control. I have never blacked out, puked, pissed outside- or inside for that matter (excluding the toilet, for obvious reasons)- forgotten the events of the night before, or been unable to stand (that's contestable) or speak semi-coherently. Moreover, I never drink too heavily unless I am:
A) with close friends in their apartment
B) alone (yeah, yeah, shake your finger at me some more, you righteous bastard), whereupon I usually decide to go to sleep or make drunken facebook comments that I'll inevitably regret come morning.
I think the biggest difference between their parties and mine is that my kind of party involves sitting around a bong and either:
A) waxing philosophical on the meaning of life, which somehow (probably from a mad case of munchies) always involves cereal
B) watching a terrible, yet trippy movie- it's entertainment value positively correlated to the number of hits one has had.
Of course, there is sometimes the snorting of K, the partaking of molly, the dropping of acid, the consumption of whatever chemical cocktail strikes a person's fancy. Except heroin. That shit is right out. Don't fuck around.
I, being the upstanding citizen that I am, have never used anything besides pot, shrooms (only once… okay, really three times… well, four if I count this one time that has too long of a story to get into), tobacco, and alcohol.
My kind of parties are always chillax (and, technically speaking, not really parties), whether it be Shpongle or Enigma, Grateful Dead or Biggie Smalls, Snoop Dogg or 311 blaring from the speakers. Everyone spends their time in a drug-induced haze. Hence, no drama occurs, only happiness and profound introspection… a bit of intraspection as well.
Their parties involve lacrosse boys and frat boys- sometimes the dangerous combination of both: a lacrosse-playing frat boy- all of whom become angry drunks. I suspect that testosterone and alcohol undergo some chemical reaction within the body that triggers the release of adrenaline and whatever the hell else it is that transforms them all into raging gorillas.
I overturned a coke bottle above my open mouth, frowning when less than a mouthful of soda trickled out. Damn it, damn it all. My rum was in the freezer downstairs… None of those jack asses had better be using my Bacardi.
You see, I make a ghetto rum and coke by pouring a healthy dose of rum into a newly opened coke bottle and wala! Security thinks I'm drinking soda when I traverse campus. I can bring it to class. I can walk around downtown. I can save it for later (read: I'm a cheap ass) by putting it in the fridge once the night is over and I no longer fear someone slipping a date-rape drug into my drink- yeah, I'm paranoid enough to think that my own fridge is imperiled during these party shindigs.
Furthermore, I can hide the fact that I'm turning into a raging alcoholic- minus the rage and adding large bouts of melancholy and sporadic bursts of tears.
Seriously, I have problems.
Paranoia and possessiveness setting in, I glanced at the door through which shouting and high-pitched laughter could be heard. That rum was expensive and I don't have enough dinero to be getting all gregarious with it.
Oh sure, take a round of shots with my lovely liquor. No, I don't mind that there's over twenty of you and the bottle will be empty by the time you moochers are all through.
Yeah fucking right. They brought their own shitty Natty Light, they can drink their shitty Natty Light.
That being decided, 'Operation: Rescue Rum' will commence shortly.
Perhaps make a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Sneak back upstairs.
I suppose I should put on some real pants beforehand…
And a bra.
And check my hair.
What can I say? To a certain degree, I care about what I look like. Of course, after my two minutes of 'primping', I still look like a slob. But at least not a slob who just rolled out of bed. Meaning, I put my hair in a ponytail, put on scrubs, and put on a shirt that doesn't expose my midriff to the world (otherwise known as my empty room).
Very briefly, I practiced smiling in the mirror, because, according to just about everyone I speak with on a more familiar level, I always frown and come off like an 'angry snob'.
'Grumpy-puss' was another epitaph someone had volunteered all too cheerfully. To which I responded with a pained grimace from my struggle to smile ingratiatingly at them all the while trying to keep my bitch slapping them across the face from becoming reality as opposed to a fantasy.
Isn't it always that way? Not wanting to bitch slap people, albeit that does occur quite often. I mean shy girls being perceived as cold and stand-offish. I thought it was fairly easy to tell when a person is shy, but perhaps I have once again overestimated the intelligence level of humans.
I look… like a constipated psychopath.
I sighed melodramatically when the occupants downstairs broke out into a drunken chorus of 'Come On Eileen'.
It sounded somewhat like:
'Hey come on! Swgvhoehrnbipjbvea8tghv Hey come on! osagjoiahjoanrthgoiwqha Come on Eileen, oeihrviopfnviugkbk' etc. etc.
Any moment now Journey will come on the stereo, and I swear to all that is unholy that I will cut off the electricity should it occur...
Truthfully though, I'd probably just stab out my eardrums with a pencil. But discretely, so as to not offend anyone.
Okay, I lied. I am a liar.
I would merely scowl in disgust and then retreat back upstairs to my lair. I have no cojones whatsoever- metaphorical or otherwise.
How did it come to this? Why was I living with several, uncontested social butterflies as my housemates when I was like an antisocial… an antisocial…
An antisocial TURD.
Good one, brain. Good one.
Fortunately, having consumed approximately two shots of alcohol at that juncture, I was feeling rather relaxed, uninhibited… not good.
I managed to weave my way through the people crammed into the stairwell and hallways, immediately regretting my decision to wear pants when the downstairs had turned into a sauna from all the body heat. Christ, the air was so humid… probably from all the sweat that had evaporated off of people's bodies into the air. Essentially, I was breathing in everyone's sweat, right?
After pulling open the freezer door, I shoved my head inside and breathed in the fresh (not really) air, shutting my eyes to better enjoy the cool breeze drifting across my face. Yes, there were breezes in our freezer. Currently, our freezer's air currents are bringing in a cold front from the northwest, a chance of rain later on this evening and into t-
"Shit!" I cursed while jolting backwards, my hands shooting above my head to signify my innocence. A bag of frozen green beans fell out of the freezer. At first, I made no move to catch it, being the lazy bum that I am. That is until I caught a glimpse of the side of the bag, which was not vacuumed-sealed shut as I had assumed, but ripped open- a gaping hole of a disaster. What the hell kind of douche bag doesn't clip or place a rubber band around an open bag of frozen veggies?
"Fuck!" I cursed again, squatting down, hoping that my outstretched hands could catch the bag of green beans in time. Unfortunately, with my pathetically slow reaction rates, the bag had already hit the floor several seconds ago.
After performing a spastic equivalent to the 'pop, lock, and drop it', I eyed the cylindrical vegetables scattered across the kitchen floor, my head tilted quizzically. Someone- I'm betting on a girl, but I could be wrong- stepped closer, her (or his) stiletto heel breaking one of the green beans in half- no joke- in fucking half. I pursed my lips and nodded my head in admiration (and fear) of this demonstration of the power held by women's footwear.
Oh well, perhaps the owner of the green beans will learn their lesson come tomorrow when they find their frozen produce smushed against the linoleum and trampled into the carpet.
Not one to err from my mission for long, I stood up to retrieve my rum from the refridgerator.
I twirled around guiltily, keeping a firm grip on the Bacardi I had just snatched from the freezer's confines.
Victoria, otherwise known as Vicky, otherwise known as V, was standing adjacent to the fridge, leaning against the counter. It took me a moment of focused squinting to determine whether my vision was already that shaky or if Vicky herself was wobbling slightly back and forth. It was, fortunately, the later.
You know, through all twenty-three years of my life, I have never met a Victoria I didn't dislike. I think the loser in me is subconsciously repulsed by words like 'potential' and 'success' and 'winning' and 'victory' and fuck-all else. And wasn't a Vicky the bitchy baby-sitter in Fairly Odd Parents?
Suffice to say, I did not like this Vicky either. She had a wonderful personality, no bullshit- friendly and enthusiastic without being obnoxiously bubbly. She even made a misguided effort at the beginning of the school year to introduce me into 'proper society' or whatever. Unfortunately, as much as I appreciated her philanthropic struggles- despite the wounds to my ego- I failed to be reformed. Or maybe I simply refused the reformation. It's not like I was a total loner. I had friends, I really did. It was just that they had already graduated or they lived elsewhere.
Plus, I don't take much stock in the whole 'one is silver and the other gold' bullshit.
It's the gossip that I have a problem with when it comes to Vicky- all the trash-talking that she does, a fair amount of which I am forced to hear (but not actively listen to) due to occupying the same abode.
That is one of the big fuck-no's in my book- trash-talking, gossip, back-stabbing, disloyalty, all that jazz. I do not like people who gossip. I avoid people who gossip. I distrust people who gossip… and that leaves me with very few human companions to pick from.
I eyed Vicky for a moment, blinking. Closer inspection revealed that she was absolutely plastered, simply due to her BMI being incredibly low. Only one more beer before she blacked out.
Sucks to be her.
"Hey!" I responded a bit late; however, the two shots of rum made it unimaginably easier to infuse my voice with a bit of enthusiasm. What I lose in awkward pauses, I make up for with enthusiasm!
"Come join the guys," she tilted her head in indication… or at least I think she did. It could be she was too drunk to keep her head from lolling side to side. "We're playing beer pong."
"Ah," I replied cleverly, glancing over at the table. Indeed it was 'the guys'- boat shoes, khaki shorts, polo shirts, popped collars, all the staple workings of your garden-variety douche bag.
I gulped down a mouthful of rum while contemplating my response, my face expressionless and unmoving. Yes, it took a while before I could drink straight liquor without making a face or needing a chaser. And, yes, this 'skill' did make me feel like a bad ass.
Of course, I'd love to hang out with you so I can make you look better in comparison.
No thanks, I wouldn't want to disrupt the little harem you've got going on.
"Sure, why not," I shrugged. I already spilled the beans, I might as well embarrass-slash-torture myself even more.
I just need to keep my mouth shut, because anything I say will invariably be awkward, discomforting, strange, and/or insulting. Or sometimes I merely stutter horribly, mumble, let my sentences trail off without finishing, and pronounce words incorrectly- not through a lack of intelligence (at least I'd prefer to think so), but rather due to an embarrassing speech impediment.
I shoved the flask-shaped bottle into my pocket, causing the elastic waist of my scrubs to sag precariously low. I hiked them back up, hopping a bit so the hems weren't caught under foot.
"Hey boys!" Vicky called, managing to trail gracefully across the room despite her drunken sway, "mind if Alex joins us?" So not cool. My drunken sway involves expensive objects crashing to the floor and my body slamming into walls, especially the corners of said walls. I always misjudge those damn corners.
I slouched along after Vicky, stopping shortly to allow three girls to stumble past as they attempted either a three-tiered piggy back ride or an inappropriate (and elaborate) sex position- I'm not entirely certain which, but either way, they were failing miserably at it.
After reaching the beer-pong table (a.k.a. our kitchen door propped up on chairs), introductions were made. I forgot everyone's names the second Vicky said them. Oh well, I'm not all that big on the whole name thing anyway.
General, cursory remarks were then made: they'd never seen me around before, I didn't seem like a senior, other statements of disbelief as to my existence, the usual.
I decided that nodding and shrugging apologetically was the best course of action, eyes avidly gazing across the room to where a delicious bowl of cereal was waiting to be made. And then eaten. Hopefully by me.
"Do you really want to play beer pong?" asked Boy C- at least I think it was him, it was hard to discern from my peripheral vision.
"Definitely," I stated flatly, not turning around to speak, because making eye contact is distressing.Okay, good, I replied positively, now let's leave it at that. "I enjoy drinking flat beer mixed with the backwash of complete strangers." Fuck you, alcohol, you are the enemy.
I have this problem (yeah, I know, another one) of being too emotionless and monotone when I speak. Even things I say sarcastically sound completely serious. There is no sarcastic tone to my voice, unless I remember to add one. And I was way too fucking nervous being in the presence of so many people to remember proper intonations… especially with a group of guys I didn't know.
For fuck's sake, what's wrong with me? They aren't even good-looking. Seriously, look at Boy E's curls or the beginnings of a potentially-monstrous beer belly on Boy C.
I'm only being so judgmental to make myself feel better… God, I'm a bitch.
"Awesome!" One of them shouted, too inebriated to pay attention to anything I said past the word 'definitely'. I hoped that was the case with all of them.
And so Boy C and F faced off against Boy D and E. My team, comprised of Boy B and myself, would play the winner. Then, Vicky and Boy A would play the winner from my match.
I made my way (read: fled) to the closest corner, the most comfortable (cave-like) space available to me at the time. Boy B followed in order to, I speculated, chat and build up our team spirit and sense of camaraderie before our match. God help the kid, I'm the last person he'd want as a beer pong partner.
"What's your name again?" He asked. Well, more like he hollered, but everyone was yelling in order to be heard over the music so it didn't seem worth mentioning. But then again, some people need that kind of blatant clarification.
"Alex," I replied politely (read: shouted).
There was a pause. I knew proper etiquette dictated that I should speak during this pause, more specifically to ask for his name in return. I didn't. Mainly because I would forget his name anyways. And secondly because I was fucking nervous.
He probably thought I was hyped up on amphetamines I was twitching and fidgeting so much.
-Okay. So, while we are on the subject of amphetamines, I lied earlier about my drug use. I have actually abused, as in snorted, amphetamines, as in Adderall. But that was only for a couple months several years ago. I quit doing that shit. Too much for me, man. Too intense. -
Imagine if I sprayed saliva in his face during my endeavors to be heard over T Pain or Jay Z or whoever's song was currently reverberating off the walls.
Our poor neighbors. The music's vibrations were generating a miniature earthquake within our place of residence. The shockwaves must've reached next door by now.
What if asking his name would encourage further conversation ventures on his part? This was a party, not a god damn book club, and certainly not fucking afternoon tea.
Plus, I really suck at making small-talk.
Recognizing that I would not be picking up the slacking dialogue anytime soon, Boy B coughed the awkward cough of a man desperately searching for the appropriate words.
"In case you forgot, my name's Mike."
"And I'm an alcoholic." I muttered to myself.
I flinched, realizing that he heard me due to the universally applicable rule that the room will grow quiet or a song will end right as you're saying something you wish for no one else to hear. It's so irrefutable it should pretty much be a theory, as in a scientific theory, which is quite different than the normal, plebeian use of the word theory. Wiki that shit, you'll see what I mean.
"Ah- no, I'm not an alcoholic. Well, no that's- I am. But, I mean you're the alcoholic- I mean you're not. Not literally. I-i-it's a song reference. You know, NOFX? O-off a live album, 'Hi my name is M-mike and I'm an alcoholic.' N-no? Oh, weeell- ah. Um, never mind."
A bewildered pause and then dismissive chuckling followed.
I flushed in embarrassment and decided then was as good a time as any to take another swig of rum.
"I have no clue what you're saying, bra," Mike slapped me on the back. I grunted and I stumbled forward, body unbalanced from the force of the slap as well as my failed attempt at dodging it.
Fucking asshole, you scared the fucking bejeebies out of me. And I almost choked on my drink, you dick-headed prick.
"T-that's okay," I edged away from him, abandoning my precious corner, a corner that I had just discovered was seriously lacking in proper fortifications… you know, your basic defensive weaponry. Mainly an axe that'll chop off whatever human appendages or other miscellaneous body parts that come too close to me…
Wait a fucking second…
'Bra'? As in bro? As in brother?
Was he calling me a guy?
Let's just say that, having decided the chick (or perhaps 'bra'?) next to him was a freak, Mike refrained from speaking to me as much as possible for the rest of our lovely evening together (a.k.a. one game of beer pong).
Mike and I lost our match against the winners from the first round: the formidable team of Boy C and F. I inwardly rejoiced at our downfall, because it meant I could escape sooner.
I stood next to the table fidgeting for a moment, trying to find the courage to say:
Fuck you all, I'm going to crawl into bed and nurse this bottle of rum.
Or something in that general vein.
But, having ruled that sentence out as a viable option for my goodbye, I began to walk away without a word.
"Where are you going, Alex?" Vicky called.
I spun around, fiddling with my hair and the hem of my shirt like a school-girl tweaker.
"Ah, uh," I pointed behind me, "I'm going to procure a bowl of cin- cin- cincin-" for fuck's sake, I cannot for the life of me say the word cinnamon "-cereal-" and now I sound like that one fucking loony tune character, what the hell is his name? "-and retreat to higher ground."
As I turned to walk away again, I heard Boy A say to Vicky, "That girl is hella weird. Who the fuck says 'procure'?"
"She's not that strange. She's just, like, really smart or something?"
Oh, but Vicky, I am that strange. I am hella, hella strange… and, all things considered, really rather stupid.