It’s a Friday night, and I’m currently being felt up by a banana. Ok, it’s some fratty college bro dressed as a banana for Halloween, so I guess that was misleading 😉 Regardless, banana bro had found me on the dance floor, already drunk on the warm vodka and Pepsi that my friends and I had pregamed with briefly on our rainy walk to another frat party. He grabbed my ass sans permission, and when I turned around to yell at him, my voice was concealed by the pounding music. Probably taking my angry expression as some weird sort of consent, he tried again at grabbing my ass. Disgusted and frustrated, I shoved him away and went to find my friends. Staying together at a frat party is always a challenge, but on Halloween night things are especially packed.
Eventually, I spot a couple of my skinny dance friends vying for more liquor at the makeshift bar in the back of the room, and I quickly make a beeline for them. When they see me, Leah squeals and says, “MORE SHOTS, BABY!” Caroline nods her approval enthusiastically, and I’m handed a small paper cup filled with pineapple juice and more warm vodka. Damn college students and their inability to buy (and chill) liquor appropriately. I’m already feeling the effects of our irresponsible pre-gaming, but I also know that I won’t have any fun with these sleazy college men unless I keep the alcohol coming. I pound another two shots with my girlfriends at the bar, and then we stumble away red-cheeked and giggling to see what trouble we can get into.
The three of us are a “sexy oreo.” I know. It’s dumb. But all I had to do to be a “sexy oreo cookie” was don a tight black spandex skirt and an equally tight black spandex crop top. It was cheap, easy, and group costumes always give you an excuse to ditch the sweaty, gross boy you’re dancing with in favor of gabbing another photo with your companions. “You guysssss,” I drawl, a little drunk for sure, “I think we should just go to a bar. It’s hot and crowded and I don’t know any of these weird guys.”
Carolyn frowns. “My fake ID isn’t that good,” she whines, “So if we don’t all get in you have to promise to leave the bar with me.” We all pinky promise, and we head out into the cool October night. Walking to the bar in the cold helps me sober up at least a tiny bit. When we arrive, we wait our turns in line, shivering and giggling, and then boldly fork over IDs that used to belong to older dancers. They aren’t fake, they just don’t belong to us. Borrowing a fakie from an older dancer is sort of a right of passage. The bouncer is overwhelmed by the Halloween crowds and ushers us in without really comparing us to the pictures of similar looking- but decidedly different- girls on our ID cards. Whooping in glee, we hightail it to the bar and order more drinks. And more drinks. We dance and we chat and we keep ordering. Eventually, Leah wanders off and starts making out with someone seemingly dressed as a dead professor. Charming. Caroline sees some friends from a religious group she’s in, and is suddenly dancing on a table with a couple of them. My friends are still in sight, so I ditch my half-full drink and run off to the bathroom to pee.
The moment that I sit down in a stall, away from the blaring music and loud voices, I realize just how drunk I am. The room is starting to spin a little, and my tongue and lips are completely numb. I try to text Caroline, but my hand-eye coordination has plummeted. Shit. I stand up and make my way over to the sink to wash my hands. I give myself a few minutes to catch my breath and vow to return to the bar for some water. Nearly to the bar, I’m intercepted by a cute girl named Teresa that I know from a running club that I briefly joined during the compulsive exercise phase of my freshman year. “HI!!!!” I say in a voice that’s probably a bit over-excited, and I pull her into an embrace.
“Heyyy, so good to see you, too,” she smiles, “are you a ninja or something?” she asks while assessing my black-on-black spandex and converse situation.
“No, I’m an oreo, well… part of an oreo… it’s whatever.”
“That’s AMAZING,” she says with a big laugh, “c’mon, let me buy you a drink real fast.” I start to say no, but I haven’t seen her in a while and I’m in a good mood. What’s one more shot. She insists on rum, which I grudgingly accept. We take it straight with no chaser and then high-five while giggling. I haven’t giggled this much in ages. It’s both freeing and a little concerning, especially as I feel my legs get more wobbly by the minute. Teresa gives me another hug and disappears to find her running club friends. She vows to text me soon. I nod politely, but am starting to really not feel well. I’m getting dizzier and dizzier and I’m starting to panic.
I look around for my friends, but the Halloween crowds are unreal. I decide to grab some fresh air outside. I stumble out the door and sit down on the cool concrete, leaning against the wall of the bar. I suddenly realize that I’m starving. I had a normal-sized piece of chicken for dinner, and several pieces of broccoli. I guess the meal was barely 300 calories, but protein is supposed to help absorb alcohol. That’s what they say, anyway. I’m certain that there is a greasy by-the-slice pizza place not far from here. Determined, I stand up and walk towards what I think the right intersection is. The problem is, it’s dark, I haven’t ever actually gone to this pizza place, and my legs are not doing a great job getting me down the sidewalk. There are plenty of crowds of partygoers in costume around, so I feel safe, but I’ve never been this drunk and I’m starting to doubt whether I can make it without passing out. My eyes feel heavy even though I wasn’t tired a few minutes ago, and like usual, I’m stuck outside in the cold air with no jacket and no tights. “FUCK,” I exclaim to no one in particular.
I have my phone, ID, fake ID, a few hair ties, and $5. That won’t cut it for a cab ride. I think about returning to the bar, but Caroline and Leah aren’t answering my texts and calls anyway. With my stomach in knots- either from nausea or nervousness- I get out my phone to call Melissa. She said she was always here for me, and I *really* need a lift. I can’t call anyone else in my sorority, because I could get kicked out for an offense like using a fake ID if they found out where I was. None of my other friends have cars. I press the call button by her name, hands shaking, and hope that she’s still awake.
TO BE CONTINUED.