I Didn’t Go to DC to End Up Drinking Naked in Bed with Another Woman (But I’m Not Complaining)

Saturday morning, up early. Some hurried grits. A vitamin and a pain killer. This is the way things start. Then C and Honey took me to Newark Penn, where I caught the Northeast Regional to Union Station and transferred to the Metro Red toward Glenmont. Much on the docket. Some minor apartment fixes on order. And some holy (and unholy) communing with friends and family. I was ready.

It began with a late afternoon feast of sauce served atop a mound of pasta, meatballs, and spicy sausage. (The heavier bits were just filler. Like any true Italian family, we were really only there for the red stuff.)

Then, belly full, and my sense of what was right and good in the world renewed, I boarded a metro car at Glenmont and took it south to somewhere in the DC diamond to play ball with this blond blogger who’s all the rage down there. She told me she got held up returning some shoes at Neimens, but I suspected “returning shoes” was actually code for “a quickie.” And so I let myself into her place and was greeted by a fur coat on a white leather couch. And man oh man, the most intoxicating velvety scent, like flowers and vanilla and grapefruit … only infused with sugary pornographic undertones. So I read Martin Amis to the art on the walls and the coat on the couch and the pump heels on the floor and together we all waited for our hostess to arrive. And I downed two Stella Artois and coolly pretended to ignore the other distractions in the flat, because I feared I might actually be on camera and playing live in a sticky-walled, coin-operated booth somewhere.

Thus began the second feast that night: a traveling alcoholic buffet that took us from the hoppy nose of an Irish Harp, to the chilly wet island fuzz of Stockholm Absolute Peach Vodka, then to the French fields of Dom P, and on to the dark and dirty St. Louis basement of Everclear Grain. Actually, this last stop is suspect, and you probably shouldn’t take my word for it, but I would not be surprised if there were some 151-proof involved in an otherwise innocent looking round of shots.

And let me pause here to mention that there had been a hard rain earlier that night and the DC sidewalks were wet and the the windshield wipers in my soul were still flapping wildly back and forth in sync with the song that had been on my iPod. And that song was So What by Pink. And if you’re raising your eyebrows at that and thinking about passing a little bit of judgement on my ass, then … so what? I’ve got my rock moves, brother, and I definitely don’t need you tonight.

Let’s move on …

Very tall drinks ordered at a hotel bar, where SB and I were joined by FreckledK, and where it made a whole lot of sense to me, as it often does in these situations, to order a round of shots. And since tequila had recently played an upsetting role in my complete dissolution this past July, I thought it was only fair to SB (and the physical and moral integrity of her bathroom) that I stick with something more mild, like Lemon Drops. Only I think some cruel fucker had taught this bartender that Lemon Drop shooters should be mixed up with pure, unadulterated Everclear. Because the shit kinda burned going down and Lemon Drops—they’re supposed to be sweet, man. And all this lead to Freckles stealing the mic from the strug-ah-lin cantor who had been choking out his playlist at half the proper tempo. And she got up on stage and delivered a sizzling a cappella lounge act full force at SB, a number so filled with girl-on-girl innuendo that it brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart.

And speaking of pure, this is about the point in the evening when we were picked up by a wedding-white stretch Hummer, tremendous in its indecency. Inside, multi-colored laser lights danced on the ceiling and in our hair as we sipped OJ and Peach Vodka from plastic champagne flutes while reclining on those magnificent dark seats. And not being partial to the Peach Vodka myself, I imbibed Bud Light from a can. Because I’m all freakin’ class, people. You understand this?

The Hummer came compliments of an exuberant Fauntleroy who was also the one responsible for delivering us to the birthday party of a 22-year-old girl who I’m sure was a lovely person when she wasn’t shit-faced drunk and bubbling up spittle on herself. The party was on the top floor of an all-too-swank club full of imperially coiffed twenty-somethings sodden with red bull and vodka. And here’s one thing I learned that night, thanks to Freckles: a good way to start a fight in this kind of atmosphere is to pop open the birthday-girl’s bottle of celebratory Dom P. You know, the one and only bottle chilling on ice, which the honored inebriatée herself was supposed to open at the stroke of midnight. And a truly great way to carry off this coup de grâce on your wallflowerdom, in case you’re taking notes (because I sure was), is to slide that cork out so gently it’s like you’re making love to it, and then pour yourself and your friends a glass. And then it might help matters further if you offered a toast to each other for your incredible good fortune. And one more toast to the devil for bringing you to this cross-roads in the evening.

But these are merely suggestions. You should try to stretch your creative muscle, because I’m sure this doesn’t begin to exhaust all the myriad possibilities. The bottom line is if you hit it just right, the vibe will turn ominous and menacing, and the people whose party you just crashed will begin whispering about the three uninvited assholes who just got into the Dom P and what the fuck were they doing here, anyway?

And then what you’d need—and this is terribly important, I can’t stress it enough—is a Peacemaker, a sort of Ringleader of Debauchery, if you will, somebody who’s got her fingers on the strings at all times and can pull and tweak them as the situation calls for it. Somebody like SB … to pay for the champagne and smooth things over with the natives. Then you could take your newly-acquired bubbly outside where you would be told that no, you could not drink it directly from the bottle and what were you anyway, animals? Obviously you needed to use plastic cups in an establishment such as this. And so you would take some of those cups and stake claim on a table and alternate taking sips and pouring some out on the sidewalk to mourn your loss of propriety. Because if you’re hearing a kling-klanging sound right now, it’s the sound of Klass ringing loud and true and … unadulterated through the DC streets at 2 am.

Somehow we made it back to SB’s flat and found sleep. And the next morning, shell-shocked and twitching, I stumbled to Starbucks for the acquisition of caffeinated beverages. And this managed to score me enough points to get invited into SB’s bed, where we sipped, together, Naked, and I fumbled with the remote control, searching for the button that read “art-porn and football.”

Oh, god.

Peach Mangosteen Bliss, brother.

And I mean every word of that.

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