I have crawled
I was pretty sure my legs were supposed to move, but I couldn’t get them to even budge. Of course, I couldn’t feel them either, and I was drunk enough I was having a hard time determining where they were supposed to be relative to my arms (which also weren’t working).
The party had started off calmly enough, my cousins had brought me because I was family and they were supposed to be watching me. Early on, one of the girls had the bright idea of giving me a bottle of my own and letting me just hide out of the way watching TV in the host’s parent’s bedroom (the only other room with a TV). I think she probably meant “my own bottle of beer” but instead I ended up with “my own bottle of vodka” and not enough sense to know that I wasn’t supposed to drink it all.
I remember thinking how uncool it would be if I didn’t drink it, and at thirteen being uncool at an older cousin’s party is like a social death sentence. So I was cool. I drank my entire bottle of Absolute, stayed out of the way when skinny dipping in the pool ensued, and sat and watched whatever came on TV with the girl that someone sent in to watch out for me.
It’s funny, I was blackout drunk before midnight, but I remember the brunette girl who watched Tom and Jerry reruns with me, splayed out on the floor too drunk to move. Twenty-plus years later, I’m sure she was another youngster that someone was forced to drag with them, and I doubt she was any older than 15 because she didn’t have a driver’s license.
A part of me wishes I could say I got to second base that night, or even stepped up to the plate with her…but it never occurred to me that she might have been in my league. She wasn’t making a move on me, and I was so drunk I was just laughing at cartoons with some cool chick I’d never met before.
At some point in the very early hours of the morning, her sister came in looking for her with her shirt off and still buttoning her jordache jeans. They were out way past whatever was reasonable and were going to have to sneak back into their house. We had fallen asleep together, her head resting against mine. I remember her little wink and wave at me as she hurried out the door.
At that point, I realized there was still vodka in the bottle, so I figured I’d better finish it.
Sometime later…probably around 4:00 or so in the morning, reruns of the Smurfs started running on the TV. I remember opening my eyes as the theme song started to play. But this wasn’t a normal episode, the Smurfs were looking at me. I mean RIGHT AT ME. Then they started to gather around the edges of the screen, and Papa Smurf in his little red hat held up his little blue fist and let out a horrible battle cry, extolling his little blue warriors forward.
Right out of the TV.
What happened next was scarring for life. I was physically assaulted by the Smurfs. Handy, Brawny, Brainy, even that bitch Smurfette. They just started beating the ever-loving crap out of me. I went into the fetal position and covered my head…but they just kept hitting and kicking and wailing away on me. I know I was crying because at some point someone came in and moved me away from the TV and down into my cousin’s bedroom.
I know they were trying to help, but things went downhill from there. Once I was conscious again, I was staring up at a comicbook poster of the monster from the Aliens movie. And it was looking at me.
I was NOT going to take this lying down again. As it started to pull itself through the frame of the poster, I started to crawl away. Up on my hands and knees, I started to head out of the room and into the hallway. And it was following me, with strange cat-like movements, stalking me as I was crawling away.
As it was advancing, I started to scream. Closer and closer it came, faster than I was crawling…I knew it was looking at me, but it didn’t have any eyes…just teeth.
Right as it was about to reach me, my cousin picked me up off the floor and shook me.
Now, if someone is drunk enough that they hallucinate a beatdown from the Smurfs, and THEN hallucinate that the family cat is the monster from Aliens, shaking them is a BAD idea. A bad idea with volume AND distance, if you get my meaning.
I was blacked out for most of the next day, which is probably a good thing…there’s nothing there I want to remember; especially since I spent most of it naked in a bathtub with the lights off.
At thirteen I learned a valuable lesson about binge drinking, the power of clear liquids in large quantities, and the family bonds that can be strengthened by toughing out alcohol poisoning and not ratting out your cousins…and I know there’s more about that night that I don’t remember (and don’t want to remember) than I’ll ever know; but a part of me has always wished I could remember the name of the girl who fell asleep on my shoulder.
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