I’m Not an In-Betweener

Someone said to me that I give too much too soon when it comes to relationships. When he said it to me, I knew it was constructive criticism, because I tend to be a “failure” in the traditional sense of relationships and I think in his own way, he was trying to help. Even though it hurt my feelings, I didn’t have any hard feelings for the truth being spoken. Like they say, the truth hurts, but I already know that I give too much too soon. I always have. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, though. I only really have two sides for pretty much everything… I have 100% and I have 0%.  I don’t have much in between or on the fence when it comes to most things. With that being said, I can definitely go from one side to the other of a subject with little notice and I think that gives the idea that I am indifferent. For instance, in relationships, I admittedly give 100% from the very beginning. My friend said that’s why people don’t feel the need to try so hard with me because they don’t have to work for anything. They just take what I’m offering and enjoy the ride. Fair enough, but I’m the same way with jobs, friends, causes, etc. If I believe in something enough, I’m going to give every ounce of energy I have into making that “thing” work. I don’t care how much blood, sweat, tears, or heartache has to go into it to make it work, that’s what I’m going to do until I see that the other person/people involved aren’t as invested as I am and then I will quickly go from that 100% to the other end of the spectrum. It’s very rare that I go from zero to 100, but I guess it’s probably happened a time or two and could maybe happen again.

After he said that, though, I started thinking, what if I was always at zero percent? My life would be completely different. I don’t even think I could be one of those people who doesn’t get excited about anything. I know I take things to the extreme. I get excited about everything: mismatched socks, puppy breath, yogurt, sunsets, salt water, sand, my favorite songs, chocolate cookies, a cool breeze on a hot day, grass under my feet, birds singing in the morning, the smell of honeysuckle, any Ben & Jerry’s core concoction ice cream. And I get passionately upset about many things too:  intolerance, ignorance, selfishness, political warfare, economic inequalities, racial inequalities, back yard breeding, euthanasia, environmental blindness. If I didn’t care about everything and every one so deeply, I don’t think I would be me.

I’m ok with putting myself out there to get excited, or to get hurt, or to get angry. I like feeling the emotions of life. I might not be emotional in the sense that I can cry at the drop of a hat like a “normal” person, but I like feeling joy, and happiness, and awe, and love. I like hearing laughter and seeing the clouds dance across the sky.  And I like giving 100% of myself even at the cost of wearing me thin at times. I’m not ready to give up on the good in humanity just yet. I’m not ready to throw in the towel and accept that the world is just going to be a shit storm. I’m not ready to resign myself to the fact that I can do nothing about any of it. So I do what I feel like I can do. Maybe I do too much. Maybe I should focus more on myself, but the way I see it, there are enough people focusing on themselves, I don’t need to be one of them too. So I will be me, 100% because I don’t know how to be an in-betweener.

My Dirty Little Secret (Unboyfriend part III?)

I went back and forth about even posting this because I go back and forth about this man on a regular basis. As you may recall from an earlier blog, I had stopped seeing my unboyfriend about 2 or 3 months ago. We’ve stopped before. Many times. For the last two years to be exact. We just “un”celebrated our two year “un”anniversary because we’ve always been “un”official which is why he has always been by “un”boyfriend. Well a few weeks ago, when I posted that I had a dream about him, I broke down and sent him a message just to check and see if he was alive. He was. Then we started chit chatting like we always do and he immediately thought I was going to come over and we were going back to our normal “thing,” but that’s not what I had in mind. I was genuinely just checking on him. So when he invited me over and I was out with my girls, I blew him off. He was visibly agitated because of it and sent me a few very uncharacteristic back to back text messages that I ignored, because if the roles were reversed, that’s what he would do. So about two weeks after that I guess, maybe one week, I was walking my dog. I have a couple regular routes I walk with my dogs and most of them go from the park past his house to mine, because he lives around the corner from me, remember? As I was walking by, I was looking at my phone debating on texting him because I had this longing to see him and no sooner had I decided I was, indeed, going to send him a message, his name popped up on my phone with a text from him. The conversation basically went like this:

Unboyfriend:  You working?

Me: Nope

Unboyfriend: What are you doing? (Yes, I’m adding grammar and punctuation)

Me: Walking the dog

Unboyfriend: What are you doing after?

Me: Nada

Unboyfriend: I’m about to shower. Wanna come over when I’m done.

Me: Yes. I need to shower too. Just text me.

And just like that, it began again, momentarily.

I went to his place. He opened the door for me. I walked in. We gave each other a smooch. I sat on the couch. He brought me a water. We looked at a movie, but didn’t really watch it because we were talking. Not about anything of substance or about our two month absence from one another, just about unimportant bullshit like my new job and the weather. We had a few shots and then when the movie that we weren’t really watching was over, he stood up, said, “you ready?” I said yes and we went to bed like we have done dozens of times before. Then we had sex, of course, and it was amazing like it always is. I mean, really, really amazing. Guinness book of world records amazing. And then morning came and I had to go to work. I got dressed, he walked me to the door, kissed me, smacked me on the ass, and I left. I haven’t seen him since. We’ve talked a time or two and yesterday he invited me to come over and I don’t know why, but I lied and told him I had plans. I had zero plans, but I just didn’t want to be bothered with that whole situation at all. I’m sure my friend Crystal will be super happy when she reads that because she is still hell bent on my “re-virgining” myself one month at a time. I told her that I would be more than willing to go “virgin” if she would go vegan. I think she agreed to it as she was stuffing a beef arepa in her mouth. We all have our vices. Anyway, I’ve been rethinking my life recently. I haven’t come up with anything solid except that maybe if I become a workaholic, I won’t have to worry about these “relationship” or “unrelationship” issues. The only problem with that theory is that I currently work on salary, which means I can work 100 hours if I want to, but then I’ll only be making like five bucks an hour in actuality and though I’m a giving person, I’m not an idiot. Maybe it’s time to get a hobby. Or a therapist. I’ll flip a coin.

 

The Blue Mouthpiece

A fictional story of 1000 words or less written for NYC Midnight. This copy is for reviews from other NYC Midnight authors without my blah, blah, blogging at the beginning. Thank you in advance!

Ghost Story/ Boxing Gym/ Neon Sign

I closed the obituary I was reading for the thousandth time, carefully folded it and put it back in the front pocket of my purse the same way I did yesterday, and the day before, and last week, and every day for the last six months. I tied up my shoes and readied myself for the workout I had scheduled with Joe. Every day at 4pm, I would go to Joe’s gym. Joe would be waiting happily to see me like a puppy who hadn’t seen his human all day. It was the same thing every day. I walk in. He says, “You’re late.” I say, “I’m always on time.” We laugh and he throws me a jump rope to warm up with. I knew today would start no different, except today was the day I would show him the folded paper in my purse. I walked down Broadway toward the gym. I could see the flashing neon light of the liquor store next to the gym. The closer I got, the more I wanted to turn around and go home, but today was the day I would tell Joe the truth. I slowed as I reached that neon sign. If things went the way I planned, I would not see that sign again. Nor would I see the gym anymore. I couldn’t.  I passed the liquor store and was standing in front of my final destination. The door was black and dirty and looked like it had been beaten up. When I walked in, I passed the office door and smelled that familiar dusty smell that haunted my nostrils for the last half a year. I ran my hand along the wall feeling the cool bumpy ridges on my fingers. The hallway opened up into the gym itself. There was a boxing ring in the middle with a blue mouth piece laying in the corner, a speedbag hung on the wall, and a heavy bag on the opposite wall. Dust had caked up on the hardwood floor. I looked at my footprints from yesterday and could see the faint prints under the dust from the days before.

“You’re late, Amelia.” Joe said just like I knew he would.

“I’m always on time,“ I said with a smile and put my hand up to catch the jump rope he threw to me.

I loved his face. It was the face of a boxer. His nose had been broken one time too many and had an obvious curve to it. His high cheekbones gave him a serious look even when he was in good spirits. He was wearing a grey tank top and black shorts. His dark hair and blue eyes were what drew me to him the first time I saw him four years ago jogging in the park. I had that day burned into my memory.  I had every part of him memorized. I memorized the way his sweat pants looked when he would leave for a run. I memorized the way he walked, the way he talked, the way he smelled when he had been sparring all day and sweat had taken over as his cologne. I knew if I didn’t tell him, he would stay there forever. He would wait for me to come see him every day and if I didn’t tell him today, I knew I would continue to come see him every day. I would continue to lie to him. I would continue to let him believe everything was the way it was before that last fight. I sat down on the bench next to me and laid the jump rope and my purse carefully beside me.

“Come sit.” I told him.

“What’s wrong? I don’t like that look. I’ve seen it before.” He said.

Joe knew me all too well. I reached in my purse and pulled out the obituary I had so painstakingly been carrying around with me for months. I handed it to him and listened as he read the story of his death.

“Joe Perozzi, 34, died suddenly on January 14. He was known to his opponents and friends as Joe ‘Pop the Clutch’ Perozzi. He passed away at St. James Hospital after an unexpected blow to the head during a sparring match at his well-known neighborhood boxing club, Joe’s Gym. Preceded in death by Grandfather Patrick Perozzi. He leaves behind his parents John and Maria Perozzi, two brothers, Mark Perozzi and Mathew Perozzi, and his fiancé Amelia Fitzgerald.”

Joe stopped reading and handed the paper back to me. He looked around the dusty, empty gym that used to be filled from dawn until dusk with boxers and neighborhood kids. The place no longer held the beating of jump ropes on the floor and fists on the speed bag.  I could tell he finally noticed the dust that had settled on the floors and the equipment. His gaze landed on the corner of the boxing ring on the blue mouthpiece. It was the same one he was wearing the day he died. I couldn’t bring myself to move it and I couldn’t find words to say. I still wasn’t ready to say goodbye.  He looked at me with love and acceptance and sadness. He looked into my eyes, but he didn’t speak again. I held his gaze as he slowly disappeared, leaving me all alone like the first time I said goodbye to him months ago.

The Blue Mouthpiece

I took my coworker to a job tonight that was about an hour away from where we work. It was also after hours so it was dark. As we were driving this long winding road where someone could easily get killed and not be discovered for years afterwards, I remembered that I did not share my ghost story with you. I entered the NYC Midnight contest. It’s a fiction writing contest where they basically give you the genre you have to write in, the location the story needs to take place, and an item that has to be included in the story. I’m not much for competitions. Actually, let me rephrase. I’m not much for writing competitions. I rarely, if ever, enter them because I love writing so much and, in my own mind, I am good at it. I don’t really feel like I need validation because it makes me happy to do it and if people don’t like what I write or how I write, they can choose to not read it and it’s ok because readers don’t pay my bills. I wish they did. I wish I did have to rely on readers to get paid, but as it stands, I am just another starving artist and I’m cool with that. Anyway, back to the story. The genre that was sent to me was “ghost story,” the location was “a boxing gym,” and the item that had to be included in the story was “a neon sign.” Sound fun right? I am a huge fan of writing prompts. I think that’s why I chose to do this contest. Writing prompts are not only fun, but they push you out of your comfort zone. So the following is the story that I wrote for the contest. I won’t know anything back until September so we will all be waiting, but I will update when September rolls around as to the status of the story. It’s called “The Blue Mouthpiece.” I hope you enjoy.

********************

I closed the obituary I was reading for the thousandth time, carefully folded it and put it back in the front pocket of my purse the same way I did yesterday, and the day before, and last week, and every day for the last six months. I tied up my shoes and readied myself for the workout I had scheduled with Joe. Every day at 4pm, I would go to Joe’s gym. Joe would be waiting happily to see me like a puppy who hadn’t seen his human all day. It was the same thing every day. I walk in. He says, “You’re late.” I say, “I’m always on time.” We laugh and he throws me a jump rope to warm up with. I knew today would start no different, except today was the day I would show him the folded paper in my purse. I walked down Broadway toward the gym. I could see the flashing neon light of the liquor store next to the gym. The closer I got, the more I wanted to turn around and go home, but today was the day I would tell Joe the truth. I slowed as I reached that neon sign. If things went the way I planned, I would not see that sign again. Nor would I see the gym anymore. I couldn’t. I passed the liquor store and was standing in front of my final destination. The door was black and dirty and looked like it had been beaten up. When I walked in, I passed the office door and smelled that familiar dusty smell that haunted my nostrils for the last half a year. I ran my hand along the wall feeling the cool bumpy ridges on my fingers. The hallway opened up into the gym itself. There was a boxing ring in the middle with a blue mouth piece laying in the corner, a speedbag hung on the wall, and a heavy bag on the opposite wall. Dust had caked up on the hardwood floor. I looked at my footprints from yesterday and could see the faint prints under the dust from the days before.

“You’re late, Amelia.” Joe said just like I knew he would.

“I’m always on time,“ I said with a smile and put my hand up to catch the jump rope he threw to me.

I loved his face. It was the face of a boxer. His nose had been broken one time too many and had an obvious curve to it. His high cheekbones gave him a serious look even when he was in good spirits. He was wearing a grey tank top and black shorts. His dark hair and blue eyes were what drew me to him the first time I saw him four years ago jogging in the park. I had that day burned into my memory. I had every part of him memorized. I memorized the way his sweat pants looked when he would leave for a run. I memorized the way he walked, the way he talked, the way he smelled when he had been sparring all day and sweat had taken over as his cologne. I knew if I didn’t tell him, he would stay there forever. He would wait for me to come see him every day and if I didn’t tell him today, I knew I would continue to come see him every day. I would continue to lie to him. I would continue to let him believe everything was the way it was before that last fight. I sat down on the bench next to me and laid the jump rope and my purse carefully beside me.

“Come sit.” I told him.

“What’s wrong? I don’t like that look. I’ve seen it before.” He said.

Joe knew me all too well. I reached in my purse and pulled out the obituary I had so painstakingly been carrying around with me for months. I handed it to him and listened as he read the story of his death.

“Joe Perozzi, 34, died suddenly on January 14. He was known to his opponents and friends as Joe ‘Pop the Clutch’ Perozzi. He passed away at St. James Hospital after an unexpected blow to the head during a sparring match at his well-known neighborhood boxing club, Joe’s Gym. Preceded in death by Grandfather Patrick Perozzi. He leaves behind his parents John and Maria Perozzi, two brothers, Mark Perozzi and Mathew Perozzi, and his fiancé Amelia Fitzgerald.”

Joe stopped reading and handed the paper back to me. He looked around the dusty, empty gym that used to be filled from dawn until dusk with boxers and neighborhood kids. The place no longer held the beating of jump ropes on the floor and fists on the speed bag. I could tell he finally noticed the dust that had settled on the floors and the equipment. His gaze landed on the corner of the boxing ring on the blue mouthpiece. It was the same one he was wearing the day he died. I couldn’t bring myself to move it and I couldn’t find words to say. I still wasn’t ready to say goodbye. He looked at me with love and acceptance and sadness. He looked into my eyes, but he didn’t speak again. I held his gaze as he slowly disappeared, leaving me all alone like the first time I said goodbye to him months ago.

What is this Water Coming from My Eyes?

I finally broke down and cried the other day. It wasn’t a panic attack cry. Though, I do believe it was anxiety induced. It was more a culmination of a series of events that caused it and opened up my floodgates for a brief period. Really brief.  Like a flash flood and then it was gone. I was cleansed.

I used to date one of the guys I’m working with. He is the one that got me the job. I use the term “date” loosely. Very loosely. We used to fuck. And it was short lived because once he got what he wanted, he got lazy and thought he didn’t have to try any more. And with sex being within such easy reach, I decided I just wasn’t going to sleep with him anymore. But on occasion, when I was feeling like it, I’d still give him a BJ. Don’t ask me why. It really had more to do with me than with him, but I’m sure in his mind it was because he was manipulating our situation. He wasn’t. Sometimes I just want to do that and since the sex ended up being so one sided, I figured I could leave my clothes on and be just as satisfied, if I was going to be satisfied at all. So that became our pattern for a while, until that eventually slowed down, too, and we pretty much just became friends. Actual friends, like the kind of friends who can tell each other anything. He would tell me about some of his other sexploits and he would read about mine here with very little to no hard feelings.

Earlier this week, I went to his house on the way to work to pick him up because my boss asked me to. I walked in and he was still asleep so I went to his bedroom to wake him up and he was laying in the bed with someone else. It didn’t bother me at all. At first. And then as the day wore on it did for some reason, but, briefly,  just for a moment and then I was good. I just had to tell myself that he’s not what I want so why should I get upset if someone else wants to deal with his bullshit and selfish lovemaking? But after he found out I was upset, he started apologizing and offering to take me to dinner and THAT is when I just lost my shit and boohoo bawled. For about 20 seconds. My friends say that’s two hours in real people time, but it was more than enough for me because I don’t cry.

 Have you ever met one of those people who gets so mad they only have two outlets…..tears or physical violence? That was me. And I’m a pacifist. So I just cried. It was over before I even had a chance to think, “why the fuck are you crying over this narcissistic mother fucker?” I was still angry but, not because he was with someone else. That didn’t matter to me. How could it? Chances are I’ve been with more men since I’ve known him than he has been with women. Maybe. Maybe not. But I’m sure I’ve had more repeats because I’m a giver and he’s a taker and nobody wants repeats with a taker. Either way, I was angry because he thought inviting me to dinner would fix things. Or at least make him feel better about the situation that he really had no reason to feel bad about anyway.  The reason that it pissed me off so bad is because when we first met and “got together” I kept telling him I wanted to go out and go on a “real date” and he always had some excuse. But then he would tell me stories of how he was  at this restaurant or that restaurant or bars that I had suggested he and I go to, and he would take other people to those places. Or spend New Years with them. Or birthdays. Or any day. And it irritated me to no end. Again, I don’t know why, but he has a way of pushing me like nobody else can and not always in a good way.

 By the time our relationship had cooled, well, frozen, I didn’t even care about those things anymore because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we (he and I) would never be anything more than friends again and I was ok with that. But when he tried to console me, unnecessarily, for seeing him in the bed with another woman, by offering to take me out to the dinner that I wanted a year and a half ago, I literally saw myself walking through Home Depot looking for the perfect shovel and perusing Amazon for that pack of 25 plastic body bags I saw the other day. I don’t know why I even gave him the power to make me feel that way because I am a carefree, easygoing person most of the time and as I write this, that moment and all those feelings that I just described have passed and although we are not quite back to our version of “normal,” we are ok, but it was touch and go for a few hours and I was pretty certain I was going to have to find a new job or a good lawyer. Or both :/

The Anthem & a Free T-Shirt*

I had been talking to this guy recently. I have “Facebook” known him for a while but just met him in person very recently. We had talked through text a time or two and we were definitely under no false pretenses that whatever was going to happen between us was anything more than getting a little “personal” with each other. He’s a musician. Not necessarily a local one, but he was here at the moment. He had invited me to his place more than once over the course of a few days and I kept having to blow him off. Not because I didn’t want to see him, but because I already had plans before he came out of the woodwork and because I hadn’t really made up my mind if I wanted to see him. So the day after my drunken gay bar night of partying, we were texting and he invited me over. I had been without physical touch for about a week. I know that doesn’t seem like a long time to most, but I like to have some form of affection at least once a week. Honestly, I’d like to have it for an hour a day. Not sex, just cuddling or touching or holding hands. Plus,  I had been mostly on my best behavior for the last month or longer. Mostly.  Anyway, I went to his place. I had been driving around in the unseasonably hot weather all morning with no air conditioning, so, needless to say, I was sweaty from head to toe and all parts in the middle. I’m also fairly certain I was sweating vodka.  He invited me to sit down next to him and I tried to refuse because I was standing in front of the a/c cooling down and I felt sticky and gross, but he said he didn’t care so I plopped myself down next to him. We sat talking for a bit and he had his arm around me. It was pretty much glued to me because of my overheated body, but if he didn’t mind, I didn’t mind. Well, I kind of did, but I quickly got over it because he’s a great kisser and he went straight in for the kill.

The first time I ever saw him out and about, before we were Facebook friends and before we exchanged numbers, I saw him perform his “anthem” song. You know those songs that pretty much define who you are as an artist? Well, I heard him do his and it had pretty much been in my head ever since. It’s so catchy and  I wanted to hear it again. When I asked him if he would play it for me, he said we’d have to go in the other room. The one with the bed. So convenient. He went to the little studio set up he had in there and I made  my hot, sweaty self comfortable on his bed. At this point, I wasn’t even thinking any sexual thoughts. I genuinely wanted to hear this fun song of his. He played it and laid in the bed next to me. Before I know it, he’s kissing me and attempting to take off my shirt. I was only worried about my stench at that point. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do anything with him. It was more that I felt like I needed a shower first because I like to feel clean. I’m not so much a fan of grunge sex. So I told him that I didn’t think it was a good idea because I feel nasty and stinky. He says, “You don’t stink.” So I’m thinking Ok! He can have my shirt but that’s where I draw the line. After a little more petting, he attempted to remove my panties and skirt. Yes,  I was wearing a skirt. It was hot and they are supposed to be cool.  Anyway, I firmly told him no because I had literally been sweating for at least an hour in the heat, but apparently I smelled like a fruit basket, because he took everything off and dove in to my cornucopia  and ate all my fruit until the anthem that had been playing on repeat was burned into my head while my fingers were intertwined in his hair and he gave me one of the best big O’s I’ve ever had. Ever. After that, my competitive side kicked in and of course I felt the desire to return the oral favor because I wanted him to know he had met his match. When we  finished the round one, I told him he should write a book for men who were not as talented because it was quite selfish of him to keep all those magic moves to himself. We may have even high fived at some point and then had a round two.

I stuck around for a little while afterwards  and we talked and laughed and changed the song, but didn’t want to linger so I decided to cut out and head home. When I was getting up to leave, I noticed a pile of his “artist” t-shirts with his name on the front and I asked if I could have a parting gift because, honestly,  I’ve never had my world rocked and then gotten a free t-shirt! And I love t-shirts. Seriously, though,  who wouldn’t want a wearable reminder of the magic? Of course he said yes and now I have the lovemaking anthem stuck in my head and a t-shirt to remind me of why I will definitely be needing to see him again.

A Night Of Vodka & Drag Queens

I went out a lot over the last week. It’s almost been too much to talk about. The night after the house party, I went to an open mic poetry event. I’m getting more and more comfortable being up in front of people and reading or reciting things I’ve written. I did two “poems” that night and three dry martinis.  Not that the poems were really poetic. They were more like stream of consciousness writing, but it was an open forum so it didn’t really matter. One of the guys from the house party was there. The great kisser who walked me to my car. We had made not so solid plans to meet up later and “get personal.” It didn’t happen though because as the night wore on, I imbibed more and more. After stop one, my friend and I went to a lesbian bar. It was full of softball players. We wanted to watch a drag show but only saw a small handful of “queens” there so we left to hit up another club called XYZ to see their show, but not before taking no less than four Jell-O shots. Yes, I had gelatin filled Jell-O shots. It’s ok. Everything in moderation right?! We left and went to spot number three. My friend was super dressed up and I was supposed to be wing woman-ing for her but apparently I’m not really good at it. Do you know what I am really good at? Using the men’s room. But using the men’s room at the gay bar is a lot different than using it at any other bar. They didn’t even bat an eyelash at me. I didn’t know if it was because they just didn’t care or if it was because I looked like a drag queen and they were used to seeing drag queens in the bathroom. I peed in a stall with no door while a man used the urinal right next to me. Good times. Also, useful note…..men in gay bars wash their hands after they pee. Not so much in a regular men’s room. So many things happened that night that it is all kind of a blur. I do remember looking at one of the drag queens and thinking that he/she  probably had a wife at home who had no idea that he/she was emcee at a show. I think I also pegged him as an accountant. But I love drag shows and drag queens. I actually kissed one on my birthday a few years ago. Ironically, I ended up with a cold sore the next day. I can’t say if one has to do with the other. I can say that I questioned my sexuality for a bit. I knew it was a man but it looked like a woman and I couldn’t decide if that made me a lesbian or not.  And then there was another guy there who kept repeatedly sticking multiple dollar bills in his mouth for the queens to come pluck out. The sentiment was nice but I just couldn’t get past the disgust of how dirty those bills were that he kept putting in his mouth. I know, I have issues. I also met a man who looked like the nerdy dude from the Hangover that ended up with a face tattoo. He was looking for a big masculine black man to rock his world. I told him we all were and tried to wing woman for him too but just ended up having a really great chat with the only big masculine black man in the place and walking away filled with disappointment that he liked to suck dick as much as I do. By the end of the night, I had basically forgotten that I was supposed to call the great kisser from the house party and I wound up sleeping at my friend’s house in her bed, spooning her until I woke up in the morning panicking that it was 8am and I was two hours late to feed my dogs. I changed back into my smoke filled clothes from the pajamas she had given me and snuck out as if we had just had a one night stand. Don’t worry. We didn’t. At least I don’t think we did. I should call her. I still felt half drunk when I got to my car, but I had some water and drove the three miles home without incident. Needless to say, I’m probably done drinking for a while.