Went on a Bender

"I have never spent the night outside of Portland," I think I said, when we were driving to Bend to see a couple of concerts. That was a lie. I knew what I meant. And the other people in the car, who have all camped outside of Portland before didn't really care about my meaningless fictional fact.

We laughed about silly shit, the four of us in the Cutlass Supreme. We played music: Granddaddy, Modest Mouse, Flaming Lips, Stephen Malkmus, such. One of us said there was a proper pipe-passing rotation when in acar, the rest of us weren't really sure if that was true. People on the road don't always know how to pass or let a car pass them. We would make a pass over the Cascades through the Willamette National Forest. Before the weekend was over I would pass out. Pass responsibility. Pass some sort of surprise exam.

We were going to Bend. I had never been to Bend. Never been. I didn't want to be abandoned in Bend. But I almost was. They would bend the rules for me, those with authority. And when it was all said and done, I would make it home alive.

It was Saturday when we left. I had worked all morning and 30 minutes into the afternoon. When the ride arrived there was news. The fifth wheel went out the night before, lost his bag, his wallet, his ticket. It gets worse. Looking for his dignity the next day, Fifth got his by a car. The driver ran a stop sign.

It would be four.

Before we left a friend from work, wishing me a good weekend, told me to keep an eye on my glasses. There had been an incident in the past, where my glasses broke. They didn't bend; they broke. I smiled and said I would; wished her well on her date.

Damnation. There was a debate: 40 percent, no, 60 percent of Oregon's energy comes from hydroelectric energy. We passed the Detroit Dam. We said, Damn, that's a big dam. It was too, the dam was damn big.

The First night was alright. We arrived in Bend, watched some basketball at a bar and headed over to the venue. We didn't have tickets but wanted to get in. It was Beck. We walked around, drinking beers, laughing, lurking. We found some guys who had tickets for half the price. I guess what we didn't realize was that the concert was half over. More than. Two of the three bands had already played. Luckily, Beck was just coming on when we waltzed in. Beck: he fucking kicked ass.

Three years ago I stayed a night in Eugene. That was my lie. I didn't correct myself, nor did I think I needed to. They either knew or didn't need to know.

I'd sleep on the ground that first night. It was cold and I slept very little, if you want to know the truth. We woke up the night of the concert we actually had tickets for, the Flaming Lips. We hiked some, hit the ski lodge -- they're still skiing Memorial Day weekend in Oregon -- then went to eat, CD shop, and, drink. We'd buy more to drink and drink that. We weren't worried but should have been. We had been drinking a lot. I think it got absurd when I thought it'd be a good idea to bring a bottle of wine into the show. Over the course of the day I had had: a gin and juice, a whiskey/lemonade, I went in on a pitcher, had two tall boys of Hamm's, shared a jug wine, and why? Why did I think I needed more? A bottle, and for myself. I brought it in and went right to work. The more drunk you get the more you want to drink and the less you think about how drinking too much is too fast is stupid, but by then it's too little too late. And you're foolish, and your memory goes blackish.

Then I woke up. I don't know where I was. My cell phone is ringing and I can't tell my friends where to find me because I am lost and don't know where I am. I'm a mess is what I am. People around me, they are distressed. I yell at them because I'm mad at myself for being so stupid. I hate myself and wish I was dead. Instead: I look for my glasses which are nowhere to be found. I find the Motel 6, where I cocoon myself until the next morning. That morning, Memorial Day, I remember. I remember clearly that I lost my glasses. I remember that I puked, that I woke up in the grass outside of the venue, which I was probably ejected from but do not remember. What I don't remember is watching the Flaming Lips. I can't remember a single-fucking song they sang. I was that far gone. What's worse, I probably caused other people pain.

This isn't me. This isn't who I am or who I want to be.

No comments :