The last night I drank gin fittingly ended with me shedding tears. The water was Seagram’s classic bumpyface and the place was Nashville. I can handle my liquor so I’ve never feared the bottle. Until then at least. I am sure there was some other product to the formula besides the gin, but I can’t tribute my behavior to anything but that. I’ve imbibed different spirits and caused calamity, but never was I ever so present, so aware yet out of control, as the last night I drunk gin. I should have known something was gonna go wrong from the buzz I carried that night.
It was the first time my face went numb from alcohol. My lips and nose felt dead. The taste of gin sat on the back of my tongue the entire night, burning my esophagus with frequent and acidic burps. It felt like I was licking a few 9 volt batteries at the same time. I don’t recall leaving the house. I know I was with a few friends from Michigan and a few friends from Knoxville, and other kids from TSU were with us there. We were at a house party and then boom we were on 2nd Avenue, with the white liquor in control of the pack. One of the Michigan guys runs off to talk to some girls and one of the Tennessee guys goes inside a Hooters to do the same. I am on the corner, smoking a Black and Mild with my roommate from Tulsa when two cops chasing some guy come running across the street. The guy runs into traffic trying to get away and gets lit the fuck up by some local gangster looking bitches in a pink and Green M&M dressed Monte Carlo, Cutlass looking whip. The girls get out of the car to run away and the cops pull their weapons on all of them. The runner was still trying to hop away. We watched for a little, waiting for Travis, the Tennessee guy. Its not long before there is a commotion in Hooter’s and Travis is being asked to leave. The fuck wanted to put up some hassle until we reminded him the proximity of the popos. It felt like I was babysitting the rest of the night. I was drunk as shit, but trying to keep clear thoughts for the bunch of us misfit hooligans, college know nothings let loose on the city.
There was a flood in Nashville a few years ago that decimated the Riverfront properties and nightclubs on 2nd avenue. I haven’t returned to Nashville since I graduated in 2006. I hope the city looks better now, but I will always remember that night as a testament to the old riverfront landscape and my college years. As we danced down 2nd Avenue that night, our group disbanded and joined together again in factions here and there. Two of us would go in one bar for a drink or a walk around, Four of us would walk a few hundred feet and another 1 or 2 would venture off to follow some drunk girl heading in the opposite direction. I decided to detour into B.B. Kings since I knew they’d have some good music going. A few buddies went down to the Coyote Ugly and we agreed to meet back on the street in 20 minutes or something like that. B.B. Kings was dead but one of the Michigan guys, John, saw one of the girls he hollered at earlier so he decided to try again. I went looking for the DJs booth and took some time to survey the room. I was going to rent the bitch out and have a party, or so my drunk self told me. I stood in one spot wondering how long I was standing there when John returned and tapped me to go as he flew by and briskly walked to the door.
When we got outside he was like “We have to go. I need the keys to the whip or something. I’m throwed.” But I didn’t pay any attention to him because only pussies retire early. He still went toward the parking lot, but the others were waiting up the street so I joined and we journeyed further. Apparently my roommate and Travis ordered beers at some place and were kicked out when my roommate decided to punch a hole in the ceiling. He’s 5’9 tops, so if they were in a club with a ceiling that low, I’d have to say I might have taken a swing at it too, simply because it would be right on my fucking head. I couldn’t tell if they got the beer and were more drunk or were pissed because they didn’t get the beer, but they were more energetic, walking recklessly and intentionally bumping people. Of course they got the attention they were asking for.
“Watch where the fuck you are going? You little fucking asshole!” the girl shouted at Travis. He was sitting under her chin so close I thought they were kissing. He was probably 5’5. He wound up his arm as if he was going to lay it down on her face and yelled “Shut the fuck up. Move Bitch. Get out the Way!” before pushing past her. As soon as he touched her, she swung her purse and hit him in the face. He lunged back at her, but a few people stood in between the two of them. I knew he wouldn’t dive into that ass whipping. I knew she would hit him as soon as he raised his arm and didn’t swing. She would get him. And she did and everyone laughed at Travis who couldn’t do anything but hold his eye and walk away as she kept talking shit.
I am not sure where our final destination was supposed to be when we parked in the capital parking lot, but we were now outside of Graham Central Station, a 4 level club where most of nothing usually happened. We debated eating Sbarro or waiting for a late night Waffle House run and girl watched for a little. It was the quiet in the eye of the storm.
The rowdy spirit never quelled. And with John still MIA, there was no other calming force to the group. My roommates ceiling punch was celebrated among this bunch. They wouldn’t stop screaming obscenities at people.I guess I could have just separated or gone home even. I honestly don’t remember what triggered it, but before I knew it, I was manhandling Travis in the middle of 2nd Avenue. I jammed my fists in his mouth and separated his mandibles one hand at a time screaming at him to “Shut the fuck up”. A wise man told me don’t argue with fools. I am sure I looked like a complete fucking idiot with my hands in some guys mouth screaming at him like a madman. The guys with me were cracking the fuck up, and if not for that, I am sure that someone would have thought I was going to kill him. I withdrew my hands from his mouth and wiped them on his shirt. Everyone wanted me to apologize, but I was like Fuck that.
By then, we’d journey’d to the end of the street. We could turn up Broadway and continue or return and go home. I decided to go back home. Rell, the other Michigan guy was headed my way with John a few hundred feet behind him. I could see a police officer holding John back, as if he were under arrest or something. “Yo, Ryan, they arresting Johnny right now man. We gotta get outta here and go bail em out man.” Yeah, then what the fuck happened?” When we got back to the police car, John was screaming that he just got there. Then I saw the girls from earlier. One of them was talking to the other police officer as she filled out a report. What the fuck happened? This clown muthafucka snatched her purse. “We found it in an alley a few yards that way with him prowling it.” Now I knew why we had to leave B.B. Kings so damn fast. His bail was set at 5000 dollars and Rell was to call his mom to get it. I never understood rich black kids who do stupid shit for money instead of depending on their financially comfortably families.
My roommate from Tulsa and I decided to head out and grab some Krystals. On the way, his stomach caught a cramp and he made this dull groaning wail before he let the seat back to lie down and kicked in pain. It was the funniest shit I’d seen that night. I laughed uncontrollably and shook so hard I nearly threw up on the lady in the drive thru when I tried to explain it all to her. I cried from laughing so hard. The last time I drunk gin.