Our first stop was the liquor store; this was the night we were going to go all out. Because the wedding was "cash bar only" (lame) and we knew that we had to take the Portland MAX to get to the church, we purchased 3 pints of whiskey.
Beth had to get formal flats for the wedding; we stopped in a store and did so. I had a hankering for some ice cream, so as we continued running errands we passed back and forth a scoop of lemon aid sorbet in a sugar cone. I still needed a gift. We swung by Kitchen Kaboodle and I quickly grabbed a certificate. It was lunch time and an outdoor cafe' looked like just the spot.
The previous paragraph is so saccharine, I would not be surprised if readers had to reach over and puke into the nearest trash receptacle. But running errands on a Saturday afternoon in gorgeous weather with a cute girl is something I haven't done for quite sometime. And I can admit that it was fun, among the other things I've missed about being in a relationship.
After lunch, I was in desperate need for a nap (fine, it was probably the giant Bloody Marys we had) and passed out face down on her bed. And for the next hour, Beth sat next to me talking to her mom on the phone, while I snoozed.
It was getting close to game time. I grabbed my dress clothes and stared in horror when I pulled a terribly wrinkled dress shirt from my overstuffed suitcase.
So@24: Oh great. I can't iron worth shit!
Beth: Give it to me.
So@24: Are you sure??
Beth:: I don't mind, I promise! Go get in the shower.
While Beth ironed, I scribbled directions to the church from the MAX station. An hour later, Beth was putting the finishing touches on her makeup and I was pouring a pint of whiskey into a bottle of 7 Up.
The MAX was a fun ride and to pass the time, we took swigs of our 7 & 7.
Our stop was in the middle of absolutely nowhere. We seemed to be in some type of industrial area, so we walked down a barren street trying to find the church. After finally finding the church, we realized we were early.
Beth: Oh look! There's a bar right across the street. Think we have time for a beer?
I imagine we looked ridiculously out of place, swilling beers in our dress clothes and immediately to our right was a table of stereotypical townsfolk: clearly underage, wearing hoodies of colleges they never attended, discussing how difficult it was to find a sitter for the night. We slammed our beers and headed into the wedding.
The wedding was "okay", nothing to write home about. I was surprised at how little people from high school actually attended. Beth tugged on my arm at one point and said, "If you introduce me as 'my friend' Beth one more time, you're dead!"
"Alright! Sorry! Sorry!", I laughed back at her.
I found one of my old wrestling buddies and the remainder of the night was spent slamming shots of whiskey with him, his girlfriend, and Beth. Did I mention Beth and I polished off our 7 & 7? Whoops.
Soon, the couple was leaving the wedding and thinking I must have time traveled via whiskey, I checked my watch. 11:30? Damn this was a fast wedding. We didn't even get to dance!
Disclaimer: Shit goes down. Seriously.
This is when the night gets a little hazy and takes an utterly disastrous turn for the worst. In fact I can't even think of how to transition into the next part.
Beth and I are:
- in the middle of nowhere (industrial area with little to no street lights)
- bellies full of whiskey
- yelling at each other about every single skeleton in the closet we could possibly bring up about our dark, tangled, relatively unspoken history.
"I can't believe I jeopardized my relationship with Lynn to maintain this friendship! Look where it's gotten me!"
Beth: Don't follow me! You're finding your own way home!
I'm not sure how much time elapsed, but I realize that I have no idea how to get to ANY place where a cab could find me. Besides, all my shit is at Beth's apartment. I don't know where I am. Even worse, I just let a girl stumble off into alone, in a strange, dimly lit, industrial area.
Good fucking work, So@24.
With my dress shirt half unbuttoned, I run my hand through my messy hair, and start off in the general direction where Beth stormed off.
I don't have to go far before I see cop lights flashing. Approaching the cop car, I see Beth is wiping away tears talking to a police officer.
So@24: What's going on? Is there a problem, Officer?
5-0: Stay right there, sir. I'll need to see your ID.
5-0: I'm going to call you both separate cabs.
Beth: No, Officer. He's my friend. We just got into a fight. We'll take separate cabs back.
So@24: No, we won't. We don't need to take separate cabs.
5-0: I think it would be better if you did.
I shot daggers at Beth.
Beth: We can take one cab.
5-0: Are you sure? I don't want you to feel pressured.
Beth: Yes. We'll be fine.
The cop points to an area where a cab will pick us both up.
Of course, we don't go there. We continue our argument, but this time I'm livid that this cop thought I was a threat to her. Beth explains that he just stopped her when he saw she was walking alone.
Fast forward 20 minutes.
We end up in some strip mall parking lot, sitting on a curb, calming talking through all our shit. In the middle of our heart to heart, two bar flies approach us. We both grumble and immediately stop our conversation to appease these two drunks (pot calling kettle black, I know). We play nice.
Their cab pulls into the parking lot and they offer to share their cab with us. Fine. We get in and bum a ride off of them before directing the cabbie to drive us back to downtown Portland. One of the guys nudges me with his dirty elbow and whispers, "Hoo wee. You did some good work, scoring with this one." He winks and points to the front seat where Beth is sitting.
After what seems like hours, we pull up to Beth's apartment. We tumble into her room; she puts her blond hair into a pony tail and changes into shorts and a t shirt. I strip to my boxers.
We stay up talking for a little longer... but at one point look each other and our let our eyes do the talking, "I'm tired. You're tired. We're both fucking wasted. I'm sorry. Let's just go to bed".
Sleep comes to us easily.
That same afternoon sun wakes us up. I groggily reach over Beth and grab a bottle of Orangina and finish half a bottle with no more than 3 giant gulps. We lie in bed staring at the ceiling before Beth starts to speak.
Beth: I don't want to get drunk like that with you again.
So@24: Yeah. I think that's a good idea.
Beth: Friday night was perfect. Last night was terrible.
So@24: No argument here.
Her and I talk more about last night, but instead of shedding light on anything... we are left with more questions than answers. But to not spoil my last few hours in Portland and to salvage what little time we had left, we bury the hatchet.
Things will not be the same.
Think it is safe to say, this may be the last of Beth.