Paul’s Last Night
My friend Paul isn’t a big drinker, but he’s a big dude. He will come out and drink with us on most occasions, but he will never be noticeably drunk. He seems to be the guy that usually can provide the most objectively accurate account of a night out to the rest of us in the morning. On rare occasions, however, Paul will decide to loosen up and let all of his demons out; and by that, I mean he gets absolutely slammed when we least expect it. It’s not like it happens on special occasions - he actually drove to my 21st birthday because he had “stuff to do the next day.” He’ll just pick a random night. Over this most recent Christmas break, during a routine trip to the city for a night, Paul picked his last night at home.
We constantly make fun of Paul for being scared of his parents. His mom and dad are extremely overbearing. They are the quintessential helicopter parents because he’s an only child. Over the whole break, it was like pulling teeth to get Paul to come out with us because he always had something to do with his family. But we could tell that behind those eyes, there was an animal waiting to be let loose from the cage. On that night before he left for school, all that pent up stress finally allowed us to see Paul in rare form.
Paul started off the night with a few beers in our friend Vinny’s apartment. But once we hit the bar, something snapped. He got this look on his face as we approached the bar.
“Let’s rip 3 shots each real fast to get the blood flowing,” he said, almost like a devil on my shoulder.
“I’m gonna pass. A gin and tonic is perfectly fine,” I replied.
He got the shots anyway and powered em’ down at an impressive speed. At that point, we all knew what was coming. After, he made a face like he had just been stabbed and it was clear he was trying his best not to show the entire bar what he ate for lunch. However, he held it down, and got himself a vodka sprite to celebrate and the night proceeded. Our friends had a blast, and even though I wasn’t with Paul at all points of the night, I would often see him out of the corner of my eye stumbling or bumping into something. At a certain point, it got so bad that I rounded up my friends and decided it was best to get him out of there.
My friend Rich suggests an idea that seemed extremely intelligent at the time, but quite stupid in hindsight.
“Let’s just go to that diner over there,” Rich said.
We got a table for 5, and immediately Paul made us regret our decision. He said “Fuck” out loud more times than DeNiro in a Scorsese movie and everything he said was at a high volume. As can be seen in the picture above, he was speaking to us with one eye open and the other closed, combining the words of his sentences into one incoherent word.
“Gemmeafuckinchisburger,” he repeated over and over. We finally got him his burger to our waitress, who barely allowed us to remain seated at the table after seeing his condition. Then, unfortunately, the other eye closed, and we briefly lost Paul to a nap in the middle of a diner.
We still tried to feed him, but were unsuccessful. Eventually, our waitress acknowledged that we had a sleeping individual at our table and told us it would be best if we left. They were in the process of preparing our meals which we weren’t even able to eat, so we left a twenty on the table as an apology for the inconvenience. We resurrected Paul as best we could through an insane amount of shaking and got him a taxi headed back to Vinny’s apartment. Thank God, we got him through the doors into the lobby. But his night was far from over.
Paul broke into a full sprint in the hotel lobby, since he body began chasing us as we filmed his every move. Well, his body was chasing us. He was clearly on autopilot. The manager at the desk began to grow visibly angry so we forced Paul with difficulty into the elevator, and finally into the apartment and on to Vinny’s couch. Although we laid him down on the couch, Paul still managed to end up choosing (I guess) a more comfortable place to sleep.
Yup, that’s how we found him in the morning. On the floor of the bathroom (unseen in the picture) were wrappers for about eight Chewy bars. Apparently, Paul got a late night snack after all. Although Paul caused us a great deal of problems that night, it was funny to see the tables turned when we had to inform Paul of his behavior, rather than the other way around. It was a proper send off for his final semester of college, and when I made sure he was alive in the morning, I was actually proud that he finally let himself have a wild night. Other pictures from the night have surfaced also since late December. One in particular, is allegedly the “real” picture that never made it into the light until very recently, and was doctored to protect one of the individuals depicted in the image. Fortunately, I managed to get my hands on it.