Had kind of a strange weekend. I headed up to Flagstaff for a weekend of fun with my pal Bill, and while I did, I also did not. I know that sounds weird, but that is how it was.
I arrived Saturday afternoon in time to have a few beers in preparation for the UFC pay per view, Chuck Liddell vs Rashard Evans. I am not a big UFC fan, but when a group of like 8 or 9 guys are, what are you going to do? I am a go with the flow kind of person so whatever anyone else wants to do is usually okay with me. As the fight started, we decided to play a little drinking game to go along with it, as a means to spice up the fun. Bill, and a lot of the guys there, all work at Best Buy and they brought home an old Plinko board that their work use to use. Plinko, the peg board game from the Price is Right, is played using the aforementioned peg board and you then drop a puck down one of the randomly set peg slots at the top until it falls into a marked slot at the bottom. Instead of assigning numbers, we assigned values like Drink, Chug, or Shot. Pretty simple, once your puck hit, you either took a drink, chugged your drink, or did a shot of Jack Daniels.
My contribution was to add a slot labeled Slap. You hit this one slot, and someone could slap you by calling dibs first. Some of us liked it, others not so much, but we all agreed to it. I also added another rule allowing Bill's wife to play, despite the fact that she could not drink due to her pregnancy. She would play and assign her pick to one of the other players, including who got slapped and who got to slap. Another great twist that everyone liked. I did fairly well, only getting slapped once, but I got payback so it was fine. One of Bill's co-workers got slapped a lot though, including two ThunderSlaps. A ThunderSlap is when you get slapped on both cheeks at the same time. He kept flinching away so we assigned an additional penalty slap for flinching, which only he thought was unfair. I then suggested the ThunderSlap unbeknownst to him to another of Bill's friends, and the effect was priceless! We played a round basically after every fight, or if a commercial lasted more than 5 minutes. Everyone, except me, was fairly trashed by the time we took a cab downtown.
As the only member of the party who can recall what happens after the first 10 minutes of the first bar, I was left the recount the tale the next day. I drank as much as anyone else, it just effected me a lot less. I know I had a decent buzz as I was dancing, something I never do. We drank and did some more shots at the bar, and one guy even got in trouble for lighting fireworks outside. I had to calm Bill's dancing down a bit after a warning from the bouncer. After a while we headed to another bar to drink.
We were there maybe half an hour, and though I thought the bar wasn't as much fun, I didn't say anything until it was suggested we go to Flagstaff's only strip club. I wasn't much for that despite my normal proclivity towards that idea. I just didn't have the money for that and I know how far I can be trusted once we get in there. My trusty Ho-dar, which allows me to instantly find the best dancer in the place, can get me into trouble. Luckily we didn't last long as two of us got bounced for being to drunk, a third got asked to leave for checking his cell phone to much (apparently against house rules, go figure) and me for touching a girls leg to much. Mostly I think it was just cause the rest of the guys were so trashed that they lumped me in, but I wasn't complaining. I left without paying a cent of my own money.
Next we ventured a lengthy trek through a fairly unsavory part of Flagstaff in search for a group of guys who had allegedly mugged another group member. He had stayed behind at the bar while we headed to the club, and upon being told where we had went, came after us later. Supposedly he had gotten mugged heading down a back alley in which three guys had taken $20.00 from him, though they left him his wallet and cell phone. Personally I didn't believe it, he didn't looked like he had been pushed down, but what do I know. I had never met the guy before tonight. Being the only voice of reason in this situation no one listened to me as they headed toward a really dark section of town. I knew two things, one, no way was I going that way, and two, there was no way this guy got mugged in the direction they were heading. It was completely OPPOSITE the direction of the bar we had left. He would have had to circle several miles on foot to take a circular route to the club. I managed to corral Bill and another of his friends, both far to drunk to know better, and hail us a cab back to his house.
Eventually everybody ended back at Bill's, unsuccessful in their attempts to find the would be robbers. We sat in Bill's front yard, finishing off the last of the beers until one by one the group trickled home. Some of the guys, including Bill, had 7AM meetings and only got about an hour of sleep.
For me, that is when the weekend turned kind of sad. Everyone returned home to their wives and girlfriends, and I crashed on Bill's couch. Bill's other pal Brad had the spare room, and his wife was home in Phoenix.
It just kind of came to me, that it was just me. It got me thinking about the fact that everyone was in a relationship or starting families. The long, lonely drive home the next day didn't help either, listening to music and wondering again why I was the way I was. Bill starting a family soon, my younger brother with his second, several of my co-workers with newborns or babies on the way, it was just kind of sad. I know I am not ready for a family, but I am ready to not be alone. I guess ultimately I have to work out these feelings for myself. Maybe channel some of these melancholy feelings into a new poem tomorrow. Maybe one day I will find my answer.
End of Line.