There was this birthday once that we were invited to. Since it was Netherlands, we were all sitting in a circle with our beverages, talking. Since it was an anarchist twenty-something’s birthday, those beverages were NOT coffee. (Well, I had mineral water, because I am an anarchist anarchist and I go against the flow of those who go against the flow. I was also a hipster before it was cool.) Anyway, since we were a bunch of blokes most of whom had either beers or Belgian beers – which are the same as normal beers, only with three times as much alcohol – we were talking about the only logical thing: being drunk and doing stupid shit.
Since I am not authorised to share others’ stories (and also I can’t remember most of them) (not that I was drunk or anything) (or high) (I’ll stop with the brackets now) I will just share mine. That was a few years ago and since then I practically became a saint, just so you know. I went to my favourite bar, where a friend of mine was a bartender. And a damn good kisser, but that is irrelevant. Anyway, being friends with bartenders has this side effect where you go to the loo, come back and your empty drink has magically refilled itself without any action involving money from your side. So I had approximately 89357 Belgian beers – I lost count after the fourth, frankly. My fave at that time was called Duvel, which means Devil, which means… you can guess what. Then I decided to go home. Which was somehow very, very, very, very far. I biked, and biked, and biked, and biked, and then at some point I fell off the bicycle and couldn’t remember which way is upwards. I mean, I tried to stand up but gravity was somewhat unclear. A bit like being in space, but with more Belgian beer inside you. So finally I did the reasonable thing. No, not vomit, eat something or drink water. I chained my bike to nearest bridge, caught a taxi with driver desperate enough to take me in and went home. In Amsterdam the taxi costs more than my 89357 Belgian beers, so this was not my best financial decision ever.
The day after I woke up with a big of headache. Okay, with a massive enormous motherfucking rollercoaster filled with Justin Bieber fans with hedgehogs up their bums AND set on fire headache. So I kind of kept low and tried not to breathe too loud. (It was a Sunday, luckily.) But I needed my bike to go to work on Monday, so I eventually went to look for it. All I could remember was that I biked for a very long time, even though the bar was actually 15 minutes from my house. How long did I bike, I wondered. And where? Did I get lost?
I’ll cut this short. The bike was parked 200 meters away from the bar, by the very nearest bridge. I have no recollection of what, how and where happened other than me taking a very, very long time to arrive at that spot, falling off the bike and being unable to remember how do you do the “up” part of standing up. I was also very happy that at that time people didn’t upload everything to YouTube 2 seconds after it happened. Although it IS possible I didn’t notice a crowd of Japanese tourists uploading multi-angle coverage of me getting tangled in my own pants, come to drink of it, because if I didn’t notice the fact that it took me hours to move 200 meters, I might have missed a bus full of tourists as well.
And so I told this story, and others told theirs, and much laughter was had, and then Husby and me sort of died of hunger (long story) and left and only then I realised he hasn’t smiled once and I asked him if it was the hunger. But it wasn’t. “Why do people even talk about being drunk?” he asked me, incredulous. “It doesn’t sound like fun at all. Like, people actually brag about where they threw up and how many inappropriate things they did?”
“Um yes,” I responded somewhat confused, “this is called having fun.”
“I don’t see how vomiting is fun?”
I sighed. “That’s because you’re not… you… you don’t understand… wait. Are you sure you’re a man?”
He gave me a look. “What does that have to do with anything?”
Oh, Husby. Let me explain.
We men – yes, I am excluding Husby here – are a bunch of dumb, shallow fucks. We generally do not know how to talk about complicated things like feelings, shoes and “I like your hair very much” when we are sober. So we have to figure out the perfect amount of drink that puts us right into the “I can now talk about my feelings like a motherfucking champion, and also you look really good in this top you just took off” stage. It’s just that while we’re trying to figure it out we don’t really do it in a scientific way, in a hospital setting, with infinite amount of subjects filled with patience and compassion. “Am I able to tell you that you’re hot yet? Shit. No. Another shot, Doctor.” So we generally realise that we already got to the perfect amount when we are so far past the perfect amount we’re practically in Albuquerque. And then those stories happen, the ones where we bike for hours and then end up parking our bicycle 200 meters away from the bar. Because we overestimated the amount of beers we should have consumed by approximately 89354.
BUT. This is not the end. Because then we are sitting at a birthday party. Nobody knows anyone. We’re on our first beer (or in my case mineral water, because at some point I started having too many stories like those and then I decided my autobiography was long enough). We’re NOT at the point when we can talk about feelings and shoes, and most of us are straight blokes so we are unlikely to get to the point of “you look really good with your top off dudebro” before beer #89358. (I am not a straight bloke but I generally know what happens when you tell straight blokes who are not drunk enough that they look good with their tops off. Consider this extra research I’ve done especially for you. You’re welcome. Although I can’t publish the results of research because they’re 18+.) So we talk about the times when we were able to talk about the times we can’t possibly talk about now because we’re not in the times when we can talk about those times.
The problem with Husby is that he’s a bit antisocial in this way, by which I mean he considers two glasses of wine excessive hedonism and crazy decadence. Meanwhile I come from Poland, which is a country where you can offend someone for life by refusing to share a pint of vodka with them. (I wish I were kidding. Still, in Russia you have to each have a pint of vodka, so I guess Polish livers are still better off.) And judging by that birthday chat either all guests came from Poland (and Russia) or Husby is really, really bad at being Dutch. Or being a bloke. Or both.
It’s not that he doesn’t have drunken stories of his own at all. Once for instance he had two glasses of wine after a two-hour long session of squash and he had to eat a whole bowl of soup to stop feeling a bit dizzy! True story, bro. (I think it was around the same time as when I managed to go from “slightly tipsy” to “drunker than Lindsay Lohan in rehab” within ten minutes, which is a story for later.) And once he got so drunk in my presence that he slurred at least two words. He still only had two glasses of wine, but they were slightly larger glasses than usual.
So I suspect that his ACTUAL problem is just being jealous that he hasn’t vomited all over the Miss Netherlands contestants. Or pissed into his mother’s cactus. Or had a fist fight with his wife’s father. Like all normal people. But luckily I married him because I am not so good with normal people. So it’s not so bad. Even though all my best stories are completely wasted on him. Did you notice me say “wasted”??? I think I’ll stop now.