Nov 25, 2008

Waco, Texas & Staying Alive Through Desperation and Fear




I'm sorry, this is not an informative piece about Waco, Texas or interesting facts that explain the events of February 28, 1993. This is more selfishly a tale of what a pathetic human I can be.

It's Sunday night on the near-vacant streets of Chicago.
I'm a mess of loose guts and vulnerability.
I have not been very good to my body this weekend.
Three cases of hiccups (sounds cute but they're miserable)
Two blacked-out nights.
And a surprise bottle of adderall.
My blood-caked ear, dehydrated innards, and greasy hair also tell me of my debauched behaviors (I have no idea about the two sizable gashes on my left ear.) And if that's not enough, I haven't changed my clothes and could probably fall over on my teeth at any second.
Nausea is squirming in my belly like a wounded snake and I feel as bad as the first time I stayed home from grade-school and barfed all over the carpet.

I'm alongside my good friend and rising star, Tony.
He is the only memory I have from last night and that's only because I called him "Waco, Texas" about 130 times. Otherwise I called him "David Koresh", which I find to be mildly more offensive but since he (Tony) didn't realize that the curbside glasses he found caused him to look a near spitting image of the "Branch Davidians" religious leader, it seemed humorously appropriate.
David Koresh took control of a small ranch he renamed “Ranch Apocalypse” in Waco, Texas.
Ironically, the night previous of Tony looking like Koresh, we took control over a south-side music venue and had a stand-off of sorts with the buildings proprietors. Coincidence?
...But I really must move on.

Still haphazardly wondering the streets and feeling fatigued, we agree it might be in our best interest to seek food - for necessity and nutrition sake.
We stop at a random bar in hope of a menu. We find a place to sit.
There's a flat-panel T.V. at every table and a barrage of barbarian sportage on every one of them. The last thing I want right now is Sunday night football. Or ever for that matter.
Even worse, they're blaring the commentary over the house speakers.
I ignore the T.V. as much as I can. It gives me the spins, besides that I'm fighting a bad case of tunnel vision and I'm finding it hard enough to focus on life.
I try to ignore the two "bros" sitting at the bar who find it necessary to yell and clap at the television screen. Anything could set me off at this point and in my weakened state I'd be sorely beaten.
When the waitress finally comes around we both order beers.
"Hair of the dog", I say. (Otherwise known as "beer for breakfast") but at this point it's approaching 6pm and nearly 48 hours since I've had any real hydration.
The beer does wonders for my condition but I know I'll regret it later.
The last time I remember drinking water was on Friday during the drive to the city. I took about two sips from the bottle before I set it aside at the offer of a whiskey and coke. Tony has a knack for mixing up road sodas. From that moment, I was pretty much on booze straight.
According to most statistics, the average human can go 3 days without water. I had gone just over 2.
While I’ll agree this probably wasn’t the most extreme case of dehydration I will argue that an alcoholic should probably not go ANY days without water.

We finally leave the city.

Minutes into the drive home, I’m losing my shit.
I remain to myself, attempt to appear calm and allow for minimal conversation.
I'm phasing in and out of consciousness as a loud and treble-blown David Cross comedy album begins sounding distant and through a long tube. I feel like I’m having a minor out of body experience.
The last time I felt this close to death was the spring following my 21st birthday, after staying up all night on mushrooms then hitting a 6ft bong on the balcony. I thought I was going to die that day, right in front of my friends.
I clench my seat and question my vitals, anything to help remind myself I’m still here. I can’t even remember if I took a breath recently. I’m sinking into my chair, yet I feel light as a feather.
I’m sweaty and panicked.
“Can we pull over?”
Tony is looking at the closest exit. He takes it.
“Wallgreens?” he asks.
I shake my head, yes.


We get back on interstate 57 and continue to putter south towards Champaign. 20 minutes, half a bottle of pepto, and almost a liter of water later I'm feeling remarkably more and more human.
David Cross continues to rattle on about Religious leaders and the apocalypse that still hasn't happened.
We arrive home after what feels like a 4 hour trip. I go to bed as soon as I know I’m going to live.
The next time I talk to Tony, he says "you wanna take over a small Texas village tomorrow nite?"

3 comments:

Tif said...

fuck.

Tif said...

stuffin' muffins.
obviously.

tif said...

oh ya.
at least ten.