Tater the Wandering Drunk

On day 7 of my month of Tater I’ve decided to tell two stories of the time I wandered off while intoxicated. One of these came up while I was at my high school reunion in the summer and the other is one that pops in my mind every now and then. The first one is just an amusing story. The second one sometimes pops in my head as a possible crossroad in my life.

Story one takes place on New Year’s Eve. I was at a party at my brother’s apartment. I knew most of the people there, but I was very much not a part of the group. I was just the weird little brother who was invited by the host. I really don’t remember a lot about the party besides feeling out-of-place. At one point that combined with everyone else pairing off in to couples became too much for me so I walked outside. I was sitting outside alone in the cold when one of my brother’s neighbors saw me and invited me to come to their party. Apparently, in my drunken and depressed state of mind, going to a party with complete strangers seemed like a good decision, so I did. I don’t know how long I stayed, but I wa gone long enough for my brother to notice I was missing. I eventually wandered back and slept on the couch at my brother’s place. Nothing really exciting happened. It’s just an “interesting” story about me.

Story two takes place at college. I had been at a party at a frat house. I never joined a fraternity, but I was welcomed and invited to parties at one particular fraternity even though I never pledged. I would go to the parties, drink, and hope that one night I would get up the nerve to actually talk to some of the female party attendees. That never happened, by the way.  So, one night, I was at a party and still too shy and nervous to approach a girl to dance or talk so I wandered off. I ended up at the McDonalds off campus, bought some fries and sat there alone. While I was there, a group of punk looking kids came in to the restaurant. They were either my age or a year younger and still in high school. I’m not really sure. Anyway, they saw me eating alone and invited me to join them, so I did. I don’t remember anything about the conversation, but they were very nice and friendly. When they were heading out, they invited me to come with them to a party. Unlike the story above, I declined and went back to my dorm.  That night pops into my head from time to time and I think that marked a crossroads in my life. I had two options. I chose the go back to my dorm option which led to me sitting here in Maryland.  The other option of going with them could easily have just lead to one odd night at a party with strangers and I still end up here, but it could have led me in an entire different direction. Assuming they were not planning on murdering me, I could have gone with them, had a great time, and spent every weekend hanging out with them. This would have lead me away from the campus based activity where I would eventually meet my wife. Life can move in different direction based on one simple decision.

Or maybe I just watch too many TV shows with time travel and the possibility of alternate timelines.

PSA: I would not recommend drinking and wandering.

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3 Comments

  1. Once when I was young (during my first career as a jarhead, not my second as a therapist) a group of friends and I were drunk and got lost in Manila. We finally found a cab back to the port and what we thought was the pier where our ship was anchored. When we got to the top of the gangplank, it turned out that the ship we thought was our home away from home was actually a Soviet navy vessel that looked a lot like ours. Height, or depth, of the Cold War, but both the Russian officer of the deck and guards and all of us thought it was hilarious. They knew where we were supposed to be and got us pointed in the correct direction.
    Several years later I was going through my first divorce, one of the roughest patches I’ve had, and I was supposed to pick up my two children and take them Christmas shopping. I went to a party at our unit’s company office and got drunk, and woke up from being passed out on the floor of my room in the barracks long after I’d been supposed to pick up the kids. I still cringe at the memory. That was one of the clues that for me, alcohol is not a dependable friend, although it took me several more years to give it up for good.
    Yep, it can take us down some odd paths both benign and not so. Those and other adventures and misadventures did help lead me into that second career as a therapist.

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