RIPE: a true story

Let me begin by asserting that I am not a drinker, I never partied before the night depicted, and despite popular belief, I do not do drugs. Now to the eventful night I felt compelled to write about.

A group of friendly people who gave a weirdo a chance and a weirdo (me) went out to have a good time the first week of our first college semester. As a diabetic, rural-high-school reject, and someone who never invited to anything, I was hoping for an amazing life experience, maybe be kissed for the first time; by chance, maybe a bit more than kissing.

We went to a frat party. It seemed nice enough, until walking into a place that seemed like a place under development. I began awkwardly diddling with the foosball table, while doing so I was handed a lager. It was like a tin cylinder of trouble. I immediately headed for an exit sign, propped the door with my hip and dumped as much of the alcohol into the gravel. Carrying it around, I try to mingle and hide the fact I am carrying around an empty can, until I find an unopened bottle of Mountain Dew, and poured it into my can. I enjoyed the sweet beverage, that seemed to be battery acid after all these years of of a diabetic diet that has had me drink aspartame only and pretend I was ready to mingle, for I never really was.

I came across a girl that recognized me from campus, she informed me that my lanyard showed I was a freshman; making me a target. Not wanting to targeted, I put my can down and look for a place to put my lanyard that suspends everything I need to get home. I put my can down; a gargantuan mistake that rivals the mistake of taking up creative writing as a major at a branch campus in a troubled economy.

Never in my life had I seen more tragedy and fate than when I saw the two identical cans side-by-side on the wooden frame of the foosball table. In one can, there was a sugary soft drink with hints of alcohol, in the other can there was alcohol. I tried to pick carefully. I saw a green tinted liquid in the crevice of the can’s top, what else could I assume it was mine. As I made my final decision I saw the future. You know you’re making the wrong choice, Ash, but you had to make one, and quick. DO IT! I never wanted to be wrong before. My tongue prematurely writhed in reaction to the unpleasant taste I was about to experience. It was not half bad, actually. I held my mouth tight and swallow.

After swallowing my first sip of beer, I discover to my horror the frat boy and owner of the lager I drank had taken and drunk from my Mountain Dew-filled beer can. “This shit is ripe dude,” he says to his friend. He invites his friend to take a sip.

It’s one of those moments you know nobody would believe, only because it’s that damn beautiful. I wanted to write this story the moment it occurred. I wanted to relive it over and over again, so I could tell the story with every detail.  Revisiting this moment in my head, I think the party part of me wanted it to be a lager; getting a little taste.The night went on. A nice girl thought I actually was drunk. I didn’t blame her. I still don’t blame her.What sober person says they think they are the white, female Kanye? The answer is a crazy one.

The party failed to thrill me as a whole. I didn’t like it because I wasn’t the life of it, as I told the birthday girl who I went to the party with. At least she had a nice time.  I felt tipsy and fog-brained. Does that mean I get drunk very easily or regular soda has the same effect as alcohol for a diabetic?

Everyone I went with had a nice time, but before it was even midnight, the frat boys start telling people to leave. I did so, only to see  my posse was either still inside or left without me. I actually re-entered the party through an open, first-story window, I accepted the idea they left and left the party again, then asked cigarette-smoking men on a balcony if they knew where the birthday girl was in one last moment of hope. We reunited and left.

In hindsight, I think I should have left the first time around.What occurred when we stepped outside those doors was one of those weird moments you can only see the extent to which they are weird by playing it over and over again in your head, as I have. Those who had a good time at the party were off their rockers in the courtyard. There were tears, there was a numerous amount of “Oh my god. Shut up!” one of which was addressed to me, something that would surprise anyone reading things who knows me well. We had to be oh so quiet. I thought how it was like we were survivors trying to be quiet, as not to attract zombies.The fact one of those friendly people said “We can’t go back to our dorms” in a dramatic, action-movie-protagonist intensity only reinforced the idea.

While my shit-faced new friends were plotting and strategizing I encountered the girl who thought I was drunk,  she was going to go with my taking-the-piss posse, but a friend of hers told her not to. “They’re really drunk.”

“I’m not drunk,” I insisted. The girl looked unconvinced.

Eventually, and to bring an end to this story, I tell those friendly people I was going back to my dorm. They wished me luck and safety. I wished them the same. As I walked back the words on this page began to form. I was told not to talk about what happened, I was never prohibited to write about it. I don’t want to implicate anyone with this. I want to thank those people for letting me in their dorm room and I am forever grateful to the girl who asked me if I had anything sexy to wear.

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