Not worth it.

I don't even know... how to get into what happened last night. I really just fucking don't. I'm so out of practice with this drunken debauchery nonsense.

The long and the short of it is, I feel like shit. I look like shit. Some fucking fucker's wandering around out there with my phone number and the notion to make me his 'girlfriend', and the last time I saw Smalltown, we were walking down a main street in broad daylight -- he stopped to answer the phone, I kept walking. I don't remember why. I think I was angry.

It would have been justified, given that a man stopped us and tried to basically buy me off him, prattling on about me being from Russia, none of which Smalltown understood, and Smalltown, being not at all out of his natural frame of mind, turned around and told the man that I like sex. Just like that. For no reason. And didn't see the fucking danger he had just fucking placed me in at all.

This was after he tried to start a fight with a Canadian fucking asshole three times his size, because the prick tried to intimidate me. Seeing that Smalltown had had enough, and returning from the bathroom to see two shots setting on the bar in front of him, assuming that one was for me, I turned and quickly dumped both shots into an empty beer glass and shoved it at the bar tender, who flicked his eyes up at me, tilted his head, and then emptied the glass into the sink after I nodded. The two men turned back to me after finishing whatever nonsense they were talking about.

Smalltown: "Where's da shots?"
Me: "Drank 'em."
Smalltown: "Both of them?"
Me: "Yeah."
Smalltown: "Right on, Liz! Dats da fucking spirit, love!"
Canadian asshole: "Now wait just a minute, you drank his shot? That's not right, man. That's not right."
Smalltown: "Ah it's fine, sure! She's a fucking trooper, dis one!"
Canadian asshole: "That's just not right. You." Pointing a finger and leaning into my personal space. "Buy him another shot. Now."
Me: "..... Fucking. Excuse me?"
CA: "Buy him another shot."
Me: ".... I'm sorry. Are you telling me what to do right now? I don't suggest that."

Smalltown, edging his way between us, after I stepped forward, rather than back, after the man entered my personal space: "Look man. Don't.... don't fucking do dat, alright? She may not look like it but she'll break a bottle over your fucking skull quicker den you realize. Just don't do dat, alright?"

CA, ignoring Smalltown, pushing him out of the way, and staring me down: "I don't believe we've met. I'm [some fucking longass name] of the [whatever] clan from Ireland." Taking my hand and squeezing the fucking fuck out of it. "We've been around for a long time. And we're not going fucking anywhere anytime soon."

Me: "Why are you trying to intimidate me right now? Do you think it's cute that no one in this room knows that you're squeezing the fuck out of my hand right now, trying to intimidate me?"

His grip tightened.

From there, it's all a little hazy. But basically, he ended up screaming, "FUCK YOU!" over and over again at the top of his lungs from across the bar, while I held both of Smalltown's hands and murmured to him quietly to just look into my eyes, that there was no one else there but me and him, no one else mattered, just keep watching my eyes, don't look away from them, after Smalltown got into such a fucking rage that there was about to be serious fucking trouble if his eyes broke away from me and fell on that asshole, even for a second.

After thoroughly embarrassing himself with this display, while Smalltown and I appeared to be not engaged with it at all, quietly holding hands and whispering to each other in the back, not in the least disturbed, the cunt fucked off to whatever rock he crawled out from under.

I had already stopped one (more amicable) fight earlier that night, between Smalltown and a Korean man, this time by impressing the hell out of myself with my adaptation of Korean style pouting. To the credit of whoever that guy is out there with my number, he was a grade A fucking gentleman for the time we were seated with him, and his five (also Korean, also male) friends. When Smalltown bought another round of shots, he saw me trying to convince Smalltown not to drink it.

"You don't like it when men drink too much?"

"Yes, I don't like it. I really hate it."

He left his own shot untouched on the table, and wouldn't budge even when his friends were calling him out for it. And when Smalltown and one of the other men got it into their heads that it would be really fucking funny to have it out for a laugh outside the bar, seeing that Smalltown was already beyond reasoning with, with that crazy drunk look in his eyes, I just fell back on the other men for assistance. Fuck it.

Sullen face, body turned away. "Forget it. You men do whatever you want. It's nothing to me. Forget it." Bam. Subject instantly dropped. Smalltown having it explained to him in peckish English that I'm "very sad", while the other men gathered around to comfort me, ruffling my hair, telling me not to be sad, not to be angry. Smalltown taking it all to heart and grabbing me around the neck from behind into a bear hug until I had to give up the act, breaking into a smile. Gotcha. You cunt.

And later. Smalltown still drinking. Telling me that I'm bigger than Korea, better. That if I'm still here in 30 years, he'll fucking cry himself sick over the waste, because I should be out there making art -- that I'm better than these fucking stupid teaching jobs. That I'm too fucking talented to waste myself here. That I'm' bigger than all the rest of these fuckers combined. That he's got his issues recognizing his own worth, but mine are miles wider than his.

Me, knowing Smalltown's personal history, sitting unaffected with a fucking grin on my face. What? What are you fucking smiling at, girl? I'm trying ta level wit ya here!

Because you're full of shit. Because you know how much having one fucking teacher who doesn't think you're a total dumbass, piece of shit, waste of time could change things. Fuck the art. I don't give a fuck about the art. Who fucking reads poems, anyway? Fuck them. Fuck the poems. Fuck all those people. I don't give a shit about them.

Fist to my fucking heart, in that intensely drunk, deep way. My students. Even if I don't do shit for them. They do more for me than any fucking poem I've ever written. It's not even about that. I'm no fucking Jesus. I can't save the world. But put a poem next to a student. I feel one of these stronger than the other. So it's beneath me. So I'll be a fucking pathetic loser scumbag who fucked off to a joke of a job and never came back. I don't care.

You're immense, Liz. You're fucking immense.

You're immense, too. And I'm grateful for you.

So how did it end with me casually strolling away from him on the street? I'm not sure. This is why I don't drink unless my personal life is in fucking order. Because I hate getting messy. And last night, I was definitely messy. Too angry, too intense. I've never chosen my own anger over Smalltown's saftey before, but last night I just didn't give a fuck. And I can't even tell you why.

So I suppose I've got some phone calls to make. And I went back out there to try it again. It's not worth it.


Amandan said...

Man, i've been there! it's funny how you can always feel those nights coming on. That's one of the reasons my bf and I decided to get sober for a year. Check out our blog!

P.S. we linked to you, i hope that's okay!

saharial said...

I think I pretty much teetotalled at 31 when i got sick of the nights out in pubs after a particularly bad one. I don't think I've had one quite like yours, but in the end, I just hated not being in control of what I say and do and how not like myself I felt when I had alcohol. Its too long a story to go into in a comment, but I'll try to blog it sometime :)
Hope you feel better soon. Your students are poems in themselves and you are helping to write them :)

Anonymous said...

wow...what a night.

hey i'm no picasso,
i don't know what sort of poems you write on the side, but damn, girl...you got some ass kicking muse in your students and i think your chronicles/journals have been pretty poetic so far. so there.

I'm no Picasso said...

Amandan -- I feel you on that one. I'll definitely check out the blog, see how you guys have been coping. It's a strange country to be sober in, but I think once you go 'straight', you realize that there are a lot of other people here who are as well -- you just can't see them through the booze haze. And of course that's okay. Thank you very kindly, actually.

Saharial -- The thing is, I never get *really* out of control, and the issues I have with people and my reaction to them are pretty much how they would be even if I were sober, maybe just slightly more intense. It's just that I seem to encounter a lot more infuriating people who have no control over their mouths while I'm drinking (and they are as well, obviously), so it's best to just avoid.

Anonymous -- With the utmost humility, thank you.

feld_dog said...

I like going to the bar. I like beer. I like hanging with friends. I like meeting new people. I like tipsy banter. But I follow a simple rule:
After two a.m. (give-or-take an hour), I want to be doing only one of two things--sleeping, or f***ing. Both involve not being at a bar. (If you ARE doing one of those two things at a bar, yikes.) Nothing good can ever happen in a bar after 3 am or so, when every one is hammered. You will not make new friends. You will not have interesting conversations. You will not have a hook up that you will not regret. You will only either witness or participate in by-the-numbers drunken craziness that loses its "OMG!guess what I/he/she did last night!" appeal once you are past 25 or so.

Roboseyo said...

wow. all I've got to say here is anybody who uses the phrase "of the clan" in a bar just earned about 20 000 douche points, unless he has a sword and is about to avenge someone's death, that is. That it was over a shot earns him 20 000 more.

Feld_dog: you're bang-on. I called it my 1-am rule. If something fantastic isn't in progress by 1am, go home; from there on, anything fantastic already happening might continue, but nothing fantastic starts after that point; people just get drunker and stupider, and more prone to fighting.

I'm no Picasso said...

Haha amazing. Before I went straight up sober, I was famous for the 3 am no-nonsense rule. Wherever we were, whatever we were doing, people knew once I looked down and saw that it was 3, I was hopping in a cab. Nothing good happens past 3 am. That was my tagline. Should've stuck by it the other night, but I'm pretty sure some of that started even before then.....

The clan thing was beyond classic and I would've scoffed in his face if he hadn't had a death grip on my hand, which in turn made me fucking furious. My hand *still* hurts today. I'm not a weak woman, but some 250 lb 6 foot 4 40 year old bastard gets ahold of my hand and does his worst, and that's just.... really.

MikejGrey said...

Hah. Nothing but nonsense happens after 1AM. And all of these goddamned canadians in Korea need to be dealt with. Swiftly and without mercy.