I was in shock. My dad was actually going to let me sleep over at a boy’s house. My friend Daniel’s dad was a lobbyist and he had a silver tongue. Or rather, he knew exactly how to plant himself in one place and complain endlessly until he got what he wanted. After an endless barrage of persuasion, he finally convinced my dad that I would be safe at his house. The agreement was that Daniel and I were absolutely not – under any circumstance – allowed to drink.
We were two 15 year olds, in a basement with a fridge full of beer, on New Year’s Day. What do you think we were going to do? Pass the night away playing Yahtzee?
As soon as his parents were in bed we each grabbed a bottle of Rolling Rock. My parents’ had let me have individual sips of beer before, but I never had my own bottle. I hated it. Each sip made my stomach lurch the Electric Slide. At that moment I longed for chocolate milk or apple juice. But we weren’t kids anymore and not quite adults either. We were something awkward and in between.
I gulped my bottle down quickly so I could spend less time tasting it. I began to feel a little woozie and slightly silly, kind of like I just got off a roller coaster ride. After all, we did just drink a Rolling Rock. Within a half hour we began making blog updates.
Me: Weeeeee!!! I just had a few rolling rocks, butt I’m fine! I can even spell. I’m n0oot a polar bear in an icecream factory.
Daniel: hi this is daniel. Im sorta kinda drunk. my arms feel reeeeeeaaaaally heavy right now. And the roomis kind stupid.
We decided that each bottle we consumed would get hid in the sofa. At the time, in drunk logic, it made sense. Trust me! With the fifth bottle the room became VERY stupid! I was on a merry go round that I couldn’t get off. I sprinted to the toilet and vomited like I never vomited before. All five Rolling Rocks along with dinner spewed before me.
Daniel tapped at the door. He wanted to know if he could get me anything. He was holding his liquor far better than I was. “Get me some Saltine Crackers! It might be bland enough to settle my stomach.” 5 minutes later he came back and handed me a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar. I proceeded to vomit more and scream at him.
At that moment Daniel’s mom woke up. She told me to sleep on my side so I wouldn’t choke on my own vomit. I lay on the sofa, sideways, not sleeping much. I would doze off for 20 minutes only to wake up to the continual spinning of the room. My stomach continued to lurch even though it was empty. My throat compulsively gagged on nothingness.
After a long painful night the morning finally came. My dad sat down on the sofa next to me, expressionless, saying nothing. Daniel’s dad handed him a mug of coffee. Both his parents were shaking with nervous energy – his mom still in her blue bathrobe. “Don’t worry! We didn’t do anything sexual!” Daniel blurted out. I could’ve died with embarrassment.
His parents frowned. I think my dad might’ve chuckled. I remember his dad talking a mile a minute but not really saying anything, like a train continuing to spew smoke even though it was breaking down. But my dad said nothing. It was this still anger that scared me – the calm before the storm.
I collected my things and climbed into the passenger seat of his black Ford Explorer. I felt empty enough for the wind to blow me away with one gust. My head was pounding. The slightest sliver of sun light was like a laser surgically piercing my skull – most of all though, I was scared. “Jessica.” He began. “I’m so disappointed in you. Rolling Rock is a terrible brand of beer.”