Monday, December 11, 2006

Roll Over and Play Dead


On my seventeenth birthday, my former preacher's son, little Buddy, showed up drunk out of his mind on cheap vodka with a copy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club for me. I took the tape from Little Buddy (what we called him to distinguish him from his father, Brother Buddy) and set him down at a table where my then boyfriend's very liberal mother was giving us all wine coolers. Little Buddy already had an alcohol level that would rival Robert Downey Jr. but he took a margarita-flavored Bartles and James and went to town. A few minutes later, he was urinating with the door open in the main bathroom, a bad sign early in any evening. As a group, we decided to take him away from the booze so we put him in the car where he puked out the window every few minutes. Who says drinking isn't romantic? This was a boy who a mere few years before had debated me in a ULS competition about whether alcohol should be advertised on television and came up with the most gruesome pictures of victims of cyrohsis of the liver. With the fevor only seen in his dad's dull but heartfelt and earnest sermons, he told us that these pictures should be on every bottle of alcohol. Perhaps, I thought now, a picture of Little Buddy vomiting in the breeze would do.

We took him to the wife of the town alcoholic for strategies to sober him up -- she did all the traditional stuff, bread and water, coffee. But she'd been married to a drunk for so long that she knew there wasn't much to do except let him sleep it off. He should roll over and play dead, she said in a flat voice. That meant we'd have to take him home drunk. All of us were afraid of Brother Buddy. He had that creepy inbred way of small town preachers, that fire from the hills, and he'd been a big boozer in his day and had no use for the weakness of the bottle now. Our plan was to sneak Little Buddy inside and run. No such luck. Brother Buddy stood on the porch, lights blazing, waiting for his son's return. We told him Buddy had shown up to us that way, and we didn't give him anything, which was true, save for one lousy wine cooler. Little Buddy tried to hug me goodnight, but Brother Buddy ordered him inside where he promptly vomited all over the entry to the house. I hope you like the music, Little Buddy yelled. I was glad to see he wasn't playing dead yet like our friend's mother suggested. There'd be plenty of time for that later when everything was out of his system.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Any minute now, something will happen." Raymond Carver, "Drinking While Driving"

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: Deconstructing Harry

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Monday!

12 comments:

Detroit vice cop said...

I like the way you're always trying to help people in your writings, Michelle. You are good people. Maybe you shouldn't have given that wine cooler to Buddy, though.

Fiction Enquirer said...

I think I know why Raymond Carver's first wife left him. He was killing himself with cigarettes and she didn't want to be around when he got the final diagnosis. Very sad, Ray.

Bartles and James said...

"Went to town" in Mineral Wells. How ironic.

Anonymous said...

cool curtains and shirt look

The Walking Man said...

I only drink
with my friends.

That's why
I always drink alone.




The Walking Man
(C) circa 1985

Anonymous said...

Very lovely post Michelle. You are always trying to help people and I think thats wonderful. Beautiful picture too. It's always difficult to deal with someone who's had a bit much to drink.

Anonymous said...

Very nice picture. Drunks. What are you going to do. Sometimes you have to deal with them, and sometimes you're the one who's had a few to many.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, such a lovely view and post, as always. Charming, simple and interesting and always entertaining to be sure. Bravo!

Laura said...

Good story. I don't understand how people can drink to the point of puking their guts out over and over again. I hate the feeling of being sick to my stomach and I can't comprehend people who get that way on purpose by drinking too much.

BionicBuddha said...

Great blog...I can't believe he was more sauced than Robert Downey Jr.




www.bionicbuddha.com

bonnie said...

Honey,
You are so beautiful.
kiss kiss
Bon Bon

Anonymous said...

Awesome story. Poor Little Buddy. What did he grow up to be, I wonder?