Slavery Tastes Better
The first indication I had that it was Saturday was the fact that it was no longer Friday, that, or else the sun had stayed up for a very very long time. I was leaning toward Saturday, but Sunday was not entirely out of the question as well. Binge drinking is weird like that. Time no longer progresses predictably or in a linear fashion. A good many of us binge drinkers are, in fact, with hazy brain, trying to solve the secrets of time travel, if only so that we can go back in time and see all the things we can't remember doing over the years.
The first person I talked to after being released back into the wild was Solara, who I had tried to call from inside and who I wanted to let know I was alright. I had in fact only needed her help in communicating to my various employers my whereabouts and prognosis for the near-term future. Having been otherwise unable to discuss this simple matter to Solara directly I feared that she had possibly gone off the deep end trying to assist me in my apparent time of need. We talked for a second and the subject of my getting the last remnants of my stuff that Solara had held on to for me since we lost the house came up and we agreed to get together at some time friday.
Friday began with my talking with my editor and finding that there were two assignments still available for me at this late point so I determined that I would try and go to the one that evening, and failing that I would no problem be able to go to the one Saturday night. Quite elated I then went as planned to the gas station for cigarettes, and being in the sort of mood that comes upon a gonzo journalist when fortune turns her head to our creative endeavors, got a twelve pack of Natural Ice, my beer of choice. If the opportunity to go to the assignment on Friday panned out--such as another fortuneful ride from my friend Daniel the Music Guru--I wanted to already be drunk so that I wouldn't spend my entire income derived from going on the assignment on the beers necessary to get it accomplished. The average person may wonder, why drink at all?, but the only reasonable answer to that question is the question posed by all of us in professional journalism, that being, what point is there in doing anything if you can't do it drunk or high or both?. No matter, our reputation is still better than astronauts.
Dinky sent me a text message early friday morning with the picture of a side of a Uhaul and a "Did You Know" on the side that said something along the lines of (paraphrasing) "Did you know that scientists monitor solar wind, changes in solar activity, and the electromagnetic troposphere to predict weather on our own planet. For more information about Space Weather go to UHaul(dot)com." Dinky then added the words, "I guess N.A.S.A. is no longer the authority." Just after I purchased my cigarettes I looked on the back, where the Camel Bucks used to be, and there I found this tremendous kernal of information.
To which I added the postscript, "Slavery Tastes Better". Once I got started on the Natural Ice's I don't remember a whole lot else about friday, except that at some reasonable time in the mid-evening Solara tried to call me to make good on our pact as far as transfer of my belongings but I was already so intoxicated I knew it would not be in my best interest to try and see Solara (or anyone else).
I woke up confused Saturday, mildly, eventually putting together the story of how I ended up back in my bed, and happy to find out no out-of-ordinary drunken madness had taken place the night before. There was talk that I had stayed up until five in the morning giggling, every once in a while stopping long enough to say "Coach" or "C.K.", but I am not sure what to make of such speculation. Friends were coming to visit us from Montgomery, and I wasn't sure if it was someone I knew already or not, but luckily I had enough beers left over from the night before (mysteriously I had reupped on beer at some point)so be good and drunk well before noon. I wanted to make sure and be completely ready for my assignment to report on the band and atmosphere that night at the Olde Auburn Ale House, one of my favorite places in Auburn ever since the time I spent living in the Heart of Auburn and walking to the Ale House to get blasted drunk every day for two months.
And that's when I met him.
C.K. (you can't see the "X's" he has drawn on his own hands, indicating his "Straight-Edge" leanings.)
C.K. is not like your regular person. You know. The type that has a father and maybe both parents or maybe no dad at all, probably has a career or something and maybe a girlfriend and a dog. No, C.K. is nothing like that. C.K. stands for "Coach's Kid". This is the closest we have come in all of our travels to actually meeting the illustrious and mysterious Coach! I was very dismayed and intrigued to learn that C.K. is very much a straight-edge, Jesus-Freaking, Sober good time having guy. He doesn't drink, smoke, or smoke. As soon as C.K. and his girl from Montgomery showed up we went to the grocery store, where I was able to reup on corn dogs, french fries, and more beer (seemed like a good idea to go ahead and get that taken care of just in case). A gambling debt was paid off to me on arrival back home in the form of a bottle of Evan Williams (uh oh), and Wii bowling ensued.
Later in the evening, long after my ability to focus or remember my assignment had passed, C.K. reminded me about my assignment, so the three of us, C.K., his girl from Montgomery, and I went to the Ale House where the scheduled band had already cancelled and we were confronted with the meager prospect of a fill-in band, which I wasn't sure either nullified my assignment or not. I was excited after talking with the lead singer and learned they cited Medeski, Martin, and Wood as influences. Disappointment followed, however, when I was not allowed to drink inside the Ale House (my I.D. was confiscated after my latest brush with Uncle Sam), but I was able to take the following pictures of dancing girls and guitar playing that look eerily like the mental state I was in at this point. My notes on the names of the band members, what I remember to be the band's myspace address, and C.K.'s personal contact information was on a napkin I later spilt a beer on and then our dog ate so my subsequent article lacked these details.
Girls Dancing to Cacti.
A guitarist for Cacti
My favorite picture, reminiscent of Charles Peterson's famous photography of the band Nirvana.