Alright first can we take a minute to note the sheer number and superior quality of comments left on the last post? Thanks to everyone who submitted their stellar insight, support and votes! It looks like #2 won for this round of “CYOA,” but no worries, I will be reporting back on #1 and #3 in the near future.
So here is the deal. I sat down yesterday in the coffee shop to write the entry for “Waking up 24 with a bloody ear and no clue how I got home,” and after finishing it I realized I had written a public service announcement. It was totally depressing and two paragraphs short of requiring a phone number for “gays help line” at the bottom. So I have re-worked it with a dash of wit and a touch of humour.
But first I must share a short story with you that makes me giggle. Last night at work I served the scariest table of gay men. There were three of them ranging from 28 to terrifying and for a moment I thought they were the pink mafia. Anyways, after screwing up their first round of martinis (this is no joke kids!) they almost had their way with me. Seeking refuge at the server’s station, I looked at my fellow so-straight-it-would-hurt co-worker and told him, “these men eat gays like me for breakfast!” Upon immediate reflection of what I just said, I started giggling.
Alright, without further a due I bring to you…
The Tale of the Bloody Ear
How I Found God in a Gay Bar
Dressed to impress, I ventured out for drinks with my new West Coast friend Maggie on the evening of July 15, 2009 - also known as my 24th birthday. The destination was this chic bar in the heart of the village: 1181. (It’s so cool it doesn’t even have a name.) Hopping out of the cab, we strutted inside and to my absolute delight Mariah was blasting from the overhead speakers. Ordering gin cocktails to start, Mags and I kicked our livers into gear and reserved our premium spots at the bar.
One hour and six-drinks-more-than-an-empty-stomach-should-ever-handle later, we made the executive decision to follow the Canadian soldier we just met, to a nightclub down the street. Reaching the back entrance, to my surprise the bouncer turned away Mags at the door, and more-than-good to say goodbye, I flagged down a cab for her and entered the club using the Soldier’s beefy arm as support. And that is where my memory stops.
The story starts up again when I when I woke up in my bed the next morning. Stumbling over to the bathroom mirror, I turned on the light and watched my eyes explode at the sight of: blood running down my ear, a huge bump protruding from the right side of my head, and four scratches ripping down the length of my right shoulder. Panicked, it suddenly hit me that not only did I have no clue as to what happened to me, I had no idea how I got home.
Frantically, I ran back into the living room (which also functions as the office, bedroom, workout area and dining room) and scrambled through the remains of my outfit that had been tossed across the floor. Finding my wallet with the credit card intact, I located the rest of my belongings and then collapsed back on my bed to try and make sense of what happened.
In our lives, we all have those moments – turning points – in which things can never go back to the way they were. In my case, they are the nights I can’t remember but never will forget. Coming out of the haze as the next few days passed by, the rest of my birthday night slowly started coming back to me.
After we were inside the club, the soldier led me to a seat and told me he’d be right back. I have no visual or audial recollection of this: no flashing lights, no men dancing and no music pounding. The negatives from that part of my brain are over-exposed and the tape is ripped out. However, viscerally, I can recall clear-as-day the wave of fear that crashed into me as soon as I realized he wasn’t coming back.
Completely vulnerable and totally intoxicated, the gut-wrenching experience of being helplessly alone in that moment is a part of my life that I will always carry with me.
From the chair I am sitting in now, I am beyond grateful and thankful that my life did not turn into an after-school special that night. Somehow I managed to find a cab, and somehow I got into my own bed safely. But something changed inside of me, because while I was sitting there with nowhere to go and no clue how to get there, it struck me that I was not alone.
It’s intriguing the only photograph of that time that I have to keep, is the bright-eyed face of a boy who was sitting beside me. After miserably failing to pick my wallet off the floor, I remember him reaching over, picking it up, and placing it in my hand. I then recall looking the Good Samaritan right in the eyes and saying “you just saved my life.” Now I know it would sound totally cliché to say I found God in a gay bar, but someone or something was guiding me that night.
Oh right! About the bloody ear! After some brief detective work I discovered that my brand new birthday bicycle was the culprit. For, the jagged two-wheeler was the only thing standing between my front door and bed.
Stay tuned for the next post to read about how a bus boy helped me come at work. Also, enjoy what you are reading? Use the links below to share this entry with a friend!