Today brings us to the second of two blogfests this week, John Paul's Drunk at First Sight Blogfest. At 1740 words, this one is a lot longer than my last blogfest entry, and it's a lot happier, too.
I slouched deeper in my seat, ran my eyes around the room. It was beer o’clock and the place was full up.
Ok, so it was nine o’clock in the morning, but it was St. Paddy’s Day and all good Irish folk like my self had been busy celebrating the Saint in our own special way for the last couple of hours at least.
A loud belch across the table pulled my attention back to my best friend and drinking buddy sitting across the table from me.
“Yo, D, I gotta tell you man, this is the best fucking idea you ever had.” I had to yell over the noise of the FIFA match on the screen. “You really got this best man thing down.”
I poked at the bowl of nuts on the table, grabbed a handful and chucked them into my mouth.
“I'm married Mikey.” Danny raised his mug and knocked back half his pint of Guinness before letting loose with another burp. “Before my wedding day…”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. You got blued, screwed, and tattooed.”
I lifted my own mug, threw back my head and chugged, and dragged the back of my free hand across my lips. “Day after tomorrow it’s just gonna be me and Siân lying on a beach on our honeymoon.”
I blew out my breath in a contented sigh. “God, I love that woman.”
“Yeah, Mikey, we know.” Danny grabbed his own handful of nuts. “Annie and I are very happy for you.”
I picked up my mug and stared into the bottom of it. “Don’t know about you, man, but I’m ready for another round.”
I looked around, caught the serving girl’s eyes as she was busy slapping hands off her ass and raised my glass for more as she dropped pints off to the card game at the back table.
“It’s nine o’clock in the morning, Mikey. Ya might wanna throttle back.”
An uneven grin spread across Danny’s face as he leaned forward and jabbed a warning finger at my chest. “I will not be responsible for anything to do with vomit, and you have to be able to stand tomorrow or Siân will kick both our asses to hell and back.”
“Throttle back?” I ran my tongue around my strangely frozen lips trying to make sure they still worked since I couldn’t seem to feel my face anymore. “I haven’t even got a decent buzz on.”
Fake, plastic smile plastered firmly on her lips, our serving girl dropped our full pints off with a thunk, scooped up the pile of bills off the table without really looking down, and flounced off to another table.
Danny raised his mug. “May the winds of fortune sail you, may you sail a gentle sea. May it always be the other guy who says this drink’s on me.”
I lifted my glass and knocked back my beer.
I only had a little bit trouble opening the door. Running my hand along the hard, grey wall guided me as I stagger-stepped my way along the dark hallway.
Coming into the main room, I ducked just in time to dodge the dart whizzing past my ear.
“Hey.” I was in Danny’s face before I knew it, jabbing two fingers into his chest. “I thought you knew how to do this.”
Big hands pushed me off. “I do.”
I threw back my arm and pointed. “You put three in the door.”
Narrowed eyes pin me in place. “Are you suggesting that I am uncoordinated?”
I double-tapped him on the chest. “Dude, all I’m saying is that everybody has bad games…well, not me, cuz, ya know, I was never uncoordinated. And I was really good at sports and…stuff. I played football…”
Spinning on his heel, he took two long steps to the nearest empty table and grabbed his glass.
I reached over and pulled the bottle from the table, upended it. “We’re gonna need to resupply.”
I swiveled my head slowly around the room, found our waitress, held up the empty and gave her my best sloppy-stupid grin. She rolled her eyes as she stepped over an unmoving lump on her way her way back to the bar.
I yelled across the room. “We’ll have what that guy on the floor’s having.”
I wasn’t quite sure how much later it is when we stumbled out of the pub and into the dark, stepping over the inert and unconscious bodies blocking the entrance.
My head was spinning and I was listing badly. I stopped and tried to lean back against the nearest wall I could find. But my balance aim, and coordination were off and I ended up flat on my ass on the ground.
“Yo, D.” I squinted hard against the glare of the ever-present flashing lights proclaiming all the wonderfully fun possibilities available to those in search of a good time. “Where’d we park?”
“What happened to the night is young and I haven’t even got a decent buzz on?” Danny grabbed me by the collar of my jacket, yanked me up and set me on my feet. “What kind of a best man would I be if I let you go home now?”
He braced me against the nearest building. “Don’t tell me you’re drunk.”
“I am not drunk,” I slurred. “I just wanna go home to Siân and snuggle.” I swayed just a little. “God I love that woman.”
Danny barked a laugh in my face. “You’re drunk. And don’t even think about vomiting.” He jabbed a finger in my chest. “I’ve already told you I will not deal with anything vomit related.”
“I am not drunk and I am not gonna vomit.” My stomach rolled as I tried to straighten up. “I just need some air to catch my second wind and then I’ll be good to go.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“I just gotta walk.”
“Fine. Let’s walk.”
Danny grabbed my arm and pulled it across his shoulder, dragging me away from the building and down the street.
“Look.” He pulled up short before we’d stumbled too far. “Body art.”
“Dude.” I squinted up at the flashing neon. “Siân would kill me.”
“I’ve been thinking about another tattoo for a while now. Maybe something with Annie’s name on it.”
Danny pulled hard on my arm. “I’m going in. Come on.”
“After you, big guy.”
The mountain sitting behind the desk looked up as I followed Danny in through the door. “Yo, guys. Looking for some ink?”
“Not me.” I shook my head, which was a really bad idea, and stumbled toward the reclining chair off to the right.
“Yeah, I’m looking for a tat.” Danny’s voice floated behind me.
“Anything in particular?”
“Something with my wife’s name.”
My head was spinning and my stomach rolling as I planted myself face down on the chair.
A different voice floated in my ears. “Hey, man. What brings you here?”
“In the neighborhood,” I mumbled from my face down position. “Celebrating St. Pat’s and my wedding day." My words faded in and out as I shifted trying to get comfortable. “I’m getting married tomorrow.”
“And you and your partner want tattoos?”
I buried my head and mumbled into my arms. “No, I just wanna go home and go to sleep.”
“Hey, Mikey, look at this.”
I raised my head to look bleary-eyes at the picture Danny was shoving in my face. “That’s lovely, Danny.” I dropped my head back into my arms. “Flowers and hearts. Just perfect.”
“I’m so glad you approve.” Through my haze I could hear the sarcasm.
“And where do you want it?”
I reached back to rub my tailbone which really hurt for some reason. It was the last thing I did before drifting off into the soft black of unconsciousness.
The next thing I felt was a gentle thump as my head bounced off my chest. I shook my head, which was still pounding and tried to get my bearings. I shifted in the seat. My ass still hurt for some reason. I was going to have to ask Siân to check it out. That thought made me smile.
“Yo, Danny. We home?”
“Yeah, Mikey, we’re home.”
I thought Danny’s voice sounded a long way away before I nodded off again.
“I believe this belongs to you.”
That was the next thing I heard as Danny deposited me none too gently on the floor. I struggled to sit up, winced from the pain in my tailbone, and tried to focus on Siân.
I looked up and gave her my best half-assed grin. “Hey, baby.”
“Did you two have fun?” Siân reached out a hand and pulled me up to a standing position next to her.
I leaned over and tried to kiss her lips, but missed and hit her should instead. She blew out a long-suffering breath as she helped me right myself. Danny just waved a dismissive hand as he headed back out the door.
“Yeah, we had fun.” I tried taking a step closer to her, stopped and winced as I reached back to rub my tailbone again. “But I could use a shower.”
“What’s wrong?” Her eyes narrowed as she watched me toe off my shoes.
“Nothing, babe.” I began stripping off my shirt as I stumbled up the stairs.
Siân’s voice followed me as I bounced off the wall at the top of the steps and ricocheted into the bedroom. “What happened?”
“Nothing happened, babe, nothing at all.” I tried to play it off as I dropped my pants and boxers and kicked them in the vicinity of the dirty clothes. “Musta fell down and landed wrong.”
I didn’t want her worrying. Not today of all days.
“Let me see.” She wasn’t buying it and grabbed both shoulders to spin me around.
I felt her freeze as I tried to keep the room from spinning.
“What is it?”
“Is that where it hurts?” A steel finger poked hard.
“Yeah,” I yelped. “That’s where it hurts.”
I twisted around trying to see what she saw. “What is it, babe?”
“I have a better question for you, Michael.” Her voice went low and dangerous. “Is there something you want to tell me? Or do I even want to know why you have flowers and hearts and…” She trailed off and took a deep breath. “Danny’s name tattooed on your ass?”