This is a rough draft, based on an e-mail that went to a select few. Very few details have been changed. Every word is true. I'll flesh it out later. Before (lunch at The Corner Pug, Tisane's, The Goodwin) was just as surreal, except lunch with Ant was fun, and funny as hell (yeah, I know: as long as it's clean!)
Friday night, Hartford.
As can only happen to me:
My SUV was illegally parked outside the Hotel in the "pick up visitors/10 minutes only" and I finished busting Wayne's chops, and we had a really great visit, and I was sufficiently rocketed to the top with caffeine and sugar, and seriously ready to hit the floor (with my shoes) and do major damage, when, as I was making my way to my car, I noticed this HIGHLY INTOXICATED young guy (white, clean-cut, preppy, 21) stumbling against my SUV, with cuts and blood all over his face, and serious vomit trailing down his shirt. His rather tall, equally young and preppy (dress pants, dress shirts, obviously young business guys) and very sober friend appeared out of the corner of no where just as I lurched to help the guy (Kevin) who was about to fall off from leaning on my SUV into the gutter, as I caught him (dead weight, about 200 lbs, now I smelled like vomit everywhere, and it was enough to turn my stomach). His friend just looked at me (Paul) and said "dude, I don't know who you are or where you came from, but you gotta help me. My friend has been passing out. He's staying at this hotel and I gotta get him to his room." And, with that, Kevin collapsed on me, out cold, and knocked even me to the ground, UNDER HIM (vomit, sweat and all. Paul immediately recognized the serious awkwardness of the situation, and at least got him off me, apologized profusely, and said "hey, if you just wanna leave, I understand." I asked their ages (21, 24) and Kevin was out cold on the pavement, blue, and unresponsive. We dragged him to a corner where he would not be seen by cameras or passers-by, and he was still out cold. Somewhat I ironically, I had $2 bottles of water from the field trip in my SUV and got them out, with my business card so Paul could see I was not some ordinary "passerby." I poured two bottles of water on Kevin's head, enough to get him to come to, and Paul was "you're a college professor?" You look like some guy ready to hit the clubs!" "I am and I was." So we got Kevin to take his vomit soaked dress shirt off, and tucked it into his belt in the back of his pants so no one would see. His shirt was soaked with sweat, vomit and blood. It was not pretty, and was making me nervous. I asked quickly the background of the evening: they both work for PriceWaterhouse, there was a huge party celebrating a new client, and Kevin got smashed at a work party (not a smooth move in any way shape or form.) I immediately said that the new story for the evening was that they were coming from a bachelor's party as no one would question that and would IMMEDIATELY understand "youthful folly" and would work to HELP us rather than the converse. All of a sudden Paul said "hey, we're on the same team, I want you to know that." And, you knowing me, I said to myself "what are the odds I get TWO goodlooking YOUNG gay guys, one unconscious, one sober, and I'm on my way up to their hotel rooms?" So I said to Paul (sober guy) "What exactly do you mean, 'we're on the same team?" and he said "you know." At which point, I said "pal, I'm a 46 y/o fucking cocksucking fag. Are you trying to tell me something here, because you'd better get straight to the point, because I've got vomit all over me, had plans for the evening which just went out the window, don't have a change of clothes in the car, and I have no fucking idea who you guys are." "Oh, oh, oh. No. No. No...I, I, I...I just meant we're on the same team, the bachelor party story? I couldn't think that fast on my feet, that's fucking brilliant, I don't know who you are, I see you're a college teacher, your students have no idea who you really are, I can't imagine you'd stop and help two guys who could turn around and steal your car (at which point I referred to my HOSTEL shirt and knife and said I could have them both dead before they knew what hit either of them) and he just kept apologizing saying "I'm alright with YOUR KIND and I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND and MY HAIRDRESSER'S, you know, GAY and MY DAD'S OK WITH THAT" and I said to shut the fuck up because my student's professor was gay AND THEY WERE OK WITH THAT AND THE GUY HELPING THEM AT THE MOMENT WAS GAY AND THEY SEEMED TO BE OK WITH THAT AND I REALLY WASN'T OK WITH GAY HAIRDRESSER STEREOTYPES WHEN IT WAS CONVENIENT...and he really got my drift when I said I could kick his ass nine ways to Sunday and leave him AND HIS FRIEND in worse shape than Kevin already was in. So Kevin vomited some more, was out could, and police walked by and I calmly took charge and made up the funniest bachelor party story had the cop laughing he also had my business card and said "well, you seem to be the guy in control, so I'll take your word for it, so you and your buddy get your friend up stairs, but let me know if you need anything" and I asked him NOT to tow my car...
So we finally got Kevin upright, right arm around my shoulder (all deadweight, vomit, stink and sweat, head bobbing my way) when Paul (6'2") grabbed the other arm over his shoulder and the uneven distribution of height/weight (I'm 5'10") made it for one very herky-jerky walk into and through the hotel lobby. Kevin said he was in 2114...and there WAS no 2114. We were there, and then he passed out again, thankfully in the floor lounge. I called the desk said who I was and that my friend couldn't remember what room he was in and they said they'd ring the room, and I said that wasn't helpful because he was with me and we needed to get INTO the room. Paul told me he'd stay with Kevin and if I could go to the desk (WITH ID!) and the room card, to find out the room number.
Who knew security needed to get involved. I had to tell the "bachelor party story" and say "my other friend" was upstairs with him, as was a cleaning lady. Security, in the form of a handsome woman (my team) walked me upstairs, assessed the situation, and wanted to get EMS. I wanted to leave, as I sensed big trouble. We got Kevin to his room (2124) and got him off the bed and on the floor, started to draw a cold bath, I put ice on him, took off his shoes and socks while Paul attended to his t-shirt. A very heavy knock on the door startled both of us, and I told Paul he'd better answer it as I was administering an ice pack to a prostrate, shirtless, guy on the floor, with multiple facial wounds. It was kd lang and a very important looking hotel security guy...this time looking for IDs (driver's licenses) and license plates of cars. I also pulled out my business card and came clean with my story. I heard about police, EMS, and knew my name, license and plates were being taken. They patched downstairs and said not to tow the white Xterra with my plates, standby for further information. Paul had no ID. I had to stay in the room with a total stranger, male, passed out, half-naked, mumbling, practically vomiting, holding an icepack to his forehead, with two security people looking at me, holding my license and business card asking me how I got involved in all this and how I ended up at the hotel when I wasn't even a guest there and what my business was there. I asked them if they knew Wayne in Starbucks (which was now closed) and they said they did, very well, and I said he was my student, and he could vouch for me, and they looked at each other (as if that wasn't really a viable option) but they said they knew Wayne and that he went to school, so they took that much for granted. Paul was gone an awfully long time getting his ID, and then security suggested to me VERY STERNLY that it was IN MY BEST INTEREST that I leave the premises AT ONCE when the friend returned with his identification. They said they didn't know what was going to happen (EMS, police, alcohol poisoning etc) but it did appear to them that I was telling the truth, that I was truly a good samaritan by-stander, and they didn't want to make this any more difficult for me. I asked them if I was in any kind of trouble (they had my name, address, phone, license, car, make, model, plates, place of employ, phone etc) and they said if I took their advice and "just left the premises immediately as I wasn't a guest I would be fine."
After forever, Paul returned, and I explained, as did security, that they said it was in my best interest to leave immediately, and that Paul was obligated to stay with Kevin for the evening and overnight unless he wanted them to call both EMS and the police for alcohol intoxication. They understood the "whole bachelor party rationale" at which Paul shot me a look and a smile and a nod of the head, but that this guy was in and out of consciousness and had obvious facial wounds which were pretty serious in nature. Paul said he would stay, and they took his license, and said he could collect it at the desk in the morning. They told me to leave. Paul screamed "thank you, I don't even know who you are" down the hall (he had my business card with my home phone written on it) and I screamed back "say hi to your hairdresser."
I just about vomited when I got to my car. I had walked the phalynx of security guards all whispering into their headpieces as I walked out, even the one by the door who said "good evening Mr Mercury" which sent a chill down my spine.
My car was baking, and I stunk of vomit. I decided to go to 960, and lasted all of 10 minutes. It was pre-cover (which was $10 and $20, depending on when you got there, and I got there REALLY early) and I was told it was all house and trance, I ordered up a Bud Light (I'm caught in a trap and I can't walk out...) and I went in my vomit-stenched HOSTEL shirt and made myself known to the disc jockey. I shook hands, asked his name and said "are you gonna keep me happy?" "what's gonna keep you happy, my friend?" I pointed to my orange Converse. "See these?" They're either on the dance floor, or I'm not happy." "Really? And who might you be?" "Ever hear of South Beach?" "Yeah! That place rocks!" "No, I mean SoBe from 88-98, when it was white hot" "Yeah, that place was the SHIT." Yeah, I know. I was the scene. I played everywhere down there. I'm the Orange Man. That's Mr Mercury to you. Now. Keep me happy. Keep me dancing. That's all you need to do. Make it your job tonight. And if you do a good job, I can open doors for you. And you'd like that, wouldn't you?
Really? You know people?
Yeah. You want Tracy Young's direct line?
You know Tracy Young?
Keep me dancing. And we'll talk.
I left ten minutes later.
Too many intoxicated kids.
I wasn't there for the drum and bass.
And he didn't even know who Goldfrapp was.
Later on, for $10, I heard three things:
1. listen, dude. I gotta leave. I'm in over my head with you. You're dangerous. I see it in your eyes.
2. Fuck man. You're too fucking wild. You wanna leave? "Nope. You shouldn't be cheating on your boyfriend."
3. Fuck. Dude. I never see you around. You from around here? "Nope." Where you from? "Slovakia."
I cried on the way home.
Never got to dance either.
Frank's father died, so I'll be doing the wake and funeral this weekend.