Monday, March 21, 2005

SxSW: Day FOUR

Friday… my word. Day THREE really screwed with my preferred sleep patterns, and my job is really making my free-party attendance card look sadly vacant. The abuse brought by Thursday night became evident as the afternoon crept up on me. Anyone can observe or define a hangover, but Friday was the first day where the evil oscillation took hold. The oscillation is the cruel waffling of your personality between obscenely drunk and hopelessly hungover. Compulsives with schizoaffective disorder might come close to feeling as emotionally unpredictable as one who is in the process of oscillation. You cannot describe it discreetly, it must be experienced, but I will offer up one possible comparison and then do my best to explain it.

My Friday hangover felt the way I would imagine I would feel if I were 12 years old, with a mild (but medically tested and proven) case of Down Syndrome, on two hits of acid, riding a rollercoaster made of Styrofoam on rails of cracked cement. That’s a rough estimate, because again, I was IN the thing so I cannot be trusted to describe it discreetly.

Part of the oscillation hangover, with it’s profound swings of explosive emotion and resultant confusion, are the hallucinations. I have never heard anyone discuss hallucinations during the recovery period, but I sure as fuck have them. Usually, it is something pretty harmless such as thinking things are flying at your face, colors moving around on wallpaper, or hearing what sounds like your name being called out to you at random moments. Such as, let’s say, umm… while you are taking a crap in an airport bathroom. And you start frustratingly answering back, getting more and more pissed off that whoever is calling your name won’t answer. Yeah. That’ll get that slow old man to hurry the fuck up and stop babysitting the hand dryer. Believe you me.

I know, it sounds crazy. And not ‘crazy-ha!’ but ‘crazy-loon’. And if it were my regular life, I guess I would be just that. Nuts.

But I’m not nuts. I’m just not very bright. By knowingly subjecting myself to such calamity only shows my potential for impressive stupidity. There’s a cavernous difference between that and clinical/medical insanity. Cavernous. That’s a pretty word.

So I left work with a hallucination hangover, thinking that there were flies or bees or some pack of winged insects constantly buzzing around my truck interior, threatening to hit my face, while I drove to the Vice Party (how fitting). I knew it was a hallucination, but I kept swatting at them anyway. I was very relieved to find a spot right by the entrance so I could get the hell out of that insect nightmare and into the one magazine party I felt sure would appreciate my completely blown mind. If you don’t already know Vice Magazine, then it might be too late to really get a feel for what it was meant to be about. The first few issues I read involved sex with AIDS infected prostitutes, doing lines of yay off taxi cab headrests, and lots of letters from really angry prisoners. It was dirty. Mean. And brutally honest about itself. Well, the writing was, anyhow. I’m sure the founders and editors wanted to be millionaires, and not just the genius spreaders of destructive counterculture. But when you publish a whole issue dedicated to the pleasures and pains of anal sex, or masturbation techniques for teenagers, or honest interviews with Brazilian transvestite prostitutes… well, I’m just saying that it was completely badass at the time, and I was in love after picking up my first copy at The Verb in Billyburg, Brooklyn. I still have one or two of those older issues. I hear it was even more brutal when it was a pure Canadian rag.

But now? They are watering themselves down. There’s much more money involved, so the creativity naturally suffers. Or, I am just getting desensitized to it, and they’ll need to work harder to impress me.

Which they don’t give two shits about doing. How do I know, other than the obvious? Why, they made me wait in a fucking line to get in to their party, while I was hallucinating that the cracks on the pavement were snakes. That’s how I know.

It turned out to be pretty tame. It was nice and dark, and my friends were already there. Rivas gave me his seat out of pity. Bill, a good friend of mine is in town, and he got there early to get us a table. A table? Yes. That is correct. We had a table at the Vice party. I know, I know. Weird. I would figure that the only tables to made available at any party associated with them would involve a trampoline and some aspiring backyard wrestlers in Omaha.

I chose to put my beer on it instead of throw (get thrown by) someone through it.

Bill and I were sitting on two old folding/reclining movie theatre seats, connected at the base by plywood. So it was like a bench, really. It was facing away from the stage, so Bill decided it would be smart to turn the thing around so we could remain seated during the show, like the lazy hungover monkeys we are. I had no idea what he was doing, or what I could do to help, or how to even spell the word ‘smart’. I was in the midst of a deeply concerning case of the stupids. Poor Bill had to work the bench around me as I stood in his way, repeatedly, while onlookers gave him pity. The only effort I displayed during the process was probably aimed at relieving a brief itch to my testicles. Or something equally useful. Worth. Less.

Worthless.

MIA went on, and she showed us what youthful, boisterous, nubile entertainment is all about. I was impressed. But I will only listen to her stuff if I get it for free. From her. My crib, like, say 8 o’clock girl? I got some tasty soup and a brand new copy of Anchorman. Word.

We left the Vice party to get into Fader because, well, I was confused and did not know that the Vice party was going to continue. And I thought they ran out of beer. And I think the toxins were starting to settle in my ankles, which would no doubt cripple me for the next week, so I needed to get some circulation going. As we were leaving, I noticed that we had been almost entirely surrounded by our friends throughout the party. I had no idea. I thought it was just me, Bill and Rivas. Oh no. Rachel, Heather and her compatriots, The Big O, and probably some other friends got lost in my haze of hallucination.

We had to park near Deville, and it was their $2 all you can drink party, so we went there. Kim and Ceeplus were there, but we missed them because we went straight for the kegs. No play time damnit, I really needed to get rid of the buzzing. A couple of beers later, and I was back in somewhat lucid-esque word. At least both of my eyes felt able to focus on a single object.

I talked to a couple of my favorite bartenders, who told me drinking stories which made mine look like Romper Room. The free beer kept me from feeling any shame.

It was at Deville that we ran into Heather (different from one at Vice party) who was dressed up as a banana. She and two others. Bananas. Absolutely genius. And they were having a blast. Everyone wanted photos with them. It was crazy.

And then the bartender on the patio found and ate a banana. The crowd loved it. Heather and her friends acted pissed, claimed cannibalism, and threw out some choice curses. But all in good fun. So the bartender threw the peal at one of them who was waiting in line for the port-o-potties. Miss. The bartender goes back to counting tips or some shit, and the banana picks up the peal and chucks it all the way back. BAM! That peal smacked the bartender upside the noggin’ and splayed out over his forehead like a starfish. It was a pure experience to watch a drunk man, dressed as a banana, hurling a peal across a fenced-in parking lot, just to beam a bartender in the face. It was pure to me. Only topped by a man dressed as feces, slinging the stuff. But I’ve never seen anything so profound.

And now that re-read that, I have decided that it will remain a ‘you had to fucking be there’ moment. Alright? Fine.

Everyone was waiting for us at the Fader party, so we abandoned the bananas and headed out.

The line for Fader was impressive. And by impressive, I mean fucking loooooooong. And pointless, since it was going to shut down before long. So we dragged everyone out and went to out Irish Pub for more Car Bombs and Guinness. We met up with more friends, which lead to more drinking, which lead to an even better chance that those damned hallucinated flies would become vultures by morning.

The NYC couple dropped by to tell us that they were going to go camping… which I am still not clear on. I think they really did go. I just don’t understand how it all came to be, or when it could have occurred. But I know that lots of driving and sleeping outside were involved. Man, I have no idea how to weave that into this narrative because I still cannot grasp what it was they were talking about.

Amish and his crew showed up, and we all decided to pay Zero Degrees a visit for some locally flavored hip hop. There were lots of call-outs, most of it highly unnecessary, while my bro, The Big O and I drank at the bar. I was starting to lose grips on things by then, because I also remember hanging out at a bar next door to that named Mug Shots (you clever word manglers you!) for tall-boys of PBR.

Really, you shouldn’t drink PBR unless at least one of the following is true:

1) it came out of your mother’s tit when you suckled
2) you live on your Harley and sell crank
3) you’ve publicly admitted that you are following one of the strangest trends in drinking history by ‘choosing’ poo-beer because it has a cool Friendster profile.

If you do not fall into one of those categories, then beyond your right to drink whatever you want (including goat urine, boric acid), I believe you to have no good excuse for such an awful mess.

My excuse? I was drunk. And broke. Neither of which are acceptable excuses for any condition other than each other. But that’s all I got right now, okay?

The point being, I am a little sketchy on the timeline once we got to Zero Degrees. I know we stayed there for a while, where Amish and his crew kept the front row live for the entire show. I peed a-lot, and dreaded the flavor of my PBR burps. Then, my bro and I left there to hang out at Lovejoy’s. That place is an entire blur to me. I remember rolling tobacco we found on the table and smoking it. Rivas was the best roller, by a LONG SHOT. Mine looked like a piece of really small, white cat poo. I still smoked it. Beers, a few more beers, and who the hell knows what else.

Then, like magic, we were back in the street, headed to Barcelona because I was under the impression that the party we went to there on Thursday was not a specific party (which would require badges, barcodes, passes, or fists full of twenties). So it was an open venue. Before we got there, I got a message from Kim and Cee. They had been hopping from venue to venue, desperately trying to soak it all in before their favorite bands left. Kim let me know that they were at a place called Nuno’s. They were watching a group called Bobby Conn and the Glass Gypsies. Glam rock lives on. I liked their sound, actually. But Bobby must have been missing a mess of gypsies because he only had a keyboardist. *One* hardly constitutes the pluralization of their name. They had a good remake of an 80’s song which I swore was Yaz, from their second album, but now that I’m sober, I was completely wrong about that one. I told everyone there, with authority, that I knew the song. Whether I got converts... I just don't know. I have become the cliche'd drunkard: staggering around, telling lies to anyone willing to listen.

Oh what a shit I am.

And now I don’t even remember what song it was. Or how it went. Lost it. I think I might have sweat that memory out of my being.

The way Nuno's is set up, the bottom bar is open to anyone, but the upstairs venue was a badge\band\cover venue. We had to buy the door girls drinks to get in that place, and I think someone (not me) laid it on pretty thick in order to make that happen. Seeing as how my game could be bested by the Washington Generals, you know it wasn’t me. I pounded Mandarin & tonics at the bar like guy who is pissed about having to buy some chicks drinks in order to get into a crap bar that smells of under-age stomach juices. Looking back, that was probably a free venue, and those chicken heads just wanted some free booze. Hey, I can't hold that against them. Who doesn't want free booze? Shiiiiiiiit.

I am thankful to be allowed to continue my journey, with a full night’s sleep.

I hope those vultures keep their cool tomorrow though.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whoa! watch out for those nervous twitch! I also do have a wheelchair that you are welcomed to.

brother nick

Truecraig said...

Thanks for the support brother. The bugs and vultures did not show up for day five. So there's that.

Truecraig said...

The song covered by Bobby Conn and crew is called 'Love is a Stranger' by The Eurythmics. It is good. You should listen.