I think I am going to die. Right now. My eyelashes hurt.
Sweet Jesus. Last night never ended. Until the morning came, which I met with a can of champagne in my hand. That’s right. A CAN of champagne. What the fuck? My work day has NEVER been worse.
Let me explain, as best I can, in my current crippled condition.
I left work yesterday and headed to the Fader Magazine party. Free Red Stripe fits my budget nicely. So I got there, hung out by myself, and drank a six pack of those little dudes. The bands were okay. They were British, if that has any credibility that I am not currently aware of. I hung out by my lonesome for a good hour or so, just kickin’ it with complete strangers. I was a bit hungover from the previous night, so I uttered not a whisper to anyone. I just had my beers, listened to the bands, and graded all the awful haircuts that surrounded me.
The jury has reached a verdict, and it appears that Austin has been invaded by all the really, really, really mentally disturbed from L.A. They all look insane, with pieces and patches shaved from their head, a semi-mullet on *just* the left side, and one sideburn (either side). Guys and Gals. It looks like they have a ragged squirrel pelt glued on to the left side of their balding heads. All of them are rocking the same crack-head haircut from ’28 Days Later’. At least that guy had a legitimate reason for looking schizophrenic. I mean, he WAS in a hospital for some sort of head trauma. That’s why his wig was all jacked-up. He didn’t choose and pay for that. But these douche balloons, in their late twenties, are still cashing checks from their parents. The least they could do is pay to have the shaver dragged ALL THE WAY over their head. I mean, fuck. They all look like they lost a bet. With a keg-based fraternity. Douche. Balloons. And the Fader party was lousy with them.
The Big O met me there, and we had a couple more bottles each. Just to wet the whistle. As usual, there was no plan. And I wasn’t trying to formulate one either. My only mission was to get more Red Stripe than I got the previous night. The list stopped there.
Rivas showed up right when they shut the beer table down. I was outside with O’s wristband, handing it off to Rivas when the announcement of dead beer arrived. So we left to meet up with Kim and Ceeplus at a shop called Gomi, where Cee was spinning. The owner of Gomi is quite possibly the most fascinating personality in Austin, outside of Leslie ‘the shopping cart guy in a t-back with heals’. There was a free keg, great art, and an ice sculpture from one of the guys with Aerosol Warfare from Houston. Really cool cats who have really cool exhibits and brilliant talent. We hit the keg numerous times, gazed at the art, got a bunch of promotional items, and then headed back to the heart of SxSW to see some Latin band. We left my truck there, between Gomi and Factory People, and caught a cab to met up with The NYC Couple and a bunch of other friends who also wanted to see the show.
The line almost caused me to have an aneurism. It didn’t move. It was inert. Static. Still. And it was absolutely pushing me to rip out clumps of hair (maybe that’s how the hipsters end up with those douche balloon haircuts) and punch the pavement. The Big O walked right in with his goddamn movie badge. So I went around to the back alley to find some good spot for him to pass that bad boy out. The place was well fortified, with posts fully manned. I recommended that someone should cause a diversion, preferably one involving the airing of genitalia, and then we could just slip in while they called the real police.
No takers on that plan. So I got back in line with the little people.
After what felt like three months, we decided that whatever show we were trying to get into could never be worth the wait. And rather than join the eventual riot (that I really hoped would occur) which would inevitably happen as a result of everyone feeling really stupid for waiting an eternity on 7th street to pay $15 for a show that the SxSW commission had no intentions of allowing anyone into. If that situation does not call for a riot, then I don’t know what does.
We went across the street to The Side Bar, which opened up last year, but is always covered by hordes of homeless people, so no one even knew it existed. Not a bad place. I had a beer, argued with some stranger about the identity of a painting of a person on the wall (he won the argument, it was indeed Tom Waits) and started to realize that all was not completely well with me. The beer tasted really harsh, and my head felt fully inflated. It was last night’s buzz, coming full circle, and it was out for blood. The hangover arrived with the subtlety of a landing 747. It was lightning fast, focused, and acute. In fact, it was on my forehead. Dead center. Pounding me with a hammered ice pick. I should have gone home, but the bender told me to stay and see it through.
I’m starting to wonder about the intentions of this bender.
We left The Side Bar and headed to Bull McCabe’s, the same Irish bar where we got Car Bombed the night before. The Big O and I played darts for beer, and I started to feel like a human being again. I got to talk to Rachel, a good friend from Houston, which is always good. She’s one of those people who has the wit equivalent of a Samurai sword. Fucking sharp, and much quicker than anyone around her. We chatted while I won a free round from O by way of winning darts. It pays to have dart skills (bow staff skills, nun-chuck skills... girls like guys with skills).
When my stomach started to do back flips, it was time to weigh it down with food. Best Wurst. Fucking hell yes. Rivas, O and I got our kraut on, and then tried to find a new club called Barcelona where there was another party going on. I don’t know who was hosting the party, and it doesn’t really matter. It was in the basement of an older club, and Kim and Cee were supposed to be there. Kim and Cee were not present when we got there, but that didn’t keep us from buying Heinekens (green bottle, for St. Patty’s day, because we hate snakes) and dancing like fools to the pet sounds of this kick ass DJ who I do not know the name of. He had a ridiculous entourage though. They were all over the booth, hanging over and on it like it was peso bus in rural Columbia.
We danced a-lot. Laughed a-lot. And drank too much. Then two in the a.m. hit, and we got booted into the street. Now I had to work today, so that is when I probably should have called it quits and told the bender to clog its booze hole, but I’m just not that strong. I was awake, having a good time, and relatively sure that there was an after party at Factory People for Nylon magazine. I was not on that list, I was certainly not invited, and the line (more goddamn line? Fuck.) would probably wind all the way back to my house. But, my truck was there so it was the direction I had to go regardless. The Big O caught himself a cab, rickshaw, hot air balloon, whatever, back home. Everyone else checked out too. But Rivas and I were not going to give up so easy.
Catching a fucking cab during SxSW… man, you have a better chance of curing cancer through shock therapy than catching a cab on Congress during the festival. Christ. We ended up walking six blocks to the Radisson by the river, where I just walked up to the bellhop and requested a cab. Like I was staying there or some shit. Only he watched me walk up to him from the street, visibly drunk and confused. I even had my lie locked and loaded. I was going to claim room 213, and that it was in my stepfather’s name, and I hate him, because he’s a dick, so I don’t know his last name, but I need to catch a cab to South Congress in order to locate his loathsome self, to get the room key, so I can come back and piss in his bed.
Lucky for Rivas and I, this stupid piece of idiot-fiction was unnecessary. The bellhop informed me that cabs were rare, and that we had a better chance of curing cancer through shock therapy. Real original asshole, I already thought of that. But he was willing to hijack the hotel bus for a few minutes to do the job himself, which was very thoughtful of him, and very convenient for us. So we got dropped off in front of the Nylon party in the Radisson’s extended van-shuttle-thing. Seven bucks got tossed at the driver, and we got in line.
Oh, the line. Line. Line. Line. Line. Line. At this point, I am so unwilling to deal with lines that I might have to shoplift for a week. Not just because I’m broke. But mainly to avoid dealing with any more lines for a while. Fucking lines. So we get in the line, and some woman comes around, yapping about ‘vip’ this, ‘RSVP’ that, and ‘get your badges out if you want to get in’. Listen crazy lady, I am on a genuine bender here, I have to go to work in six hours, I see free booze in there, and I just dropped off here in a handicapped van. Badges, smadges. RSVP my nut sack.
Once again, I cased the joint, going around the back to see if there was an emergency exit. There was. But it was behind what appeared to be a for-real silverback gorilla. So I peed on a tree and kept walking. Rivas was holding down the line while I made desperate phone calls. Cee and Kim were not, as usual, answering their phones. It would not surprise me to learn that they abandoned the idea of answering my calls because I’m just – too – much – fucking – trouble to bother with. Cee answered eventually, and came through with two badges, deliver to us in line. Fuck yes. Cee, you rock like a hurricane.
While we waited in line, all the douche balloons with the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest haircuts from the Fader party were just marching in there like they lived in it. The cops at the door were as flaccid as wet rags with everyone but those of us in the line. Fucking lines. And it was cold. A cold, hipster-full line. No love. None. At. All.
While in line, some guy got out on the balcony above Factory People and shouted to his boys below, amongst us of the line. Two dudes, answering the call, marched themselves right through the line to where Rivas and I were. Someone ahead of us stopped them dead. Where the fuck are you guys going? Inside. Really? Yes. No.
The line Gestapo at the front didn’t give two shits about these two guys, or anyone else in our line for that matter, and really didn’t want to hear about how ‘my friends are already in there and I have really bad diarrhea and my bag is in there and I have a rare health condition which will kill me by sun-up tomorrow, blah-blah-blah I’m too good to wait in line blah-blah-blah’. So they got to wait in line with Rivas and me. Then the line moved just enough for Rivas and one of the two dudes to get in. My spot. He got in when I should have gotten in. But no. Fate had put in a request to have me standing outside in the cold, surrounded by riotous nobodies for another hour or so.
Fuck you, fate. Fuck you and your lines.
I was first in the line of people-who-just-don’t-matter, so I got to deal with all the usual dumb-asses with their failed attempts to bum-rush the door. They would just walk up without a badge, wristband, or whatever else was needed, and just keep trying to walk in. Repeatedly. The cop would have to reach for his gun before some of them would desist. So where do these wonderful trust-fund baby miscreants go? Right to the head of the line. My line. After their rejection at the door, they would just wander up to me and stand right in my face. It was amazing. Audacity is not a good enough word. If they had any idea how psychotic the lines have been making me, they probably would have just continued to chance it with the armed bouncer instead. After some slight nudging, shoving, and soft-spoken recommendations, they cleared out of our way. Out of my way.
I'm sure someone else has already said this, but I feel the need to speak my piece/peace.
Open letter to anyone from/in L.A.:
I have never been to your great city. And I don’t have any plans to go anytime soon. But I really want to assume that your population does not consist homogenously of megalomaniac fucktards who labor under the misinterpretation (of the reality the rest of us actually work in) that they are somehow at the top of some imagined caste system-list which the rest of us were born to the bottom of. Stop sending us your me-me-me assholes and shit head self-importants for SxSW. This ain't no summercamp for assholes, and we don't make good babysitters (I'm on a bender, remember?). No one likes them. And I’m sure that’s why you send them here, so that you can catch a break for at least one weekend a year, which I would totally understand. But just quit it. You’ll have to kill them yourself. Stop pawning your problems on to the rest of us.
And if indeed you are all self-absorbed dick-pretenders with no real substance beyond your two-minute trend threads and Poison cowboy hats, then I hope you have another riot which just, completely, erases your existence. Because contrary to what you and your androgynous friends might want to believe, you don’t matter. Okay? Thanks for letting me bend your bejeweled ear.
No go to the back of the fucking line before I set you and your fake cowboy boots on fire. Seriously. Real flames and shit, ‘bro’.
So after an eternity in the line, the Gestapo begins to feel sorry for me and lets EVERYONE in. All at once. Fwooooooosh! We stampeded into that bitch. I must have pushed my way past at least thirteen idiots in Members Only Jackets with PBR mesh-back hats to get to the free bar. Four vodka and grapefruits later, and I am out on the dance floor while the guy from LCD Sound System did the DJ thing. It was packed, and the Red Bull they were serving made good fuel for the party fire. I was dancing with this couple who I met while in line. Those fucking lines… the survivors of the lines feel like they’ve shared a real hardscrabble experience with one another, so they bond throughout their time while in whatever venue tried to kill them with the line in the first place. They made an impression on me by knowing the words to “Shake Your Rump” from Paul’s Boutique. Everyone knows the song, but few know all the words. They did. They rock. So we danced until Craig needed a refill.
No more vodka. Only Lonestar and whatever was in these big, plastic, ice tubs with various and sundry cans of stuff therein. The tubs were spread out all over the place, and the cans looked like fruit juice cans. Oh, but no. These cans had champagne in them. Canned bubbly. Sweet Jesus, what a concept.
I filled my pockets with cans of this newfound booze product and wandered up to the roof terrace to smoke. Like crackheads, the terrace was lousy with smokers but NO ONE HAD ANY GODDAMN SMOKES. No one but Craig. So I supplied, drank, and talked shit with everyone up there. Good times, good times. I was on autopilot at that point so I have no clue what I talked about. That’s okay though, because they were all drunk, high, or strung out so they weren’t listening to my mad chatter anyhow.
I finished all the cans o’ champagne and went downstairs to find Rivas. Fools were fucking sleeping on the chairs down there. Sleeping. Not napping. Not passed out. Asleep, in as close to fetal position as they could manage.
That’s when I decided I should go home, seeing as how I am trying to get to work on time while managing a six-day bender. Fuck. I just completely lost myself for about five minutes after I typed that sentence.
Long story long, it was six in the goddamn morning when I finally got home. I was late to work (really? No shit? Craig was late? No fucking way!), I can only focus on things if I squint really tight, and I think my boxers are on backwards.
Damn you cans of champagne!