In general, I am pretty good at being drunk. I don't black out, I don't get into fights, and I don't fall over. I mostly get sleepy and then hug people while saying with charming irony, "We're gonna be young forever!" Yeah, charming irony. Like I said, I'm pretty good at it.
But, every once in a while, I will inadequately eat beforehand, have about four too many drinks, and then really not keep it together. It was on a night like this a couple of years ago when I stumbled out of a friend's party at 3:00 AM in Brooklyn. I was exhausted and already had a headache, but for a reason that I still cannot explain, I was not prepared to go home.
Instead, I decided to have sex.
The weird thing about deciding to have sex is that it's really not a one-person decision. It requires, at a minimum, two people. It's like a submarine with nuclear missiles. The captain and first officer BOTH have to decide to have sex before they have sex.
Nonetheless, I was somehow positive that I would have no problem at all having intercourse in the very near future. As I stumbled down the street, I scrolled through my old Motorola flip phone, browsing through my contacts. I came across the name of a woman I had recently slept with. I figured if I texted her something with sufficient wit and sexual suggestiveness, I could be in her bed within 20 minutes.
Sadly, any ability to form a clever text had dissolved hours before. I ended up sending the following message:
I sent just the one word, with a question mark after it. At the time, it seemed erotically succinct. She did not text back.
I circled around the couple of blocks surrounding the nearest subway station, hoping she would eventually get back to me. I soon realized, however, that I was getting more and more sleepy and worse and worse at walking. It was time to cut my losses and go home. I made my way into the station and impetuously stomped down the stairs.
When I reached the platform, I found there was only one other person in the station with me. He was standing about 30 feet away and staring at me, as he had just witnessed me enter like a dismayed 5-year-old. I briefly made eye contact with him and made a floppy arm gesture that was meant to convey that I was fine. It's likely it looked a lot more like a very abbreviated robot dance move.
I reached for my phone to check again for a new text, somehow thinking that I could get reception in a subway station. In an effort to look casual to the other stranger staring at me, I attempted to open my flip phone the way a cool street youth would open a butterfly knife. And, with a skillful flick of my wrist, I threw my phone directly onto the subway tracks.
"I'll get it!" I said out loud, to nobody's relief.
Without thinking of the multiple ways you can die while on subway tracks, I got down on the ground and rolled myself off the platform. Rats scattered as I picked up my filthy phone. Then, instead of putting it in my pocket, threw it back up on the platform. I next, very ungracefully, used my shin as leverage, jumping and rolling myself back onto the platform. I was covered in subway track/platform floor gunk which is mostly made up of rodent shit and Doritos bags. I went over to my phone, picked it up, and looked at the screen. There was no newly received text. I audibly groaned and shoved the phone back into my pocket.
I went home and fell asleep without having sex.
Aside from being wildly drunk, the night turned out to be of little consequence for me. But, what I haven't been able to stop thinking about since then is how amazing I must have made that night for the other guy on the subway platform.
For him, he was just a guy heading home when he saw a young man in plaid suddenly storm down the stairs, do a one-second dance, throw his phone directly onto the subway tracks in a seemingly deliberate fashion, yell, "I'll get it!" fling himself down onto the tracks, throw his phone up to the platform, roll his body back up on to the platform to fetch his phone again, look at it, and groan in dissatisfaction. There's no way this story isn't a way bigger deal for the guy that saw that than it was for me.