True story of a Christmas Party I attended in December 2016. *The names have been changed*
|The following is a true story about a Christmas Party I attended with a friend in December 2016. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.
It was just after 9:30PM Friday December 16, 2016. It was just over a month since I had lost my job. I was in the office playing around on my laptop when I noticed a pair of headlights pull into my driveway. I look out the window and see it's my friend Gary's SUV. I put on my slippers and go outside. Gary stands next to the SUV. He meets me on the porch.
"What's up, Gary?"
"Get dressed. I'm taking you to a Christmas party at Nate's house."
"Come on, Gary, you know I'm not really the party type."
"Marc, it's been a month since you lost your job. You need some fun in your life. Come to the party with me."
"All right. Give me a couple minutes."
When I come back outside a few minutes later I have exchanged my sweatpants for jeans and my slippers for work boots. I had also put on a black button down shirt partially buttoned over my T-shirt and a New York Yankees hat at a slight angle. Gary is standing next to his SUV talking on the phone. He hangs up when he sees me.
"All set, Marc?"
"Yeah, bro. I'm ready."
Gary and I both get in the SUV. His younger brother by 3 years - Jerry is sitting in the back seat. I'm not friends with Jerry, so I don't even acknowledge him. It's a short drive to Nate's house in Plainville. The 3 of us get out of the SUV and go inside the house. Hip-hop music plays loudly. It's crowded. I notice right away several people I used to work with. Others are strangers. Gary gives me a beer and goes off to find Nate. I take a few sips of beer.
I feel a little uncomfortable because I don't know most of the people at the party. I carry my beer into the kitchen, where I see Donnie a guy I used to work with sitting in the corner making out with Nate's bulldog. He looks like he strung out on something more hardcore than alcohol and weed. Another former co-worker Gina stands nearby holding a plate full of chicken nuggets. Homer another former co-worker tries to take a chicken nugget of her plate and she stabs him in the hand with a fork. He takes his hand away, walks away, and I begin laughing.
"Gina, I think we've all dreamed of stabbing Homer at one time or another. You're the only who actually had the guts to do it."
"No one messes with my nuggets."
As I take a few more sips of my beer I hear a commotion coming from the family room. I go into the family room and find that a few guys who look like former football players have lifted Jerry up in the air. They then drop him and he falls, smashing a cheap looking coffee table. I finish my beer and think to myself "R.I.P. coffee table." Jerry lays there for a moment and eventually got up. He seemed to pretend that he wan't in pain, although maybe he wasn't since he had been smoking weed. Gary comes into the room just then. He's smoking a joint.
"Are you enjoying yourself?" he asks me.
"I'm not sure. These guys just lifted your brother up and dropped him on the coffee table. Who were they?"
"They all played on the Plainville High School Football team with me. They never liked Jerry very much."
"You're still friends with them? You all graduated four years ago."
"They're not close friends of mine, but some of us still chill from time to time."
Gary passes me the joint. I take a few hits, cough a couple times and pass it back to Gary. (Unlike Gary, I don't smoke weed regularly, so when I do it usually causes me to cough).
"Hey look at me!" a female voice calls.
Gary and I look up and see Gina's twin sister Millie standing on top of Nate's white couch. She had taken off her shirt and bra and was holding the punch bowl, which was filled with spiked fruit punch. She takes the bowl and dumps its contents over her head. The music stops abruptly.
"Party's over! Everyone get the fuck out of here!" exclaims Nate.
Gary, Jerry, and I are among the first out the front door. We get into Gary's SUV. He starts it and opens the sunroof. According to the display on the radio it's 11:45PM and 45 degrees, not bad for Connecticut 9 days before Christmas. The cool air feels good.
"What do you guys want to do next?" asks Gary.
"I'm down for whatever," I say.
In the back seat Jerry doesn't respond. I think he's still pissed off that the football players dropped him on the coffee table. Gary puts the SUV in drive and we take off. He turns the stereo on and cranks up HOT 93.7 the hip-hop radio station. We just drove around with no particular destination in mind. At one point Gary asks me if I had any luck finding a job and I told him I really hadn't looked since because I had lost my job about six weeks before Christmas any job most likely would be temporary and having worked a seasonal job during both the 2013 and 2014 Christmas seasons I wasn't too keen on taking another seasonal job. Gary assures me that I will find something and he says that even though I don't have money we can still hang out from time to time. I tell Gary that he's a good friend and for the 4th or 5th time since getting fired from my job I apologized to Gary. He had been my supervisor and he ended up getting a one day suspension when he tried to prevent me from getting fired. Again he tells me that it's not a big deal and he would do it for me again if he ever had the opportunity.
I stare out the window of the SUV in silence. Gary knows I'm getting tired because I'm not talking. (I'm a talkative person, so when I'm being really quiet, it's usually a sign I'm tired). Next thing I'm aware of is we're pulling into the packed parking lot of a Denny's in the town of Wethersfield. The clock on the radio tells me its 1:15AM. We find a parking space and the three of us get out of the SUV and make our way to the restaurant's entrance. I decide not to question Gary about why we're at the Denny's in Wethersfield when there's one in Southington, which is the next town over from where he lives and the town where I live.
Inside the Denny's we sit waiting for a table. Total wait time was 15 minutes. Once we were seated I ordered mozzarella sticks, a toasted English Muffin, and a Sprite. Gary and his brother shared an order of Zesty Nachos. They each had a Coke. It was around 2:30AM when we left Denny's. Our final stop of the night was the 24 hour Walmart Super Center in the town of Wallingford.
It was after 3AM when we pulled into the Walmart parking lot, which had only a handful of cars in it. The three of us went inside the store, although Jerry didn't seem to interested in it. We made a bee-line for the snack Aisle, where Gary grabbed a family sized bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and managed to find a couple of liter sized bottles of MTN Dew. Gary pays for our snacks and we go back outside and get into the SUV. He opens the windows and gives me one bottle of soda. I open it and take a couple of gulps. Gary opens up the bag of Doritos and we begin to devour the chips.
"Thanks for picking me up tonight, Gary. I appreciate the fact that your're still my friend."
"It's no problem."
Gary takes a joint and a lighter out of his pocket. He lights it and takes a couple of hits. He passes it to me and I took take a couple of hits. I pass it back to Gary. I begin to devour the Doritos. When Gary's done smoking the joint he closes the windows, put a few drops of Visine in his eyes, and starts the SUV. We take off down Route 5 and decide to head back to Southington via the backroads. I lean my head against the window and soon fall asleep. I wake up when I feel the SUV come to an abrupt stop. I keep my eyes closed, however.
"Get the fuck out of the vehicle, Jerry!"
"But Gary, we're in the middle of Meriden!"
"I don't care. Find your own way back to Plainville!"
Jerry reluctantly gets out of the SUV. Gary puts the SUV back in drive and we resume driving.
"What was that about?" I ask Gary.
"Nothing. He's just being a brat as usual."
As we're driving it begins lightly snowing. We ride back to my house in silence. When we get to my house I start to get out of the SUV, but Gary stops me.
"Have a Merry Christmas, Marc. Good luck with your job hunt. We'll get together again in the new year."
"Thanks, Gary. I had a good time tonight. Merry Christmas to you too."
I get out of the SUV and walk up the stairs to the porch. I unlock the front door and Gary leaves.