Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Naked New Year

December 31, 1998: (Names changed to protect the guilty)

            Being a homebody with no social skills to speak of has its disadvantages when it comes to New Year’s Eve invites. Dick Clark aside, I had nothing to do.  See, I was one of the boring, brainy, Start Trek watching clever people with a great deal of emotional turmoil thrown in the mix. One thing about the teenage hierarchy, if you are unlikely to strip on the tabletop, the invitations thin out.
            Hey, even drama queens need love.
            So my friend Karen announced we were going to a club. And she decided to bring her mentally ill friend, Juan, along for the ride.  With all the elements of a great night in place, we piled into my two-door red Honda civic— the Flaming Moe— and were off.  Juan was fully equipped with a bottle of peppermint schnapps and Karen had big plans to get trashed out of her little blonde head, so I was DD.
            And that my friends, is where good sense bailed for the night.
            Well, being the little overachievers that we were, we made it to downtown Poughkeepsie about two hours before anyone else.  Juan settled his goofy ass out in the parking lot with his schnapps and we girls moseyed into the club. We listened to some techno and chained smoked for about an hour before Juan made the scene, and then he partied out on the dance floor, all alone, while we smoked and snarked.
            Yeah, I know, I'm going to hell.
            Eventually other people started to show, and we decided to dance. Being girls, we could dance with each other, no questions asked. I was content to do that, figuring my soul mate wasn't into the techno scene. I'm more a metal gal at heart. But this one guy kept bumping and grinding his way in between us.  It could have been the atmosphere, but it seemed like this guy had eight arms, because whenever I pulled one off my ass, two more took its place.
            I wiggled my way into the corner, leaving Karen at the mercy of grabby octopus. Juan was face down in our booth, partied out by 9:43.  He probably shouldn't have finished the whole frigging bottle; I doubt it mixed well with his antipsychotic meds.
             Karen and the grabby octopus sashayed over.
            "Hey, this guy's having a party at his place, wanna go?"
            "What about Juan?" I stalled.  I really didn't want to go home with some guy and see his bowl of severed fingers. If there's a lunatic in a five mile radius, he'll sense a kindred spirit and zero in on me.
            But Karen insisted, mostly because grabby octopus had bribed her with thoughts of a well stocked bar.
            So we dragged Juan and tossed him into Moe and the whole way down route nine, we're making contingency plans.
            "So, okay, if these guys seem off, we'll fake the Technicolor yawn and bee-line for the stairs."
            "And we do have a guy with us." Karen pointed to Juan who was drooling on my upholstery.
            Yup. That was the plan. 
            We parked, shook Juan awake and trundled upstairs.
            So we get to this apartment and follow the grabby octopus and his silent side-kick upstairs. There were three other people, but they made enough noise for twenty. Grabby announces he's a bartender and he keeps his place well stocked, so he can practice his trade on his roommates.
            His roommates turn out to be this hyper little bleach blonde, who could not shut up, and her boyfriend, who wasn't able to do more than grunt, and another guy, who was practically salivating over Karen. The radio was cranking and apparently that was enough to give Juan his second wind.  He was up and grooving while Miss Hyper USA cheered and the no-neck guy glowered.
            "How about some sex on the beach?"  Grabby had latched onto me, doing a very repulsive eyebrow wiggle. I was practically intoxicated by the fumes coming off of him.
            "I'm good."  I smiled thinly and handed the drink to Juan.
           "Hey guys!  Let's play the mug game!"  The blonde shrieked at us and all the guys, including Juan, start chanting, "mug, mug, mug."
            I cut my gaze to Karen, who was busy tossing back beers. The only other person in the room was Mr. Taciturn, who hadn't said a thing.
            "What's the mug game?" I asked him.  I'd led a somewhat repressed life and there are some things I just don't know, I figured the mug game was one of the holes in my social knowledge.
            "It's this game Bryan made up."
            I had no idea who Bryan was, but the game consisted of a bunch of little pieces of paper folded in half with instructions on them. The mug was passed around, and we each picked a paper. 
            The quite guy next to me started.  "Name your favorite sexual position." He looked up.  "Well I don't know what it's called…"
            Three sets of hands lunge for the coffee table and whip out the largest version of the Karma Sutra I'd ever seen. It was bigger than the 22 inch TV.
             Mr. Taciturn flips through, points to his fave (Congress of Crow) and then it's my turn.
            So there I sat, thinking, Hey, this isn't so bad. There's been no blood shed, everyone else is drunk, but they're all happy drunk, what the hell? And I open my little scrap of paper.
            "Masturbate with a beer bottle." I read.  I started sputtering.
            "Ooooohhhhhhh Angie!"
            "Don't worry," Mr. Taciturn was the only one who noticed I'd lost the smidgen of color I usually had. "Only Angie has to do this one."
            Angie, the bubbly blonde, staggered into the kitchen to rinse a beer bottle.
            "She's really gonna do this?" Karen was almost through a six pack and I could see she was looking forward to the upcoming entertainment.
            I was pretty sure I wasn't and my face showed it.
            "What's the matter, girl?" Grabby Octopus slurred at me. "There ain't nothing wrong with the human body."
            And to prove his point he started stripping.  Before you could say Caligula, everyone else, including the traitorous Juan, joined him.
            I'm not a prude.  I am, however full of inhibitions and getting naked with a group of strangers is not my idea of a rockin’ time.  Someone could at least buy me dinner first.
            So there's little old sober and fully clothed  me, slightly less sober Mr. Taciturn, who had thankfully left his pants on, Juan with one holey sock on his left foot, and drunk and naked everyone else.  
            A lesser woman would have run.  A smarter woman wouldn't have ended up there in the first place. I sat there biting my lip and smoking like there was no tomorrow. 
            Angie returned with her sanitized beer bottle, but the clock struck midnight and the radio announced 1999 and started blaring Prince's 1999. Everyone was on his or her feet, naked and moshing. The beer bottle was knocked over in all the excitement and smashed to the floor. The blonde started to cry and her boyfriend shouted at her.  I think it must have been Divine intervention.
             Karen had vanished with the guy who'd been lusting over her so I fixed my attention on Juan's one sock.  I was tempted to ask him about it, but I was worried he'd put it somewhere else. Angie and her boyfriend disappeared into a bedroom, probably to have wild monkey sex.
            The song ended and the coaxing started.  Let me tell you, if you've never been the only person dressed in a room full of the nude and inebriated, there is a major push to conform.  Grabby Octopus ushered me into the kitchen and proceeded to stick his tongue down my throat. A moment later, he rushed for the bathroom.  Not my finest hour. 
            Karen, who was down to just an unbuttoned flannel shirt, was evicted from the bathroom with a goofy grin.  "I love you, Jenna."
            I really fucking hate when someone tells me they love me when they're drunk and I'm sober.  It usually means I have hours of grief and baby-sitting ahead of me. 
            "Why aren't you naked?" Karen seemed genuinely surprised.  I may have been in Rome but the Romans could kiss my fully covered backside. I blew air between my teeth before lighting another smoke.
            Juan was passed out yet again and Karen was atypically quite. I'd sought out Mr. Taciturn, since he was at least semi-sober and tried to talk with him, about anything that didn't involve the words naked and drunk.  Unfortunately, Grabby Octopus had other ideas.  Before I knew what had happened, he made his presence known by standing on the coffee table, beating his chest and overtly challenging Mr. Taciturn.
            I gathered my wayward chicks and their discarded feathers, and beat a hasty retreat. There was a crash and a thump as we hit the landing.
            "Oh my God," Karen was coming around. "Oh my God!"
            I shoved Juan into the backseat, threw a pile of clothes on top of him and roared off down route nine.
            "Those guys just got in a fight!" Karen eyes were bloodshot.  "They got in a fight, over you!"
            "No they didn't."  My voice sounded so calm.  "They got in a fight because they were idiots."
            Karen turned to look out the windshield. "We will never speak of this night again."
But of course, we told everyone. Hey, it’s a good story.
So that was my wildest night evah! Probably the night that inspired my book, No Limits. Because although I have very obvious limits, I always wondered what it would be like to have none, to just go with the flow, wherverer it might take you. 
One random commenter will win a copy of my futuristic erotic romance, No Limits.

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