Friday, 6 pm
I’m talking to my friend from college again, and he tells me that a guy from our college died this past weekend. I didn’t know the guy, but the friend and TBFC both did. The friend is sort of in shock, saying things like “see? Do you see how easy it is for us to die? We could die at any point.” It was depressing, but I tried to calm him down the best that I could. I also called TBFC to see how he was handling it. They’re RAs in the same building, but he took it a lot better than I expected.
Saturday, 9:30 am
With the whole change-in-coaching comes a major communication break. I haven’t heard from the new head coach since Tuesday so I give him a call. As a side-note, he was my former coach and had also written me recommendations for both college and for the current coaching position I have. I get him on the line and ask about when practices are- we start winter training this week and I wanted to figure it out with my basketball schedule. He starts rambling on about how they’re trying to hire new people, former coaches from Boathouse Row, National team rowers. I personally think he’s aiming a bit high. This is, after all, a high school program. We’re a strong program, but we’re not an elite program. We’re not a college program. He mentions that they have positions for six coaches, that he and men’s coach take two. That leaves four positions to fill. “Hi, what about me?” I ask. “Oh, you’re in the mix of people we’re looking to hire,” he responds smoothly. He keeps talking about how he’ll let me know in January if I’m hired and I am ultimately confused. I’m too busy trying to digest his words to actually ask questions and before I know it he’s telling me that I don’t have to come to winter practices. Uh, what? And then he tells me that he believes I was given more of a coaching position early on because Andy liked me. “More than two coaching colleagues should,” he said. After we hung up I tried to process all of that. I’m still trying.
Saturday, 9 pm
Sunday is friend Brian’s birthday, so I get to his house early with a beautifully wrapped box of three types of expensive beer and a card. Brian and I have been friends for years, and at one point tried dating (was a disaster) but reverted back to friends. I’m the first there, so we watch TV and he informs me that a friend of his has died this morning. I hardly knew the other guy, but it has hit Brian kind of hard. Jon (my surrogate boyfriend) and Rachel (Brian’s girlfriend) arrive. We then pile into my car (note, Brian is two beers in already) and head to our favorite bar in Philly. Meet Becky and her boyfriend there. Within five minutes everyone else has done a shot of whiskey. Within ten, Brian is holding a beer in each hand.
I’ve bought Rachel and I a bomb drink that the bar makes, Jaeger into Mountain Dew. It’s sadly my only drink of the night (am DD, after all). I figure it is now my duty to buy Brian as many drinks as I possibly can fit in him.
I lose count. Jon buys a LIT for himself and Brian, both gulp them down. This, Brian notes the next day, is his last complete memory. Brian tries to get himself a napkin, knocks over all of the straws. I start to pick them up from the floor, a bouncer is helping me. There is a five dollar bill mixed in, which I hand to the bartender when I stand up. I tell him that I think it’s one of his tips, the bouncer is impressed. “Most people would have just taken that,” he says. He insists on buying me a drink. I tell him a shot of Jack, which I then take back to Brian.
Brian is leaning against the brick post. He has gotten it in his head that he wants a cheesesteak. This desire has caused him to mumble “cheesesteak!” as the answer to any question. “Brian, do you want another beer?” “Cheesesteak!” Jon, being the delightful surrogate boyfriend that he is, placates me by playing the “How many would it take?” game with me. The rules consisted of me pointing out various women through the room and Jon telling me how many beers it would take for him to hook up with that person. I giggle with delight every time.
Sunday, 12:00 am
Jon and I take it upon ourselves to buy another drink for Brian. We decide on Knob Creek with a beer to follow. Brian is fairly incoherent as we hand him the glass, mumbling on about “whiz with” (for those not familiar, that’s the term for ordering a cheesesteak). He does the shot, cups the beer glass with both hands and is sipping. Stumbles towards the trashcan.
I close out my tab, and the bartender winks at me as he hands me a bill for 20 dollars. That’s probably a half of what it should have been so I leave a nice tip. Brian is still mumbling about cheesesteaks so we head out towards our car. Brian is spitting out the window the entire way.
Jon and I leave Rachel and Brian in my car. Brian is mumbling and spitting a lot, so we take it as our cue to get the food for him. By the time we get back to the car with three cheesesteaks in hand, Brian is vomiting on the pavement. Two cops are watching him, Rachel is holding the back of his shirt to keep him upright, I’m gagging, and Jon is laughing hysterically. The drive home is fairly calm, with a few short mumbles from Brian: “cheesesteak” and “he shouldn’t have died. Why did he die?” Everything becomes somber.
Back at Brian’s, I try to help him walk to the door. In four inch Calvin Klein heels. He nearly knocks me over, leans against my car, and starts vomiting again. We finally get him to stop, get him in the house, and he disappears to go to bed. Rachel goes to comfort him.
Open my email. Three emails from Peter. The first only has a picture of him in it. I giggle a little and close it. The second subject is “I want u”, containing another picture of him. I feel a sad longing and close it to read the third. “Sorry”, the subject says. The email apologizes, apparently his friend took his phone and thought it would be fun to email me pictures, pretend that Peter actually missed me. Oh.
Get a call from the college friend. We talk about how weird the weekend has been. I recant the adventure at the bar tonight and he’s laughing. It feels good to have him laughing again. When I hang up to go to sleep he tells me that he misses me.