It was the 4th of July
Let me tell you about the night I distinctly almost died. I know that I’ve put myself in potentially dangerous situations with strangers or have done things that ‘no sensible woman would do’. In fact I’ve assembled a not so comprehensive list elsewhere. But this is the night that it truly almost ended. And I laughed through the whole thing.
It was the 4th of July and my partner’s favorite holiday. And this was the first one we had ever had the day off together. His best friend owned a boat in the marina one town over. We would Uber out there, drink, celebrate, and Uber home. I still had to work in the morning so planned on keeping things low key.
The boat is just slightly too small to be classified as a yacht but has two bedrooms, a full (for a boat) bathroom, living/kitchen space, and ample deck space in the gorgeous sun. Festivities started around two. I think we brought some hard liquor but mostly decided to stick to beer since we would be drinking all day and wanted to slow roast rather risk getting too wasted. We were trying to be responsible. We even brought roasted chicken and sides to make sure we all ate. While there was nothing particularly notable about this gathering, it did mark the first time my partner’s best friend not only acknowledged my presence but that we were dating (and had been for two years) and made attempts at conversation. We laughed, we drank, his friends from the marina came and went and we went to their boats and drank and played games and laughed. For hours.
At some point in the early evening ‘party favors’ started being discussed. I wasn’t drunk but I wasn’t sober. Mixing alcohol and cocaine is a balancing act. The cocaine prevents you from feeling how much alcohol you’ve consumed but it doesn’t stop the body from processing it. Given the choice, I prefer not to mix so that I reduce the possibilities for hangovers or other bad outcomes. But once I’ve been drinking and am feeling good (plus some healthy peer pressure and finally sharing some good vibes with the bestie) I decide that I’m totally in.
Blowing lines on a boat can be difficult enough but pair that with no real privacy above deck and lots of neighbors flowing in and out proved interesting. I don’t really remember what our solution was. This is where the details of the day start to blur. The sun was beginning to set and everyone was getting excited for fireworks. My partner and I had promised we’d pace ourselves on the drugs but stopped being able to feel how much we were drinking. Eventually more cocaine was needed and procured.
Little lesson for those who might not know: lots of high profile people use hard drugs. In my time it’s been CEOs, cops, and pillars of the community who have provided me with or hit me up looking for drugs. I’m a kink in the supply chain. I don’t directly purchase and I don’t facilitate.
That said, tonight second installment was provided by the resident peace officer. I try not to judge but I do.
So the drugs and beer keep flowing. My partner and I are happy and having a great time. We’ve had a tumultuous relationship but this feels like we’ll be fine. The fireworks are magical. We take selfies and panoramas and ramble about the awful state of our country but vow to get even more involved and do our part to be better, active americans. Our hearts swell with patriotism. And how else to celebrate our love of country than to continue our drunk drugged up shenanigans hopping from deck to deck and boat to boat?
Somewhere in the mix of all this I ended up with a rum and coke. It’s not significant. It’s just the drink I spilled when i tried to board a boat and fell over backward onto the dock. That should have been a sign that I was done. I think I stopped drinking at that point. A few more cigarettes and conversations later it happened. I went to climb off a boat and slipped. But the boat had moved as well. I didn’t just slip. I hit water. I was halfway into Casco Bay between a boat and a dock. My ass hit the dock and prevented me from falling further. I was wearing lace up shoes so thankfully didn’t end up bearfoot and my phone was safely still on the bestie’s boat. The side of my knee had hit the dock pretty hard the boat rode the wake of me falling back into my side. I looked at my partner and said that I needed to leave. We were apologizing and giggling. The gravity of what had happened didn’t sink (forgive the term) in. We were flying high. Amazingly we made it along the long narrow dock without incident. My knee was so bad that it had already started to bruise. We decided a night cap at our favorite bar was in order. More alcohol. I think this time bourbon for me. I showed off my leg which was now starting to turn a little purple. I remember joking with people that if I already looked this bad, just imagine what the morning would look like. Ugh. Idiot.
The next morning was rough to say the least. My stomach lurched. My head ached. And was in disbelief that I had to go to work for a half day (mind you, my commute was nearly two and half hours round trip) so for what amounted to being in the office for 4 hours the day after a national holiday seemed absurd. But I went. It was too hot for pants so I had to wear my bruise proudly, a temporary badge of honor and a great story to tell at parties.
Except the damage wasn’t temporary. Something burst in facia around my tibia. It’s been swollen and numb ever since. It took nearly a month for all the bruising to go away. But the feeling has never come back. To this day I am still lucky and grateful I still have full range of motion and didn’t fall all the way into the water. I don’t think anyone would have been sober enough to save me. I have not been drunk on boat since. As my mother would say ‘some things are smart and some things are stupid’.
It’s me. I’m the stupid one.