25 November 2012

Cisco Disco

Sunday, February 8, 1993 1:41 a.m.

Tonight's entertainment comes in the form of a Cisco Disco party, thrown by the girlfriend of my buddy J_____ from work, at her Old Louisville apartment. Mostly girly-girls and athlete dudes there; J_____ plays football and this is his milieu. Everyone is drinking a cheap, fruity, thick wine called Cisco and dancing poorly to bad 70's music. The steam heat of the top-floor apartment has everyone stripping off their winter wardrobes, even with a living room window cracked. Maybe it's the pheromones.

I am a little uncomfortable because, while there are a couple of soccer players here who I recognize from a gay bar downtown, I really only know two people including J_____. His girlfriend is not the other-- J_____ is the one who invited me, probably without her knowledge. She's cordial in a "I'll put up with you being here because you're his friend and I have to for the sake of the relationship" sort of way. I respond in the way most natural to me: I drink. Quite a lot. To a point where eventually I have to plant myself on her hand-me-down couch, bottle of strawberry Cisco in hand. I sit there for the remainder of the night watching the sweaty, off-beat, writhing mess of libidos permutate before me.

The other person at the party who I know is also a co-worker. Jason P_____, who works in the kitchen at Spag, plops down on the couch beside me and says, charmingly, "Your primary directive is to get drunk. Your secondary-- to get laid." We had both already become highly accomplished in the first directive. He is working stealthily on the second, his eyes stumbling around the room and bumping into every girl there. My own rapid survey of the room confirms that I won't be meeting the second directive tonight, at least not with anyone at this party. 

None of the girly-girls-- all make-up, inebriation, and hairspray-- do a thing for me. My work buddies are the most attractive people here: Jason P_____ is good-looking, small with dark hair and J_____ is all muscle, ginger hair, and visible charisma. But, they're both out of the question and neither has ever expressed any interest in me, anyway. I look over at the two soccer players I've seen drinking and dancing at the Connection and speculate briefly on the viability of taking either home tonight. I quickly dismiss the idea, as it seems likely they're together. They're not making out or anything-- it's just that they haven't separated since they got here, and I suspect their close proximity to one another is going to continue through the rest of the night, on into the bedroom.

I take a swig from my bottle. It tastes like a strawberry Slush Puppy, minus the slush, plus medicated cough syrup. I resign to sneak out as soon as Jason P_____ moves from the couch and no longer notices me. But, he's been sitting here a while and now I'm wondering if maybe he can't get up. Wait, what if I can't get up? I had better try. I pull myself to my feet.

"Are you leaving?" Jason P_____ stands, surprisingly easier than I expected. Easier than me, in fact.

"Yeah. I have to get up in time to do some homework tomorrow before I work dinner."

"You taking that bottle with you?" I hand the half-full bottle of strawberry mouthwash to him, which he downs in a single gulp, "I work dinner, too. See you there."


I don't see him at work that night. The back of the house manager says he's in the hospital for alcohol poisoning. Wonder if he met his secondary directive before landing there. Or maybe while.

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