It was a square bottle. I should have made note of the brand, but I could barely bring myself to look at the damn thing this morning, that bottle of mescal with 1/2-inch of golden liquid left in the bottom.
No, I wasn’t the only one drinking it. I believe there were four of us. And I really didn’t think I had drunk a lot. I was pacing myself. So, I was surprised when I poured my last bit, using the campfire for illumination, and saw just how much was left. I remarked as much, and a few of my words had a hard time getting past my palate.
Then it hit me hard. I sat my glass down. Holy shit, I was hammered. I guess I wasn’t the only one, either, because soon thereafter I was the sole keeper of the flame.
There was still a pretty good fire, so got up from the log I was sitting on, headed for a lawn chair, one of those folding numbers with the attached foot rest, grabbed a blanket someone had left, steadied the chair and fell to the ground. (That may be how the back of my hand got scratched. I really don’t know.) I hadn’t been this drunk in ten years, and I didn’t like it.
I eventually navigated the chair, and just as I got comfortable, ML called from the house, “We’re going to bed.”
“Lock the door when you come in then, OK?”
“If I make it that far.”
The mescal buzz is different, my head crammed with people instead of cotton like other liquors. That’s all I remember, besides thinking that I had a blog entry in the making.
I woke up cold. It was still dark, and the fire was embers. I made my way into the house (locked the door), unrolled my sleeping back and fell back asleep in front of a cold wood stove. If I had been more sober, I perhaps would have had a worse night’s sleep.
I have not drunk mescal for 25 years. The last time was at my brother’s bachelor party. We were lighting the shots, blowing them out and throwing them down. After a few of these, I thought it might be interesting to try and drink one while still aflame. I still remember my brother laughing as he patted out the fire on my face with those two big mitts he had for hands.
We slept in my mother’s front yard that night. It seemed like the right thing to do. The next day I would be the Best Man with half of a moustache.