Like anyone, I have homework to do over spring break. I am reading the music cognition book I got at the library, writing out my experiment ideas, and work on a DJ set. My pipe dream would be to learn to surf.
Friday night I was walking around campus looking for events with free food and ended up winning a poetry slam. This slam is an annual Macquarie event, and brings in poets on international tours. This meant that the event was well catered and I had free beer and samosas for dinner. Because I was being kept around by goodies, I ended up making friends with Jarryd from South Africa, who made fun of my “post-feminist serpentine diatribe.” Jarryd works at
Macquarie doing something involving finance. I also practiced booze-fueled mingling skills with a group of Mexican graduate students, an older Australian poet with a daughter at NYU, and another poet who asked what the hell my poem was about. I figured my running metaphor hit one over the head. I explained that it was a re-interpretation of the book of Geneses, from a non-sexist and non-patriarchal viewpoint, then like six of the surrounding people were like: “Oh I totally didn’t get that.” So apparently you can win a prize just for rhyming quickly, and with conviction, regardless of if content is comprehended. The prize I got was a $100 voucher from a company called Red Balloon, and am using it on surfing lessons!
Mid Semester Break broke through on Conception Day, which is a music festival at Macquarie. I was awakened at 8:00 to my
housemate playing a plastic horn and shouting: “Wake the fuck up and start drinking, I’ve had a liter of beer already!” I Donned my white button-down, tie, and broken shit-kickers, made some toast, and got a small cap with two sugars from Jimmy, the barista at the art building cafe. I showed up to class an hour early to do some slight tweaking on my project. It turned out that we were given the entire class period to work on our projects, so I worked on homework for other classes, and befriended a cool cat from my DJing class: Sean. I then ditched my neuropsychology lecture (which isn’t mandatory to attend), filled my empty coffee cup with red wine, and walked onto the lawn, where all the villagers were drinking top forty hits from a Red Bull DJ. A few people were celebrating “Pants Off Conception Day” and many were ladeling “punch” (a mixture of goon, juice, and hard liquor) from a trash bin. I noticed the piles of treasure everywhere, and spent significant time taking tabs from the canned mix-drinks, beer, and red bull cans.
Once everyone had left the massive pre-game to go to the actual music festival I made spaghetti and gave a bunch of wasted strangers water and permission to use our toilet. One wasted stranger had left her friend sleeping on my floor, so I ensured he was in the recovery position and would therefore not end up a dead stranger on my floor
I probably looked suspiciously sober to anyone at Conception Day, and when I ran into Sean and his cool friends I joined them for a long stand in line at the bar. Once I reached it however I was feeling too cheap to buy a drink and had some free water instead. My friend Michelle could smell how sober I was. She’s a character I don’t ever recall introducing in this blog, so I’ll do so now: Michelle is bright and pretty and is from South Jersey. Her heart is so open I could walk right in. She said she had had enough to drink and told me to down the rest of her vodka. I did as instructed.
I stayed until the headlining band, Art Vs. Science, dancing in the center of the crowd, until my feet were bleeding and I was bored. I was heading back when I ran into Les, so we flailed for X until it seemed we were both ready to re-join the village scene. My housemates were a mixture of not-home and pissed-off and I thought I might like to check internet for the day so I grabbed my computer and rocked up to the tables outside the swimming pool, which is where I always steal internet at night. A kid on a razor scooter greeted me and I complimented his wheels. He said he wanted to find a party but didn’t go to uni at Macquarie, and stated that he would now be following me. I led him to the village, learning that he was also 21, named Christian, and working for his old man as a plumber. Jarryd inquired about village carousing (or perhaps some classier version of carousing) and invited me to the west side for chatting, friends, and red wine,
so that was where Christian and I went, juxtaposing the nice young men in button-ups with our muscle shirts, him with a sunburn and me with a tiger-hat.
The wine Jarryd offered was far superior to any I’ve drunken for months (which is not saying much since I oscillate between free goon and $5 red wine). Speaking of free goon, we all wandered a couple of paces into a crowded parking lot and I was immediately challenged to a goon drinking competition, wherein the purveyor of goon lifts the goon sack above the head of the challenger and pours it into their mouth, sort of like a reverse-keg-stand. Naturally I was the victor. Now I don’t mean to brag, but I am astounded by how much I can drink if given the chance. Usually I rely on my cheapness and good-decision-making skills and do not binge drink, but occasionally moderation itself must be taken in moderation. Within a five hour window I had consumed the bottle of wine
I found on the lawn while taking tabs, broken a goon record, and finished a half bottle of red wine that Jarryd found unpalatable. That doesn’t include the can of Jim Beam Soda I found on the lawn, the can of vodka-soda Michelle gave me, or the half bottle of red wine I had prior to said five-hour window. One would think that after all this I would be stumbling and sick, but one wouldn’t really notice I had been drinking, save for the fact that I was doing hand-stands.
Christian had to go meet his brother, and I reckoned this meant he would have forgotten his new scooter in some bushes. Sure enough, I found his new scooter in some bushes. My joy-riding caught the attention of my new friends, who joined in the fun. One rode my scooter and said that I wasn’t his enemy, even though I’m from America and he’s from Iraq. The other had swigs from my new bottle of wine. They asked me about a party and I led them to one. My second round of joy-riding caught the attention of my new friends. None of them were wearing more than underwear, and one was wearing less. Apparently they were still celebrating “Pants-off Conception Day.” They invited me to play soccer so I joined them in the field. It felt good to run. Then they asked me to lead them to a party so I led them to one. My third round of joy-riding caught the attention of my old friends, and they said the party wasn’t happening. I was out of parties but I led my newest friend, who sported a marching band jacket similar to my own, to the dregs of the party he was looking for. I sat down with some strangers and enjoyed some toast that a resident kept bringing out, finished my bottle of wine and went to sleep.