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Page 60




visited the beer keg numerous times and was beginning to feel the effects.

Later the alcohol was making me feel in a foul, rather than jovial, mood and I decided to go for a walk through the woods and clear my head. Unbeknownst to me, Christy, a friend of Maryís, had been harboring a long time crush on me and decided to follow me into the forest.

Some versions of this story have circulated around that I punched her and then made out with her. Maybe the net effect was the same, but it was purely an accident. She was teasing and pushing me, and I put my arm up to block a push. Unfortunately, she stepped forward at the same time and I ended up hitting her in the eye and giving her a major shiner. Once things had calmed down, I found her again and apologized to her, and somehow we ended up swapping spit for an hour.

At another party in Marysville, I had already consumed massive quantities of beer. A group of us sat in a circle with our beer glasses set in front of us and we took turns going around the circle, trying to bounce quarters in to each others cups. If someone successfully bounces a coin into your drink, the game rules state that you must drink the entire contents of your cup; minus the coin. Foolishly, the cup I had been drinking with that evening was a Big Gulp 44 ouncer, plastic cup from 7-11. And it was nearly full.

I was already feeling queasy when a guy named John bounced a shiny new quarter into my beer. They started chanting my name. Calling me out to drink fourty-four ounces of Raineer beer straight. I think I got about twenty-two ounces of it down, before I had to stop and began to stagger toward the door.

John stopped me. "You canít go," he said. "You havenít finished your drink yet."

"I canít finish it," I said.

"Youíve got to. Thatís the rules."

"Dude. If I finish this, Iím going to get sick."

"Finish it," he said.

My face must have been turning green as we spoke, because he suddenly changed his position on drinking the entire cup, and stepped aside to let me pass. I ran outside to the front step, pausing only long enough to see about six other quite intoxicated party goers standing around speaking to each other in slurred ramblings.

I threw up right there. They all looked at me, and got sick as dogs. In a few moments there were seven of us puking our guts out on the lawn. It was a wonderful bonding moment.

Somehow, I think this story makes an apt metaphor for my, often, misspent youth; bad decisions, leading to a chain reactions of gut heaving results.



XIII

Cheap Shots, Mace, and Brawling at the Grocery Store


There is something about me that makes people want to shoot or beat me up. Iím sure that some of the time this is due to my personality, but other times people want to kill me before theyíve even met me; so it have something to do with the way I look. Scrawny guys with cystic fibrosis make for easy picking, or so people seem to think.

When I was living with Dorinda, and no longer able to contribute to the rent, because of my health problems, my Mother came to the rescue. She had moved from Yakima to the Mill Creek area, between Seattle and Everett. I lived in a small house with her and my brother, Keef.

The winds began to pick up that evening, and the gusting blasts of air ripped loose limbs and scattered leaves and branches across the roadways. Somewhere a decaying tree fell across the power lines, and the electricity went out. This kind of power outage wasnít unusual on the coastal side of Washington State. Trees are plentiful and when the wind picks up a rotted alder, somewhere, was bound to get pushed down.

This windstorm had managed to snuff the power at my Momís place, and Keef and I set out to the store to pick up a few supplies. The store wasnít far, Mill Creek is basically an area overgrown with residential condominiums and complexes, and in the center of this is an intersection with a few grocery stores and a hub that contained restaurants, book shops, a gymnasium, and the Police and Fire Stations, as well as other assorted commercial outlets

It turned out that the power outage had left this central hub unaffected and it was an oasis of light in an otherwise black night. We entered the grocery store and found our way to the


 
     
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