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August 08, 2022

Growing Up Wrong

By Ed Moyer

Beer and Billiards

The names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Oh, wait - wrong story. I have been on my own since I was about seventeen. No real reasons other than I could not possibly get along with my mother and stepfather. I began working at a Burger King in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas. This particular store was unusual in the mere fact that it was directly across from the major university, Texas Tech. The employees here were a mix of high school students and college students, both trying to work their way through their respective schools.

One particular evening at work, a couple of co-workers and I realized that we had scored the rare Friday night off, and decided to go to the nearest bar and grill. We decided to go shoot some pool with a couple of the college kids (those that were of legal drinking age, of course).

My best friend, William, and I got there early, ordered our Dr. Peppers, and got a pool table. Shortly thereafter a few more people gathered and we were having a gay old time. Soon, the pitchers of beer had conveniently replaced the glasses of soda, and the beer began to flow like wine. As with most evenings scheduled or attended by youthful males full of testosterone, the bragging and betting began.

"I can bank the cue ball off this ball, walk it down to this side and have it back all the way back to the starting point. Oh, and did I mention I can do that one handed and blindfolded?"

The evening was flowing quite well until yours truly attempted to break. I distinctly recall lining my shot up PERFECTLY, I had been bragging about my ability to sink the eight ball on the beak all night. Of course I had not accomplished this feat at all. I recall drawing the cue stick steadily and deliberately to ensure the "perfect shot." The next thing I recall was moving the cue stick forward with great power. Then watching the cue stick sailing over our rack, and landing squarely on the next table, much to the horror of the money players on that table.

Everyone at our table decided that the evening was now complete and that it was time to go home. Everyone else decided that they would ride with certain friends home, I however, lived a mere 10-20 blocks away. I would walk home. After all I was not THAT drunk.

In all due honesty, I do not recall crossing the side streets and the two major intersections to my apartment complex. My next memory came, as I attempted to stagger not up one, or two, but three flights of stairs. (No elevator in this complex). I staggered, bounced, wobbled and weaved down the rather lengthy hallway to my apartment door. Upon reaching my door I went to place my key in the deadbolt and realized that the leather bracelet that I had been wearing all evening long was now missing. Of course being thoroughly distraught over this latest incident, I vowed to retrieve it at any cost.

So, to the delight of all my sleeping neighbors, I once again began weaving, bouncing, and stumbling back down my lengthy hallway. When I reached the end of the hallway, much to my glee I was able to find the object of my quest. (Upon further review, I recall dropping it from my pocket as I was reaching for my keys.)

Realizing that in my current condition there would be no way in me changing my current position without great effort. (Insert picture of drunk, longhaired, head banger type on his hands and knees). So, I decided that the path of least resistance would be to crawl back to my room. It was not that difficult, but rather exhausting to return to my room on all fours. I seem to recall that the floor was SEVERLY slanted at an obscene angle, with my room being at the pinnacle. Once, I reached my door, at first I was greatly afraid that someone had changed my locks, then I realized that I was attempting to place the keys in the wrong hole.

The next morning, all that I recall is William kicking my converse tennis shoes to see if I was still alive or if he was going to have to call our Burger King and tell them that I was not going to make it in, in a few minutes.

Article © Ed Moyer. All rights reserved.
Published on 2002-07-20
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