The year was 2000, and my best friend Brandon and I had just graduated from Marshfield High School. Go Rams…or whatever the hell the mascot was; I’m old, give me a break. I had accumulated 82 full day absences in my senior year, and those were the ones where I didn’t bother going in and just writing myself a note out for the day in home room, and then leaving. Hey, I had my reasons; I wanted to go to the movies, or go out in front of the school, while skipping classes and play basketball. My teachers called me “ghost,” and would, if they saw me earlier in the day, they would ask me if I was coming to class, and if not, would just tell me when the next test was. I still passed with high marks, so they would like to point out to other students, especially my calculus professor:
“Gesner doesn’t even show up and he gets a B, if he did show up he would easily get an A! You idiots are here every day and you’re all failing, pay attention!” It was hilarious. His gray caterpillar eyebrows flailing in anger and his bald head weaving back and forth in frustration as he waved his Texas Instruments calculator around.
Graduation was a fun day too, I got to see some of my classmates for the first time. Or at least, they saw me for the first time. Brandon told me after, that when they called my name to come collect my diploma, two kids in front of him said, “See! He does exist!” So a few days after that mandatory madness, Bea (Brandon) and I decided to throw a party, because we had graduated, or it was another Friday. Today, Bea is a two tour veteran of the USMC, a marksman, hand to hand combat expert, and also a professional tennis coach. In the year 2000, Bea was a 5’8 Sicilian 18-year-old kid who looked like a mini Vin Diesel, and tried to give everyone alcohol poisoning.
I was living on my own at this point, my parents had both decided to move down to Florida, so I was staying with my girlfriend, now my wife, Emily in a shitty apartment in Taunton I had found, and also crashing with Bea as often as his parents were away on work in New York, which was pretty often. This weekend was going to be no different, and as we jumped in my 1998 bright red Ford Ranger and started driving to his place, he got the bright idea that could power a 2 watt bulb. “Let’s do a power hour tonight!” His maniacal grin and the way he was almost bouncing in the seat should have tipped me that this was a batshit insane idea. But I was young, therefore an idiot.
“Absolutely. What’s that?” I asked without an ounce of shame. Before Bea answered me, he had been fiddling with the radio and found a Backstreet Boys song. He let it play, and we both immediately looked at each other out of the corner of our eyes and raised an eyebrow at one another, at the exact same time. Then he started dancing in his seat, very animatedly; we were at a stop light next to another car coming from graduation, full of 4 girls from our class, he saluted them and kept on dancing. Then the sprite I was drinking started coming out of my nose.
“I…Hate…You….Stop it!” My American Eagle shirt was soaked with sprite and mucus. Awesome. I gave him a backhand to his arm. “Power hour?”
“Look at your shirt!”
“So, we take a shot of 1.5oz beer every minute for sixty minutes. If we run out of beer, we’ll find something else.”
Sounded very safe to me.
“OK, who else is coming?”
“I dunno. People.”
Bea’s house was on the marsh in Marshfield, a large two-story cape overlooking the ocean, on a dead-end street. The perfect circumstances for a bunch of idiots with alcohol and bad intentions. Bea always had alcohol on hand, but just in case I had blackmailed my brother into getting me about $200 in assorted beverages. I threatened to move in with him and never leave. Little did I know he’d pull the same shit on me three years later when I owned my first house…karma, dammit. Bea and I set up the house before everyone got there; making sure every table had a beer pong lay out, a deck of cards on it, and a cooler full of drinks underneath it. Bea made pizza, burnt. He made chicken wings, burnt. He made fries, burnt. He made steak tips, burnt. He grilled up burgers and hot dogs, burnt and burnt. No, he wasn’t a shitty cook (or was he?) but he just loved everything extra friggen crispy, and if you didn’t then you were a moron. You could slap a slice of that pizza against the table and it would sound like steel hitting cement.
As people began to arrive Bea got out his stopwatch and threw it around his neck. He told me it was time to start our hour. Every 60 seconds we were going to take a quick shot of beer, on top of whatever else we were drinking from playing beer pong or whatever else. I am maybe 6’2 or 6’3, whatever, and he is 5’8, but our tolerance levels at that point were about exactly the same. We were in his kitchen, which has a bay window looking out to the marsh, sitting at the dining table in front of that window. He pulled out two long neck bottles of beer, and snapped the caps off with his teeth. “You’re a maniac.” I had told him. Bea already looked like he was hammered, since he was wearing his bright pink shirt that Emily and I bought him for his birthday that says “Real Men Wear Pink” to which he replied, “Hell yeah we do!” He had his bright neon tennis cap turned on backwards, the bright yellow stopwatch around his neck, then his baggy camo cargo shorts on with red flip-flops. Like a walking neon Vegas sign.
He slid across two shot glasses in between us. One said “ASS” the other said “HOLE.” I got the “HOLE” one.
We poured our beer into our Hole and Ass and quickly clanged it back. Bea hit the button on his stopwatch; 60 seconds. One down, ? To go.
Everyone had arrived now, including Emily, and a girl Bea was interested in, named Karen. She was tall, taller than him anyway, blonde, beautiful and extremely sarcastic and outgoing. They quickly figured out what we were doing, after about the third time Bea shouted “Shot!” at me and then kept resetting his stopwatch. Emily was concerned, but Karen just wanted to play us in beer pong.
“You two morons are going to kill yourselves, you know that right?” My wife is doctor now, and was studying to be a doctor since high-school. She grew up in a household of medical professionals, she also has no problem with calling me on any of my bullshit or telling me when I’m being a moron.
“Yeah, but…” I always have to look straight down at her when we talk, she’s 5 foot nothing, our wedding photos are of me always hunched over looking down at her. But that little Irish girl was and is a marathon runner, triathlete, and fencing champion who could kick my ass. “…I love you.” I smiled and kissed her forehead, she sighed at me and punched me in the arm.
“SHOT!” Bea yelled from the dining room, where he was with Karen now setting up a round of beer pong. There were about 25 other kids running around too, some playing cards in the family room, others watching a basketball game on the couch, half a dozen outside on the deck, and the rest probably scattered between the basement and the 3 upstairs bedrooms.
Bea and I poured and drank, then reset the watch. We played the girls in beer pong. We won, so we kept on playing other people in beer pong too. After 3 more games, we finally lost, but we were almost walking upright still. We went to the kitchen to get some hockey pucks. Food, get some food. Two of our other friends were in there as well, trying to eat the pizza, when Emily and Karen came in with a camera and started taking pictures.
“Can you two knock that off for a minute, we want to get a picture of all of you. Can you all turn around, please?” Emily wanted us all to face the camera and smile. Bea had another idea.
“We’ll all turn around!” He had that look on his face, like a kid at Christmas who knows what’s in that big present under the tree. We all followed his lead, and that’s how my wife still has a picture of the four of us all turned around with our pants down, bent over, arm in arm, mooning her in Bea’s kitchen.
Karen started applauding. We forgot there were other people in the house, but remembered when the whistles started, and our ass cheeks started to blush. After we ate something, and kept on drinking as well, the four of us decided to go outside for a little bit as it was a beautiful night out, and the house at this point was extremely loud and no one was going to notice we weren’t in there. I was pouring the beers for the next 30 minutes or so, and I was doing well filling up the glasses, only spilling about 1/3 on the table by the time we got to half century mark.
As we sat out under the beautiful night sky, stars shining above us, and waves lapping up against the marsh and beaches in the distance, my pouring of our shots got a lot more sloppy. I was holding a beer bottle with two hands like I was going in for surgery and that shot glass was the patient and the bottle was my scalpel, problem was I was leaving instruments inside the patient so to speak. So Bea had to take over again. Everything from this point forward was a bit hazy to my recollection, but there are definitely vivid moments that I can remember. The first one happened while the four of us were all sitting out on that porch, Bea and I still pounding back our shots every 60 seconds with empty beer and Smirnoff Ice bottles littered around our feet. Karen was clearly getting more and more hammered by the minute, it seems losing those games at beer pong were catching up with her. But, she was having fun, giggling and taunting Bea. Then she flashed him, and by him, I mean all of us who were outside, or could see out of the bay window in the kitchen. This was not a quick flash, not a pull up the shirt and back down, but a “Hey, look at these!” type of a moment. The guys in the kitchen looking through the bay window had their mouths agape. Emily just giggled and clapped for Karen; Emily was blushing more than Karen was, and Emily was the one with her clothes on.
“SHOT!” Bea yelled as his stopwatch beeped at him; without missing a beat. Still looking at Karen, but pouring as he did.
You would think we would have stopped at 60 shots.
“SHOT!” As Bea was pouring us the next round, and talking/yelling at me: “Power hour enna half, man!”
“Yeah, you’re…you’re getting drunk.” I had gotten that sentence out almost without drooling on myself.
We had all made our way back inside the house, checked to make sure nothing was on fire and everyone was still alive, then the four of us headed up to Bea’s room upstairs. When we got up there, the door to his sister’s room, who was not home, was closed.
“Hey!” Bea yelled, as he pounded his closed fist on the white clapboard door. “No fucking in my… in mah sisters bed!” There was a thump from behind the closed-door, and a shuffling of feet.
“Uh, we’re not in her bed…” A small whimper of a girl’s voice barely made it through to us.
“Well…” Bea still had his hand on the door, now his forehead and cheek was leaning on it too. “OK, then. Tell him to wrap, wrap it up, my buddy’s gotta get in there.” He winked at me.
“Dude.” I sighed at him and shook my head while glancing at Emily. “At least tell er to cleanit up aftah.” Emily hit me again. When I get a thicker accent after drinking, apparently domestic abuse is OK, cus’ that’s the Boston way! …
“YEAH! And keep it cleanided…clean!” He slapped the door once more as we turned away. We seemed to be rocking back and forth in unison now as we moved away from his sister’s room, with the giggles, and shuffled down into his room at the end of the hall. Bea had a large bedroom, it was at least 20 x 20, with an elevated portion of the room that his bed on it, and a desk for his computer and television. The other half of his room had free weights and some other lifting equipment scattered around. There were a few bean bags and one recliner in there as well.
“SHOT!” That damned watch beeped again. The music and everyone else was still partying a lot more steadily downstairs at that point. We were getting to black out drunk territory at that point. This is where things come in waves, so that’s what I can tell you. First, I know how many shots we officially got to, not including the beer pong, etc.
After that final one, Karen and Bea were up on his bed, clearly starting to move past the “just friends” stage of their relationship. The girl who was in Bea’s sisters room opened the door finally and came creeping out like she was hiding from the police or something, then two other girls followed her out.
“That’s boo-e-full man.” Was Bea’s response, the mispronunciation was either do to us being drunk or him having his mouth full of something else. I don’t know, I didn’t want to know, Emily and I just made our way down to his sister’s room and shut the door.
Here’s the dialogue of what I remember, with Emily and I in the sister’s room, and breaking the “not in my sister’s bed” rule.
“Ouch, ouch, you’re on my hair.”
“I got it!”
“No you don’t…”
“DAVE! What the fuck, Dave?”
“Do it Gesner, you deserve it!” A shoe is thrown at Dave, I’m 95% sure by Emily. Hit him right in the nose.
Next thing I can remember, I’m alone, on the small twin mattress Bea kept for me in his closet, now on his floor in his room again. I rolled over and see him and Karen still, or again, going at it.
“Ugh, man I’m in the room…” I made out probably two of those words in drunkenese. But Bea understands that language well.
“Shhh! Just….shhh” Karen hissed at me.
“Oh God…” I had tried to get up, then I’m positive I had blacked out again and just fell back down onto that little mattress.
Doors were banged shut, and I had heard someone moving around me. I opened my eyes to look up, but they were still dried shut together, with those gross sleep boogers you get in the corners. I wiped my eyes open, and immediately wished I hadn’t. There, above my face, were the hairiest pair of balls, just swinging a foot above me. Bea was fully nude, walking from around the end of his bed, for some reason straddling my area and walking over me. Trying to walk over me, straddling each side of the mattress…
“AH! Man! Make the nightmare stop!”
“Did you cut yourself?” Bea had still been standing over me, but now pointed at the dumb bells on the floor, which had blood dripping down a few. It had clearly been a few hours since I passed out, but I had no idea what had happened.
“I don’t think so, can you fucking move?”
“You love it.”
“I hate you.” As he kept walking away toward his door, I saw the back of his head. He split the back of his head open somehow. “Holy shit man, you’re bleeding!”
“Nuh uh. Where?” He felt around his head, finally saw the blood on his fingers when he pulled his hand back. He looked at for a second, then he touched his head again. “Weird.”
“What happened? Did Karen beat you for under-performing?”
“NO!…I don’t…no.” He looked in his bed, lifting up the sheets. Clearly, he thought she was still there, but she was gone. “Aw man! I pissed my bed!”
“You are the worst.” I was still checking myself for cuts and my own bodily fluids, just to make sure. “Or into really, really kinky stuff.”
He shrugged it off, and made his way into the bathroom in the middle of the hall. Still fully naked, not knowing if anyone was in there, or still in the house at all. I heard the bathroom door shut, then I heard Bea groan loudly.
“Gross! James, did you puke? You missed the toilet, it’s everywhere!” I checked my hands and feet for some reason, then my breath, which was awful anyway, like that would help.
“I dunno, I don’t think so. I honestly have no idea.” I still don’t know if I did. “Maybe you hit the trifecta. Blood, piss and vomit.”
“Yeah but I woulda just done it in my bed!”
I helped Bea clean up. We were still very much drunk at almost 10AM. The house showed the remnants of quite a party that was held. There were a few stragglers still sleeping it off on the couches; one under the dining room table, and a two outside on the porch as well. All the others had seemed to have made it out before we woke up to the Stanley Kubrick like mystery of Bea’s room. Once we got everyone up and everything cleaned up, we thought it was a good idea to drive down to Papa Gino’s and get something to eat.
Driving was tricky. We weren’t really drunk, not really sober yet. But, we made it, doing about 25 the whole way to the pizza place. We still had not showered, I’m sure we smelled like a brewery, and Bea still had blood on the back of his head, so we also looked like we just might have spent the night in jail as well. Good way to keep the pizza kids on their toes in the morning. Bea ordered a large pepperoni. “Extra crispy! Burn it!”
“Can you not burn like half of that? Thanks.” I nodded at the poor kid. He seemed utterly confused and just nodded in his little brimmed hat.
We got our food and sat down. Bea got up to go get a fountain drink, and noticed a juke box behind one of the other booths. He put a couple of quarters in and hit some buttons, then got his drink and ran back over and sat down across from me. I had just started to take my first bite of pepperoni pizza when that damn song from the Backstreet Boys came blaring through the entire restaurant. Bea immediately got up and started shaking his ass in my face and dancing all around like a lunatic, his neon clothes adding to the effect. The cashiers and cooks behind the counter literally peered over the counter to look at this nutjob to see what he was doing. He then started to mime the words to the song, bending over and putting his face right in mine while he was ‘singing’ “I WANT IT THAT WAY!” and had his hands on the table of the booth as he shook his ass to the beat. I lost it. I laughed so hard that dough, cheese, sauce and pepperoni came out of my nose. I snarfed Papa Gino’s pizza, right back onto my plate. Cheese dangling from my nostril, tears streamed down my face from laughing so hard and the pepperoni burning my sinuses. Bea took one look at what he had accomplished and just laid on the floor and laughed so hard…so hard he threw up.