Spread the Word

One Night in the Emergency Room

I am airing out my dirty laundry because my old laundry is also very hilarious now...but it was not always.

Here goes another epic tale about an adventurous night in the fast lane.

I have written about my religious upbringing (ad noseum)  and the fact that I am a late-bloomer.

When I came to college I remained a nerd and an anti-social nerd at that. However, slowly, I transformed into a more social butterfly.

I think a few key events really broke me into the social scene. There was a point where I used to be extremely embarrassed about these stories, but they are part of my past and undoubtedly will come to light if I ever run for office.

The day was November 20th, 2007, coincidentally it was my 19th birthday and the start of my first Thanksgiving break in college.

I booked a flight to meet up with some old friends in Boston for the break as opposed to flying home to Florida.
Anyway, I bought the airfare to Boston without informing my parents. 

I felt bold and defiant. I figured, I was a grown-ass man and did not need to let my parents know about my traveling ambitions since their antagonistic, formidable, and markedly superstitious nature would only bar the trip.

For instance, my parents tend to have "dreams" of me dying in plane crashes and car accidents suspiciously on the eve of my myriad attempts to break free from their zealous hands and enjoy my life.

These "prophecies" come around the time of college breaks. I am cynical, so I assume my parents just make these things up to control my strong desires to engage in immoral behavior.

But, I digress, I flew into Logan Airport on November 20th, I met with my friend in Harvard Square and he gave me a very thorough tour of campus, Harvard dining halls, dorms, local restaurants and the general merriment that accompanies Boston in general, or Cambridge in particular.

We had lunch at a nice Indian restaurant not too far from my friend's dormroom and afterward met up with some old friends and made some new ones. 

Night fell and everyone decided that we should start getting a little inebriated since it was the start of my Thanksgiving break and there was literally nothing more fitting.

The time was about 11:00 P.M. and while drinking heavily I finally spill the beans. "It's my birthday," I say to everyone else. At that moment, the drinking took a turn for the better, everyone asks, "oh man, why didn't you tell us earlier?" and we all vow to celebrate the momentous occasion with more spirits.

Now, everyone really had cause to celebrate and thus we all start drinking, mainly taking shots, and downing mixed drinks as quickly as possible in order to enjoy the last hour of my date de naissance.

Due to the heavy alcohol consumption (my first time taking shots) most of us are pretty trashed around midnight. Mission accomplished!

Remember, this was my first time ever indulging in hard liquor since I had completely bypassed the hometown social scene as the proverbial "son of a [Baptist] preacher man." 

I was a terrible light weight in the fall of my freshman year. Nevertheless, one of my friends suggested that we smoke a little somethin', somethin' and I drunkenly agree. "Yes!" I exclaim, "I want to smoke. Man, the last time I smoked was in high school." Indeed, it had been roughly a year and a half since my first taste of the sweet ganja.

"Okay," my friend replies, "let's go!" and so we walk down the seven flights of stairs in Holworthy Hall and venture to Wigglesworth. 

I was excited to get high again with some old friends and some new ones because I remembered how enjoyable it had been to experiment with marijuana that fateful June day in the summer preceding my senior year of high school when a friend persuaded me to hit a bowl twice and then drove around in a hot boxed yet air-conditioned mini-van avoiding the sweltering heat of southwest Florida. I was blazed in the subtropics and loving every minute of it. I remember being as high as a kite and listening to the cool vibrations of Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong. Music became more lively, animated and more appealing in that single instant.

Flash forward to what is now the wee hours of November 21st, 2007...I arrive at my friend's dorm room and he packs a bowl with some dank California kush. The mood is set...ahhh...there is nothing like some weed to bring old and new friends together.

And there I wait, in my drunken glory ready to embark on another masterful journey to Wonderland, only this time far from home in a land called Cambridge. However, ignorance is bliss and I did not know to be even a little wary, if not completely apprehensive, about consuming the substance after taking multiple shots and downing mixed liquor.

Not only because my body was incredibly unaccustomed to both substances: marijuana and alcohol; but also as in many un-wise instances in life I thought about the instant gratification and not the long-term consequences. I was only 19.

Yet after one hit of this extremely cerebral Cali-weed I am inevitably done...crossfaded to the maximum. I barely remember taking more hits, but, I know I did because I got increasingly messed up in that dorm room.

I was more than visibly intoxicated after all these substances. I manage to leave the room due to the impromptu suggestion from a friend that we all go grab something to eat at a pizzeria called Pinocchio's. We walk, or should I say "stumble" to Pinnochio's and I barely remember the trek.

All I knew was I was as high as a helicopter and I remember feeling extremely cold that evening amongst the freshly fallen snow, I slipped and cut my knee against a rock-like structure before arriving at the pizzeria. 

This was like a sign from God that I should not have left the house, but, of course, I pressed on awkwardly before settling in the new place.

Finally, we arrive and my friends order a large pizza. I was ecstatic and sat anxiously awaiting a slice when all of a sudden, I fall face flat on the floor. Real talk. I am so done (i.e., unconscious) it is not even funny, but scary.

I literally fell on the ground in a public setting due to excessive intoxication. It was one of the more bizarre occurrences of my life and one that I will never fully forget, even though I would like to at times. 

I got back up and communicate some drunken nonsense to my friends about being okay. But, while down I guess someone suggested that someone call an ambulance. 

So, the ambulance arrives and after I am conscious and before I can say "oh hell," I am placed on a gurney for the first time in my young adult life (and I hope the last). 

Needless to say, I love college and that early morning shall live in infamy as one the most embarrassing college experiences ever.

While riding in the ambulance car, two police officers accompany me and my close friend and asks a series of questions, such as, "What did you have to drink tonight?" and "Did you take ecstasy?"

The answer to the first question came after much deliberation on my part regarding whether or not I should be open with these perfect strangers, who happened to have police badges and could easily lock me up for being inebriated before legal age. Fortunately, I had amnesty due to the fact that these officers worked for Harvard. 

I admit to the officers that I had smoked weed and drank...a lot.

My poor friend is riding in the car with me the whole time also pretty smashed and high, but unlike me he is completely fine.

I am pushed into the emergency room and I am actively flailing my arms about as to inform the nurse practitioners and other primary responders at the hospital that I am absolutely fine. But, my movements and utterances fall to the wayside. I am treated and ultimately billed. I have needles being injected into my arm and tests being run. I am a patient, much to my dismay. 

So, I come down from my state of protracted inebriation and the spiraling metaphorical helicopter. The time is nearly 4 A.M. and I get up from the hospital bed like a trooper. 

I ask my faithful friend who has been waiting in the emergency room throughout this whole ordeal if it is okay for us to leave. He responds, "Yeah, just tell them you want to go." Therefore, I tell the employees, "I am good to go." And just like that my friend hails a cab back to his dorm room. I apologize profusely and he reassures me that it was not my fault.

I get back and pass out. I slept like a baby. Until I woke up at 10 A.M. (roughly 6 hours after leaving the ER) due to a pre-set alarm clock. I check the bathroom mirror for physical scars and thankfully, I had none. I did not even throw up once. 

I did not have a hangover and realized that I, unlike most people, just do not get hangovers. I receive a phone call from my concerned friends asking me if everything was "okay" on my end and I reluctantly say, "yeah, everything is fine. I just had a rough night."

I never told my parents about my trip to Boston and never the complete story, but I did receive a phone call about two weeks after the incident from my folks after the bill arrived at their house. 

Like a good boy, I paid for that night out of my own pocket. It was one of the costliest mistakes I ever made. At the same time, it sort of cemented my friendships with my friends who witnessed one of my lowest, most embarrassing college stories. 

Oh, what a night.

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