Get Back To Nature, But Get Too Drunk To Remember It


The cottage/ camping/ vacation weekend – a theoretically relaxing “break” from the real world – is in fact the mentally defective brainchild of the residual borderline alcoholic and self destructive “experimenter” in every newly “socially productive” postgraduate. It almost always plays out something like this.

After college ends, you gradually come to the realization that you’re too old to get noticeably, belligerently drunk from a giant bottle of vodka you bought at the liquor store just because “it’s Friday!” Consequently, one Thursday evening, you’re sitting on a patio in the middle of the city with your friends drinking only slightly less excessively (but feeling superior about your new habit because “real” adults don’t drink to excess and you just came from your new job as an “account executive”) and discussing how your old “weekend warrior-dom” is now juvenile and embarrassing. You all reiterate at least ten times that it would be “pathetic” to get that way now because you’ve all “grown out of” being sloppy in public; you emphasize that you could never ever live the college life again.

In almost the same breath, you plan your obviously college-nostalgic cottage/ camping/ vacation weekend.

The next day you all drive up. In tow are board games, swimsuits, burgers to barbeque, a book you’ve been dying to read and comfortable sweatpants. You feel ridiculously wholesome and excited to “spend time with everyone,” but within mere hours of arrival, you find yourself ridiculously drunk from a giant bottle of vodka you bought at the liquor store in the nearest town. Your best friend is curled up in a pool float shaped like an alligator, fast asleep. You find this entirely normal. You forget to cook the burgers and eat nine bags of corn chips and salsa instead, then find a body of water, strip off your sweatpants and swim. Naked. Somehow, you lose your sweatpants forever and hook up with your good friend on the beach because “it’s all in good fun and not real life” – because you can’t find your sweatpants (somehow this seems relevant at the time) – and because you know that either a) no one is going to remember this b) everyone is going to pretend they don’t really remember this c) everyone is going to pretend to remember this when 90% of them don’t remember anything anyway.

The next day you wake up on the couch in the living room next to the same good friend and scratching a constellation of mosquito bites right below your left ass cheek. You look down to find you’re wearing someone else’s sweatpants, and notice another friend snoring on the floor wrapped in beach towels and wearing your tee-shirt. You wonder if any of this means anything, then stop wondering as quickly as possible because it gives you a headache.

You walk out to the deck as casually as possible and see a tableful of silent, guilty looking friends who can’t look one another in the eye and mysteriously don’t ask you any questions at all. You feel relieved and suggest beach volleyball with beer and the forgotten burgers. You end up losing track of time, losing track of your book, and getting day-drunk and playing a board game. Everything is fine. Everything is great.

This goes on this for three days straight, and ultimately, you drive home with sunburns, mosquito bites between your toes, little to no conversation between anyone and some minor variant of what you think is strep throat. You notice a disconcerting, dirty feeling creeping up your spine that may be from the foreign sweatpants you’re wearing, but may also be from the dark, unspoken thought in the recesses of everyone’s minds – the inexplicably guilty notion that nothing is “ever going to be the same between any of you”.

Three weeks later, however, you discover that nothing has changed at all.

It’s magic.

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image – hamon jp