Thursday, October 10, 2002

The sound of a car door slamming. 

The sky above the hardware store.

An ad for coffee in a magazine.

A seagull on a saturated beam.

A couple of weeks ago at C.'s party I blacked out. Actually it was after her party but during it I could feel consciousness falter and slip away. I was drinking gin and tonic and vodka and tonic and I can hardly remember talking to anyone but I know I must have, S. I think, and G., and K. a bit and P. who was sitting in a chair by the bookcase looking morose.

G. and C. were there with C.'s sister, whose name I can't remember but who was beautiful, long straight brown hair and dark eyes and a small mouth with full  lips, her lower lip perpetually wet.

Everyone left and C. and H. and C. and I walked to Paddy's and this is when I lost it. I think I remember walking over there, dodging the trees in the sidewalk. We played pool of course. I was drinking whiskey but I'm not sure how the glass got in my hand. We played this couple over and over again. Once I looked over at H. He seemed to be looking down at me. He shook his head a little and smiled, amused, sipping his gin and tonic from the stirring straw. I wondered what he saw.

At one point C. and I were telling C. what shot to take and she hates that, and I know it, but she said OK to shut us up and then C. said hit it low, and that freaked her out. She was crying. She said you guys don't understand what that's like. I wanted her to stop crying, I wanted it to all be better. She wanted to leave but we convinced her to stay. I could not attenuate myself to the situation. I said come on, let's play again, and she was still pissed off. I wanted us to forget about this.

The woman in the couple bought me a drink. I think it might have been because I won a game but I think she might have bought me another one. Maybe more.

I think I remember leaving the bar – literally walking out the door – but nothing else. And I don't know how I got home, or how I remembered that K. had my keys and he was waiting for me to buzz my buzzer.

That's all I remember but the day after C. and C. reminded me about things. C. said he was laughing because I had a giant whiskey stain on my shirt that wouldn't dry. I was marked, extraordinarily, like Lady Macbeth. C. said he'd told me to go talk to the woman who was buying me drinks. Apparently I walked over to her at the bar. She was sitting with the guy. I stood and watched for a few moments. Stood there. And turned around and came right back. After we made C. cry she had comforted her, putting her arm around her and squeezing and saying who needs men anyway? We don't need men. At the end of the night she was grasping C.'s hands and kissing them as we left.

Hearing C. and C. tell me what happened gave me a key to this part of my consciousness and I could sort of remember what it felt like to inhabit that state. At the time I think it felt perfectly normal. I was not aware, of course, of the disintegration of my consciousness – how could I be? But I was present, responsive, engaged. And to have all that be disconnected from consciousness is terrifying.