What Happened to Your Pants?

Pretend you are a recovering alcoholic who falls off the wagon while attending your high school reunion. Start your story with “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years” and end it with “If only I could remember where I left my pants.”

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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70 thoughts on “What Happened to Your Pants?

  1. kevinbalboa

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years. So I am sitting on this bed wondering what the hell happened. To those that are confused let me tell you.
    Yesterday I attended my 10 year high school reunion. High school reunions can be a nerve wracking experiences especially knowing that you haven’t many of your classmates in ten years. For me in particular a sense of dread filled me leading up to the event.
    You see ten years ago, I was one of those high school beer chugging students who always got drunk during the weekends. I must have drank at least 10 beers per weekend. Sometimes I wonder how I am still alive.
    While such experiences are deeply remembered they unfortunetly caused me to be an alcoholic during my senior year. I barely graduated, and my life took a nosedive, but more importantly I hurt many people including friends, family and people I did not know. I broke many relationships and cut off many people. Somehow after graduated I got this epiphany that I needed to change and fix my life and I managed for the most part to stay sober all these years. But those urges to drink never completely go away
    High school reunions as I was to be realize are perfect opportunities for one to get drunk
    I headed into the Marriott hotel. Already I can sense that my sober days was not gonna last.
    During my school days I had 1-4 drinking buddies that in which we all drank a lot per week. When I entered the hotel there they were at the center of the lobby there they were.
    “oh my god what’s up man?”
    “yeah bud good to see you
    For the next few minutes exchanged greetings but of curse my drinking days came right back up.
    “So are you still chugging the can what’s the deal?
    “Yeah are you gonna relieve those old days?”
    I told them the truth
    “really you are sober all man we were thinking about reliving those days with you but I guess we are going to have to drink ourselves sucks to you.”
    “Yeah what’s the matter you can’t be loose anymore some guy you are?”
    “come one at least have one more fun night and that’s it.”
    And the rest is history and I must have blacked since I do not remember most of the party. Now if only I knew where the my pants went

  2. akaAlison

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years, but if a school reunion isn’t a good enough reason to leap shrieking off the wagon, what is? As soon as I saw Maria “Mummy and daddy are both barristers and of course would like me to follow in their footsteps” Franco taking tickets on the door – flashback to a school disco long ago and oh so far away – I thought fuck it, Vodka it is then. The first one burned like fire and gave me heartburn. The next was much smoother. After that, aside from my lips going numb, I wasn’t paying much attention.

    I wondered if she remembered snogging my first love, Paul, on the dance floor in front of all my friends. Well, of course she did. Her name wasn’t Franco any more though. She had dragged “hubby” along to flash his pearly whites and coiffeur at us all. I offered a 100-watt smile as she tottered by in 4 inch wedges and barely legal skirt, desperately ensuring none of us could miss how skinny she still was, in that “only eats lentils and exercises like a maniac twice a day” sort of a way. I sauntered over to her husband. Not my type. But still. Needs must. He was half sozzled, and it was the work of a moment to slip a few crushed Xanax into his drink. Ensuring Maria was still engaged in playing hostess with the mostess for all and sundry, I flirted, giggled and played damsel in distress well enough for addled hubby to gallantly escort me outside for fresh air. It sharpened me right up, as did the chill when I stripped down to just my blouse and underwear, but the booze/ Xanax combo were taking their toll on poor old Ralph, and I was there to offer a comforting shoulder. He wandered around a little, but soon gave up the fight and perched on the nearest wall. If you ask me he ought to consider that lentil diet himself, he weighed a ton as I helped him slither from the wall and drape himself across me, barely conscious.

    I was getting kind of chilly, so I hurried things along by making amorous noises, while undoing his belt and trousers and managing, with a struggle, to slip them down to his thighs. Within minutes an old chum of Maria’s “found” us! “Oh no!” I cried “Ralph, what are we doing?!” The bedlam that ensued was exceptionally satisfying. Revenge, it turns out, is best served behind a bush at a high school reunion, 20 years later and stone cold. As I dashed towards what I hoped was a taxi rank, I caught a glimpse of Maria’s stunned, glaring face as she poised, hyena-fashion, over her semi-conscious Ralphy. A perfect end to a perfect evening. Though I’m not looking forward to calling my sponsor. Now, if only I could remember where I left my pants.

  3. blondguppy84

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years. I already planned to be the sober one at the ten year reunion, making a play on my success, and mock my friends who made asses of themselves the next day. I swear, I really was going to be the sober one…
    “Chris, is that you?”
    “Yup.”
    I had claimed a seat at one of the round tables in the back. Being the first one at parties never bothered me, but I dreaded getting trapped in a conversation too early on that I couldn’t escape. I set my Pepsi on the off-white linen before looking up to the speaker. My skin turned cold when I saw her.
    “Ally?”
    I had prepared for this. Many nights of weed and friends telling me I was getting annoying didn’t keep me from talking to the mirror. Well, it was my tall bedroom mirror with a headshot of Ally from high school.
    What a waste of my life that was.
    The hard-on started, and I felt like I was right back in my skinny teenaged body, trying to not shine a boner in front of this princess. Her smile was the same…one extra small dimple above the right side. Same haircut, parted in the middle, and curled at the ends. Tonight she dressed it up with some kind of sparkly clip, and the dark blue dress clung to her hips.
    She hugged me, and I recovered a portion of my senses to hug her back.
    “How are you? I’m sorry, I guess that’s a dumb question.” Her sympathetic face told me she heard about my wife.
    I just nodded. I’ve learned this helps people feel more relaxed before talking to me.
    “I’ve picked up some hobbies. Tried quilting, threw it out. Turns out I can paint, though.”
    Why was I talking about my painting to her? I never even told my mother about it. It was because I always wanted to her to know I was artistic. I thought she was better than those dipshit “It” girls that she always hung out with. Or maybe she really was just a shallow idiot, and she grew into it…
    “You paint? So do I! After Ron left me, I took some classes and I was hooked. Now I dream in paint. I guess that sounds weird.”
    “Not at all. I totally get it.” My heart felt lighter than it had in years. Maybe there was a chance.
    “I think I need a drink. Want to do shots with me? I’m a fan of whisky…”
    “Sure! Count me in. I’ll save these seats.”
    She nodded, and we walked to the bar. The liquid felt welcome and familiar. After the second drink, I felt her lips on my mouth. I knew she wanted more.
    Now a cop is shining a light on my face, and if only I could remember where I left my pants.

  4. Mandy

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years, but when I saw her I couldn’t stop myself. My mouth went try, and I couldn’t bring myself to speak. Losing her was the reason I started drinking to begin with.

    Here I was at a high school reunion. A place I didn’t want to be in the first place, but Hickory talked me into it. Hickory is my twin brother who was a trouble maker in school, and now a very successful doctor. He was the kid that all the teacher thought, wow he will never make it. They thought he would end up a bum or in jail. Hickory however was proud, and he had to go show them they were all wrong about him. He said, “Tommy I can’t go alone, and lets face it you will regret it if you don’t go.” Ha! Now I am regretting that I did.

    High school wasn’t fun for me. Kids talk to much, and no one ever seems to know what they are talking about. I preferred to read, and spend time alone. Which is the exact opposite of my high school jock of a brother. The only thing that made Clara Byrd High even remotely bearable was Heidi Miller. Heidi was my first and well sadly last real girlfriend I have ever had. She was funny, smart, and beautiful. She had long bright red hair, and bright blue eyes. She was tall and skinny like a model, even dressed like one too. But she was the smartest girl in school, not superficial at all.

    We dated from Junior year until the end of college.The day after graduation I asked her to marry me. To my surprise she said no. That she wasn’t happy anymore, and hadn’t been for some time. She had a job offer in Kentucky, and intended on taking it. That is exactly what she did, taking my heart right along with her. I still don’t know what I did, but I know from that moment on only alcohol numbed the pain.

    I didn’t think she would come tonight, and I don’t know what I will say. All I know is this Crown Royal tastes so good I can’t control myself…..

    The next morning
    “Uhhhh my head. Where am I?!” Everything is blurry, and as I wait for everything to come into focus I feel a arm next to mine. I am in a hotel room, and Heidi is next to me. I need water my head is pounding. I have no idea what happened. I need to get out of here, but If I could only remember where I left my pants.

  5. Adonlee

    I hadn’t had a drink in ten years, but that was all about to change. It was the invite to my high school reunion that got me to thinking about my second high school girl friend. I wondered if she was still as beautiful as ever, if she ever got married, had a family. As I pondered that thought the door bell rang, still thinking about her I got up to answer the door. What a hell of a surprise, there she stood, just as awesome looking as ever. She arrived in a hot pink convertible porsche, with out a second to respond she grabbed me and held on tightly. Oh she remarked, I have missed you so much, I have thought about you so often. I just wasn’t sure If you ever wanted to talk to me. I stuttered trying to respond, are you going to our high school reunion, why, yes,yes I was. wonderful she replies, please be my date, oh I am sorry, do you have any one in your life special, no, no I don’t I remarked. Wonderful was her response you can be my date. How can I help you get ready, Oh I just need to take a shower and I will be ready soon. As I sung in the shower, the steam rising up to cover the glass and fill the air. I was shocked to feel soft warm hands caressing me, from that moment on things went down hill. At the class reunion we danced for what seemed like hours, meeting many old friends as well. After the reunion we went back to her place, were I met several of the other couples we danced with. There the dancing begin again and the drinks began to flow like water. My reasoning was that I might never have a reunion like this ever again so I drink slowly at first then faster. I don’t know what time it was but my date lead me to a mysterious hugh baby bed, a hugh pink baby bed that we climbed up to. There we joined three other couples were we all made love to our dates and too, well I don’t remember anything else. I awoke up to find the sun streaming through the window, my date sleeping naked be side me. The only thing I was wearing was my girl friends pantys or someones and my pants missing along with the rest of our cloths . To this day I still dont remember any thing about that night not even when the others left. Oh and my date and I tied the knot a few weeks later, as to the pink baby bed we still sleep in it.

  6. YoungLove

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years. Ever since that accident the first college party I went to my freshman year of college. Quitting cold turkey is pretty hard. The first few months were the worst. Withdrawal is a bitch, let me tell you that. But the AA meetings were what got me through. I focused on school and my grades, as cliché as that may seem. But I turned my life around. The road I was going down would have lead me to the hospital at the very least. Unfortunately, I had to lose one of my best friends in order to change.

    But that’s something that I won’t think about, not here, not now. The leader of my AA meetings (yes, I still go, because no matter how much progress I make, I will always be a recovering alcoholic) suggested that I come here. To my ten-year high school reunion. I haven’t seen these people in a decade, the people that I tried to impress, so I started drinking. The people that convinced Billy to take his first sip. But, she said it would help. That if, after all these years, I could forgive these people and let go of this grudge I’d been holding. I’m going because she wants me to. She cares about me more than anyone, even my own parents, has ever cared about me before. She even offered to come with me, but I refused, telling her that I could do it myself.

    I open the doors nervously, unsure of what will happen. As soon as I step in, I hear someone call my name. “Joshie, I haven’t seen you in forever!” Jeanne, my first girlfriend , still has that shriek voice that I remember. She’s changed, which isn’t very hard to tell. She’s got a wedding ring on her finger and it’s not hard to see her baby bump. I relax a little now. If Jeanne has grown up, then surely, everyone else has as well.

    The night was going well, I was getting caught up with some old friends, people that I hadn’t seen in ten years. People that I thought that I would hate, but I don’t. When the time comes to leave, James suggests that we all go out to dinner. Most people turn him down, but I am one of the few that accepts. It has been a nice night, and I want it to last just a little longer.

    Somehow we end up at a hotel bar. Somehow, I order a beer. Somehow, I drink it. Somehow, Sally convinces me to go to her room. Somehow, things get heated. Somehow, we end up on the bed. Somehow, things get carried away. Somehow, we pass out.

    I wake up with a pounding headache, a horrible feeling that I may have just cheated on my wife, the same woman who told me to go this damn reunion in the first place, and a lack of clothing. I want to leave, but only if I could remember where I left my pants.

  7. vtg2260

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years and that was as it should be. After all, the party has to end sometime. The check is due and the room is a mess and I was forty three, hell I wasn’t even thirty three and absolutely not twenty three. It was also three years into a new century and I had survived the cancer that was eating away at my kidney; “and no, Mr. Smartass, it wasn’t the weekend binging that caused it, thank you very much.” It was cancer, big old, plain old cancer and a decision had to be made so, I quit. I just quit. And once the booze was gone, the cigarettes went to.

    Hay, now don’t get me wrong, I loved smoking and I was a Nazi smoker! If you don’t like second hand smoke then go somewhere else, cause I ain’t moven’. If someone started coughing, you know, that almost cough that non-smokers like to do, right behind you and in your ear, so you would feel bad about hurting another human being and hurry up and put out that horrid cancer stick. Well, screw them, I would blow smoke in their face just to get them to move on. Hay I told you, I was a real Nazi.

    Anyway, I loved cigarettes, almost as much as I loved beer. In fact a cold beer and a Kool were like cake and ice cream and without one; the other just didn’t have the same appeal. And no, I didn’t start jogging or become a vegetarian; in fact I gained over a hundred pounds which is probably just as bad as the smoking and drinking, “but hell, a girl has to put something in her mouth”, I would add with a giggle.

    So that’s what I told them at the twentieth fifth reunion – I was an alcoholic and I was fat, but I was alive, so get over it!

    I’m fifty three now, it’s been ten years since that reunion and I’m still mulling it over. I just wasn’t sure how long I could live with only one kidney and continue to be a party girl from the “70’s”. I came to terms with my kids, my husband, my mortgage and my career all in one fail swoop by the hand of fate. With an emphatic;” thank god”, Disco was truly dead, and southern rock was still hot on the classic rock stations and that’s batting over five hundred in any book.

    But, I miss it. It was the last of my youth. I’m a grandma now with so much gray that it will not hold L’Oreal’s natural brunette coloring. I started out in skintight Levi’s in the 70’s, moved on to skintight Spandex in the 80’s and now I’m happiest in my sweats which really aren’t pants at all…maybe I could be young again, if I could remember where I left my pants.

  8. E. Willie

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years!”
    “I Know.”
    “I don’t think you do, not really. Ten years of fighting temptation. Ten years of the beautiful of fragrance fine wines and liquors under my nose at restaurants, parties, and family gatherings. Ten years and not one single drop.”
    “You realize you’re an idiot.”
    “This may be true, but for the last ten years I have been a sober idiot.”
    “Does that also explain why you are a disgusting tramp.”
    “Well no. Don’t you think tramp may be a little inappropriate. I have never had a reputation for fooling around, at least not a bad one, besides I’m a guy. A tramp is more girl like don’t you think”
    “Oh I’m sorry. Let me rephrase that. What describes you best: whore, slut, hooker, that’s right you didn’t want it to sound too feminine. I know, how bout this: a sleazy, mud crawling, potential Petri dish of a human being. A sick piece of garbage whose small but precious little jewel is going to fall off if he doesn’t watch where he put’s it! I suppose those are better, but I still like tramp.”
    “I’m really offended that you choose to think the worst of me right now. I mean, anything could have happened last night. It was my high school reunion. You see me in this condition and the first thing you assume is that I’m wrong. I don’t know these people anymore. I haven’t seen most of them in twenty years. They could have been serial killers, rapists, stalkers, identity thieves, but noooooo instead of you being concerned about my well being you assumed that I was responsible for my misfortunes. Where is your concern? Your trust? Your Love?”
    “O.K. We’ll start over. Were you raped?
    “No”
    “Stalked?’
    “No.”
    “Serial Killed?”
    “How can I be …. (sigh) No.”
    “Was your identity stolen?’
    “Well, I can’t be sure about that. You know that can take time to appear.”
    “You are an idiot.”
    “I love you”
    “I’m done with you!”
    Melissa grabs her purse and walks out slamming the door shut as hard as she can behind her. Frank sits motionless in the chair trying to re-enact last night’s events with no success. He lays his head in his hands; dazed and confused.
    “This would have worked out so much better, if only I could remember where I left my pants?”

  9. pine tree

    I have not had a drink in nearly ten years, not really. That being said, I was really getting stoked about this reunion thing. I don’t really remember its year, maybe 10th or 12th, or the city it was in. It mighta been La Jolla. Oh yeah, just to warn ya, I’m a recovering alcoholic. That makes my memories fuzzy, , my tolerance to alcohol low and my repressed desires to party hardy & score with chicks really high.
    Remember the old gang from high school? We were “Joey-Alpha Man,Samster the Jocka zoid, Allen and Billy were the braini-
    acks, Georgie-Porgie the Romeo Lover boy, and then me, the Wild Card.”
    So today is…..um….Saturday? Yeah! It’s Saturday.Or, uh um uh it was a Saturday? We started at the complimemormy hotel brunch with the ” Brefest of Chameens—Beer! Go Dog!!” This would have been a good time to have a V 8 ( know what I mean, Vern?) since I’d given up drink and all but ya think I’m gonna wuss out like that? Duh. ‘Sides whatzza few beers gonna hurt?
    We finally get to this re-re-onion and its really boring so we… um… doan theese guys ‘member high school? Joey sez “Time’s UP to rev it UP! The high school Tradition!” Once a year we’d sneak onto private property wif a pool and dinny s..kipp I MEAN SKINNY DIP until we were busted or not..
    Uhmmmmm, are we at the pool yet? Yes! Pants off and jump In! Yee How — Naked Water Polo!!! Now we are having fun but then the sirens. Well, Samster is so high on fun that he jumps outta the pool, runs “cross t’ drive to go an hot wire us a car. Hoo Boy! Here’s our joy ride for tonight!
    I doan rember mush o’ ta rest o; ta night ;cuz un ov my boys gave me a bottle of Southern Comfrt an I jes gotta say that seweet mama done give me lotta comfort. Yeah sweet mama gimme summa that . Hell, what friends fer anyway?
    I woke uhhup with gritty eyes and stare into a hot afternoon sun. It was a real kick to see that 3 outta 5 totally naked guys from our car had taken a faceplant in the sand with me. Which sand? What sand? Where the hell did I die…uh wake up?
    We’re onna beach somewhre, hopfully in America and really need to relieve ourselves. So we all get ready to take the morning whizz. Heads down! Ready! Aim! Fire! At this point I remember that I hadn’t yet dropped trou since I’m nek’d,and began to wonder something….If only I could remember where I left my pants then I wouldn’t have to see 346 Morningside Dr. and tip the pool boy, Enrique very, very well.

  10. pine tree

    I have not had a drink in nearly ten years, not really. That being said, I was really getting stoked about this reunion thing. I don’t really remember its year, maybe 10th or 12th, or the city it was in. It mighta been La Jolla. Oh yeah, just to warn ya, I’m a recovering alcoholic. That makes my memories fuzzy, , my tolerance to alcohol low and my repressed desires to party hardy & score with chicks really high.
    Remember the old gang from high school? We were “Joey-Alpha Man,Samster the Jocka zoid, Allen and Billy were the braini-
    acks, Georgie-Porgie the Romeo Lover boy, and then me, the Wild Card.”
    So today is…..um….Saturday? Yeah! It’s Saturday.Or, uh um uh it was a Saturday? We started at the complimemormy hotel brunch with the ” Brefest of Chameens—Beer! Go Dog!!” This would have been a good time to have a V 8 ( know what I mean, Vern?) since I’d given up drink and all but ya think I’m gonna wuss out like that? Duh. ‘Sides whatzza few beers gonna hurt?
    We finally get to this re-re-onion and its really boring so we… um… doan theese guys ‘member high school? Joey sez “Time’s UP to rev it UP! The high school Tradition!” Once a year we’d sneak onto private property wif a pool and dinny s..kipp I MEAN SKINNY DIP until we were busted or not..
    Uhmmmmm, are we at the pool yet? Yes! Pants off and jump In! Yee How — Naked Water Polo!!! Now we are having fun but then the sirens. Well, Samster is so high on fun that he jumps outta the pool, runs “cross t’ drive to go an hot wire us a car. Hoo Boy! Here’s our joy ride for tonight!
    I doan rember mush o’ ta rest o; ta night ;cuz un ov my boys gave me a bottle of Southern Comfrt an I jes gotta say that seweet mama done give me lotta comfort. Yeah sweet mama gimme summa that . Hell, what friends fer anyway?
    I woke uhhup with gritty eyes and stare into a hot afternoon sun. It was a real kick to see that 3 outta 5 totally naked guys from our car had taken a faceplant in the sand with me. Which sand? What sand? Where the hell did I die…uh wake up?
    We’re onna beach somewhre, hopfully in America and really need to relieve ourselves. So we all get ready to take the morning whizz. Heads down! Ready! Aim! Fire! At this point I remember that I hadn’t yet dropped trou since I’m nek’d,and began to wonder something….If only I could remember where I left my pants then I wouldn’t have to see 346 Morningside Dr. and tip the pool boy, Enrique very, very well.

  11. 081christina

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years, but I could never forget the warmth in my cheeks or the lovely color of my wine stained lips on any time when I indulged in the taste. Now, I walk alone up the stairs to the community center for my twenty year reunion in my humid Texas hometown and wish Cab or Merlot had given me a pep talk; I don’t even know why I am here.

    I haven’t seen any of these people in about eighteen years and co-exist with them on facebook exclusively. I know that full time mom Donna Lynn, our class president and voted most likely to succeed, labored over blueberry pancakes last Sunday for her soccer clan, and Earl Hit, former high school quarterback now cable guy, checked into Starbucks a few hours ago. My thoughts are interrupted when I catch a glimpse of my reflection at the same community center where I took graduation pictures years ago. The burgundy shawl that decorates my slim, tawny shoulders also covers the bye bye arms that I was trying so desperately to rid myself of by doing push ups every morning for two weeks. Besides my arms, I suppose I have nothing to complain about …unless my mother has told everyone about AA and my stint in the orange jumpsuit for the DUI I got on July 4, 2003. Of course I wouldn’t post that on facebook. Everyone thinks I’m an overworked human resources administrator at very large hospital in Northern California. That’s what is great about the anonymous part of Alcoholics Anonymous…

    Okay I’m feeling okay about this; I can do this. I see Earl, Dioneta, Shawnee, and a few other cheerleaders I knew from high school. We exchange hellos when I hear

    “Starla! Starla, is that you?”
    “Marvin Watts!”
    “Girl, look at you!”

    I can’t believe it’s him. I had not thought about him in years. We sat next to each other in economics and wrote notes to each other when we couldn’t understand supply and demand. Marvin looks the same only fuller; it seems like men reach a growth spurt after twenty five that rids them of their lanky boy looks unless that’s their natural frame. Marvin gives me a bear hug that lifts me off the ground making me thankful I wore my white skinny jeans and tank top.

    “Starla, let me get you a drink.” Part of the $125 fee includes free beer and my favorite, wine.

    “Diet Coke. Diet Coke. I’ll have Diet Coke.” Suddenly, I’m nervous, and I am stammering.

    “Girl okay. I’ll get you a diet Coke,” he says with a big smile.

    The soda gives me something to hold, to clutch besides my purse when I really want a glass of wine, but complimentary wine probably is not even good. If I slip, I’ll make sure it’s good wine, wine country wine…no, I can’t…not an option.

    “You must be Starla,” a beautiful Gladys Knight voice exclaims. I turn and notice a Beyonce body matches the powerful voice that I can’t remember from high school.

    “I’m Nikki. Nikki Watts. Marvin’s wife. I brought you a glass of wine. Marvin tells me you work in Napa. He mentioned you on the drive here. Hotter in Texas, right?”

    I take the wine, and I hold it for a long time and make small talk with Nikki. She opens her purse and shows me the photos of their children and asks me about mine, “Oh, I’m sorry,” she replies.

    The Electric Slide interrupts the heaviness of our conversation, and Marvin grabs Nikki to the dance floor. Still, I am holding the same glass, and I take a sip. The wine coats my throat and warms me the way I wish Marvin could.

    And before I can dwell on Marvin or savor another sip, I spill wine all over me. Stomping to the restroom, I smell a sweet fragrance that is unfamiliar to me in Texas but reminds me of parts of Berkeley. Ignoring the giggles, I see the damage to my pants when the bright bathroom light exposes the stain. I take the pants off and run them under cold water, futile! And I’m standing in my underwear at my high school reunion. I put the ruined pants on and wrap the shawl around my hips to cover the stain. I feel like a two year old who had an accident!

    When I enter the smoke filled dark corridor, I follow the exit and walk back to my hotel. I have to change and get back to the party. In my suitcase I shuffle through my bathing suit, my pajamas, my journal, a dress for church…I know I packed a pair of jeans and black slacks. They weren’t in my carry on, either. If only I could remember where I left my pants.

  12. mfdavis

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years. Yet there I sat with a shot of gin in front of me. What happened last night? I remember we were all talking about our high school days. All my old friends were there. Then in walked the man who broke my heart into a thousand pieces. I thought I was over all that pain, but there it was all over again. Please don’t walk this way my mind begged. It had been over ten years since I laid eyes on him. There he came and didn’t he look fine. Please, don’t say “how are you?”, like nothing has ever happened.
    “Hello how’s everyone?” He asked no even looking at me.
    Oh no, he didn’t say “how’s e v e r y o n e.” He’s completely ignoring me. My pants felt like a restraint. I should have worn the pants with the elastic waist.
    “It’s a great class reunion.” I heard my so called best friend say. What did she know? Did she know the pain, the hurt, the struggle . . . ?
    “Drinks on me, everybody.” I heard him say. “What are you having, Paula?”
    “Gin,” I shot back at him. Why did I say that? Why didn’t I just say nothing or a Sprite?

    I sat there for what seemed like hours with that drink staring me in the face. I was trying to ignore it the way Ted igored me. Then out of nowhere she walked up to our table. Ted pulled up chair for her.
    “This is my wife and mother of my five kids.”

    Wait! Please wait! No that wasn’t Ted’s voice, somewhere deep inside me screamed. I can’t remember who said those words. All I remember is looking at my empty glass in front of me and hoping someone else had drank the gin. Yeah, I fell off the wagon.

    Let’s see, I remember dancing. Did I eat anything? Well, life goes on. Now, I could check out of this hotel on time, if only I could remember where I left my pants.

  13. Sal Baby

    “SHIBOLETH”

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years.”
    I could barely hear the speaker from where I was sitting at the back of the room. And I didn’t really care anyway. I was just glad to be there. Safe for an hour, safe from all my inner demons. I knew I should try and listen, to get out of myself, but I was too tired, and so glad to be some place warm. It was all I could to stay awake. Usually I couldn’t get past being afraid to fall asleep around other people. But now, here, in this room I’ve known for so many years. This room like so many others. All the fears melt away, and I could feel myself slipping, the weight coming off my shoulders, my heartbeat slowing. Why did I stay away so long?
    “I was back for my high school reunion…”
    I don’t know why that caught my attention, pulled me back. It often happened, though. That shift from one brain wave state to another. Now I was interested in his story. How much had I missed? Is he almost done? I had no sense of time. His story continued and I learned he had slipped at that reunion.
    “…Picked up the wrong glass by accident…”
    They always say that. ‘The glass made me do it’ excuse. Of course he didn’t put it down, nor stop with that one sip or drink. How many times have I heard this all? Never enough, though. Each time helps keep my memory green, helps me step back from the brink.
    “Now I’m back, and it’s been over a year…”
    Wait! Wait! I needed to hear how it happened, hear of that moment of clarity. That quantum leap we all make from years of dedicated conviction that drinking will solve everything to ‘I think I shouldn’t drink right now…’ Magical. It defies all alcoholic logic. But here we all are. We’ve all been there, some more times than others. I am always moved close to tears. Somehow we’ve been pulled back from the abyss… And it always reminds me of my last drink and how I came to these rooms. As if it were yesterday.
    I was lost again in my own story, grateful to be sober, grateful for all the other sober drunks (mostly) in that room. Grateful for one more day of reprieve. An eruption of laughter brought me back to the room. Everyone was applauding. Was it over so soon? As I headed for the door I overheard some one say the only thing I would remember from that meeting.
    “…If only I could remember where I left my pants…”

  14. WV Jim

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years. I have the willpower of a two year old, and it was becoming a problem, so I quit. And then I attended my twenty-fifth high school reunion.

    There was Butch and Gordy and Stevie. The crew was here! Between the stories and pranks and goofs it was like old times. There everyone stood drinking beer like we were eighteen again.

    Everyone but me. I didn’t have a drink. I couldn’t. The last time I drank I woke up in a seedy motel in Chinatown. And I couldn’t find my pants.

    This time I was going to stay sober. This time I’d be the responsible one. And for the best part of the evening, I was.

    As the reunion was winding down, a call rang out for a toast. A toast to celebrate those who’d made it this far, and a toast for the few who had fallen away over the years. I figured, “How much can one drink hurt? It’s a toast to my friends, both here and gone.”

    So, I had one shot of vodka.

    Then we toasted Mr. McGhee, our old shop teacher. He was worth a toast.

    Then we turned one up for the basketball team. State runner-ups that year. Worthy of a toast, for sure.

    Another for Mrs. Clemmons, our algebra teacher. She was here…somewhere.

    A toast for our principal, Mr. Lee. At 95, he was still alive and kicking.

    Then Butch got the idea that we should have a toast for the four of us. Friends, compadres, buddies, life-long brothers. I mean, I HAD to drink that toast.

    Of course, since I was toasting one person then another, just one beer wouldn’t hurt. One beer on top of the half dozen or so shots of Russian water we’d just had.

    But I wasn’t going to drink. No, this was merely celebratory.

    Then someone said, “I’m hungry,” and we all decided to run out for pizza. Lo and behold, there was a ‘gentlemen’s club’ nearby, owned by Mr. Dom Pasqual, a true Italian. “It’s gotta be great pizza.”

    We all knew we weren’t going just for the pizza.

    But pizza we had…pizza and more celebration and the occasional lap dance. The lights were flashing, the music was pulsating, the room was spinning, the laughter was…

    I woke up with two very distinct realizations:

    One, my head hurt…bad.

    Two, the smell of soy sauce was overwhelming. Before I even moved, I remembered we’d eaten Italian food. How, then, did I smell soy sauce?

    Finally, I was able to look through the slits that were my eyes, and see the meager room where I lay, complete with a Chinese calendar on the bed stand, bamboo curtains and the open container of what appeared to be General Tso’s chicken. The only things I could remember from the night before were the first toast, pizza and naked women.

    Now, if I could only remember where I left my pants.

    1. H.M. Guffey

      Very nicely written. Great cadence. If you haven’t been published, it’s only a matter of time. I look forward to reading more of your work. Thanks!

  15. Mauve_RainCloud

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years, but refusing this one would certainly kill me.

    *

    There was a pounding behind my still closed eyes. Through my lids, a pink light let me know that morning had indeed come, and was slowly dragging me into consciousness.

    A shuffling sound came from nearby, followed by a low grunt. Apparently, I was not alone. I attempted to twist my body toward the sound but found myself immobilized. My eyes immediately opened to take in my surroundings. I was facing a small window, which illuminated the otherwise dingy room. I sat naked and attached upright to a chair with my hands bound behind me by what felt like coarse rope or twine. Turning my head to my left, I saw another person slumped in a similar position.

    Suppressing the urge to panic, I focused in order to recall the events that lead me to my current situation. Flashes of the night before crossed my mind; a dark hall decorated with crepe paper and filled with loud, cheesy throwback music, old and new faces jumbled together, cheers and laughter echoed around the room. Another memory was struggling to surface when the other person in the room spoke my name, jarring me back to the present.

    “Wilson.” His voice was labored. Turning as much as I could to face him as he looked up, I took in the many bruises starting to show. I chuckled.

    “Cortez, just once I want to get you home to Yasmin without having to explain what happened to your face.”

    “She probably wouldn’t recognize me without the black and blue.” His eyes, showing an alertness that betrayed his physical appearance, darted around the room. No doubt we were being watched. Or at the very least, listened to. “Some kinda shindig huh? Life hasn’t been good to the prom queen.” A flurry of images from the night before began to paint a picture in my mind. One was of a woman with the tell-tale bad skin and even worse teeth of a seasoned meth user. “Prom queen” was the code name given to our confidential informant.

    I intended to keep the conversation light, but I knew exactly what my vice partner was asking. Did our informant make it out before our cover was blown? I snickered, “I saw her head home with one of the jocks. Some things never change”. Other members of our vice squad also posed as returning classmates to cover us while we completed the transaction; buying the latest drug shipment to land in our city. With the agreement made we were forced to toast our partnership with the big time dealer. Our drinks were laced, and it wasn’t long after that all hell broke loose.

    Before we could say or do anything else, we heard gunshots and the only door in the room flew open. In sauntered our squad leader, gun blazing. “Let’s roll!”

    If only I could remember where I left my pants…

  16. kimlampkin

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years, the desire was gone and the need somehow befriended thoughts of capturing the slightly wounded yet hopeful heart of Vincent. He was the newly appointed pastor of Real Faith Baptist Church. He relocated to the thirsty, men deprived town of Whitlock two months prior to the car wreck that rudely jerked alcohol from my hands and poured every bottle out of every cabinet within my home. Small things introduced tears and because of him, I was able to recover and move forward. Vincent never left my side. He assured me days worth living. However 1 week before my class reunion, he sent a Dear John letter stating he wasn’t happy. My first time reading it, tears formed before I finished reading the first three words, “I’m so sorry”. I knew from the coward, immature beginning that the ending wasn’t going to be happy. I averted my eyes from the paper, pushing back the tears and fighting the strong holds that anger was introducing. How could he, I mean why would he… I was good to him, I was his first lady, his quote unquote everything! Immediately reality slapped me with the notion that I would not sashay in with my handsome Prince Charming. For the hundred millionth time in the last hour, I found myself waddling in self-pity. I couldn’t cancel now, it would be too obvious. What could be my excuse? Days drifted by like seconds and nights like months. Time was not being very friendly. I hated life.

    March 28th was finally here, the day I once anxiously awaited. I had nothing to brag about and nothing to be proud of; forget the fact I was an author of 6 best sellers or even that I had been honored on several talk shows and radio broadcasts. Tracy greeted me at the door and immediately filled me in on the latest gossip. After talking over herself for 20 minutes, she noticed I was alone. She surprisingly asked, “Where’s Vincent”? Without hesitation I replied, “He had a family emergency”. We laughed briefly and in the midst of our conversation, Vincent walks in! I blinked in disbelief! We caught eyes and I immediately dropped my head, avoiding visual contact with anyone. I knew Tracy was aware I lied, Vincent noticed the hurt and Sharon enjoyed it all! Everything started adding up but much too fast and without considering the consequences, I took down five shots; then a glass of wine and the rest was history! I woke up in a strange, yet familiar place! After double taking for the third time, I noticed I was in Vincent’s room; frantically checked to see if I had on clothes, if he was next to me, if I was dreaming! It was indeed real! I was fully dressed in his room, in his bed. He walked into the room, looked at me and chuckled saying, “If only I could remember where I left my pants.”

  17. Marshall Durham

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years,” pushing someone else’s legs off my own, “and I was within three months of that coveted button.”

    When the legs fell to the floor I heard a moan I couldn’t distinguish from male or female. My mouthed tasted like something decided to take a dump in it sometime during the night. Staring up at the ceiling I realized that I didn’t recognize anything I could see.

    Though I would normally expect panic in a situation where I woke up in a strange place with body parts strewn across me, confusion was the prevalent emotion. I decided I needed to get a better look around.

    I tried to lift my head up but someone must have replaced it with a bowling ball because I didn’t remember it being that heavy. That was the moment I decided I would need more leverage and placed my right hand at the top of whatever I was laying on. Pulling with everything I could get in that situation I managed to get myself upright. The scene was something from a movie—and not a national lampoon comedy.

    There wasn’t a single piece of furniture that wasn’t covered in either clothing or bodies. Even the counter in the kitchen had a twenty-something blonde girl lying on her side with only a bra and white socks on. The dining room table was covered with coats and bottles (mostly emptied) leading me to believe we must have been drinking for hours.

    More bottles were on the chairs under the table and spread out on the floor around the table. I even saw two bottles that had been pushed into the sheetrock on the wall behind the table.

    “That was some party last night,” she put her hands on my shoulders and began to rub. I jumped up off the couch without looking where I was placing my feet. The scream I heard when I stepped on a partially closed hand made me jump again toward the kitchen. My foot landed on a bottle which rolled as soon as my weight was on it and the last thing I remember before feeling the sudden impact on my forehead were the words “look out!”

    “I think he’s coming to,” I heard someone say over the commotion of several voices behind me.

    “What happened?” I lifted my hand to my head but was stopped by the emt that was cleaning me up.

    “You split your head open on the corner of the coffee table,” he replied as he finished opening a bandage the size of a dollar bill.

    “Sir?” the other paramedic said holding a clipboard in her hands. “We’re gonna have to take you to the hospital now. Do you have any I.D. on you?”

    “Yeah,” I reached for my wallet and felt the back of my boxers. “now if only I could remember where I left my pants.”

  18. JR MacBeth

    WARNING: Language alert, “F” words, etc.

    I opened my eyes. Palm tree. Sunny. Morning?

    “Dude! You’re alive after all!”

    “What? Calem? Calem Marsh? What the…what happened?”

    “Hell, you don’t want to know. Not this early anyway. But you’re still a party animal after all these years, that’s for sure!”

    “Fuck. I…I fucked up. Bad. I haven’t had a drop in ten years! Well, almost ten…”

    “No shit? I couldn’t tell. Last night, you were the same mo fo I always knew. Crazier maybe…”

    “Dude, I’m — I’m fucking naked! You’re naked!” I put my hands over my crotch.

    “Yeah. You’re back with me here. Naked City, U.S. fuckin’ A. I still live here. Same fucked-up little trailer too. But hey! It’s home.”

    “Jesus! Where’s Angela?”

    “Angela? You don’t remember?”

    I tried to remember, but it was all a blur. Angela. She was the one who got away. It was looking like history was repeating itself.

    “You crazy fuck! You seriously don’t recall? Her husband? The marine? Kicking your drunken ass all over the parking lot?”

    “Damn!” My head hurt.

    “Yeah. You might not want to look in a mirror right away.”

    “So, what the? Why the fuck am I here? Out here!”

    “Oh, wait. I save your worthless ass, bring you back to my house, and what? You’re pissed at me?”

    “I’m not pissed! Not at you anyway. Fuck! I’m pissed at myself. Damn!”

    “Hey, it could be worse. You almost got arrested last night, but I stuffed your naked ass in my car, and got the fuck out of there, just in time. Dude, you were out of control.”

    “So, I was naked before coming here?”

    “Dude! I sure as fuck didn’t pull your goddamn pants off! You think I turned gay living out here or something? Me gay? You’re the one with the boner! Sheesh! I have a girlfirend! Remember? Carla? She’s inside. I came out to check on you. You slept out here because you stink to High Heaven. Shit man, get a grip!”

    “Sorry! I just don’t know how the hell I could have ended up naked last night! No fucking wonder Angela’s husband beat the shit out of me. So are you going to tell me? Did I just start taking off my clothes? I think I sort of remember dancing…”

    “Dancing? You were Michael Fucking Jackson on steroids!”

    “Really?”

    “I wouldn’t shit you big boy, you’re my favorite turd. Seriously! You picked up some moves. No wonder the chicks were all over you.”

    “You are totally fucking with my head!”

    “Yeah…a little. But really? You don’t recall Angela then? The kiss?”

    “Kiss?”

    “It’s what set Sargent Muscles off. Can’t say that I blame him…”

    “So, I guess I’ll never, ever have another chance at her. Reminds me of Prom. Remember that shit? I’m just a complete fucktard.”

    “No argument here. Anyway, if you feel like breakfast, come inside.”

    “My pants?”

    “Don’t look at me. None of mine will fit your big fat ass.”

    “Uh, OK. I’ll be in. Just give me a minute or two…”

  19. Lindsey

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years. Ten years straight of sobriety after the hell of AA meetings, pity looks from everyone I knew, and the burning ache that made me want just one drink to dull the burning for a while; now that all seems wasted. I guess I should start at the beginning or the end, depending on how you look at it. My name is James Delroy, and I am a recovering alcoholic. It all started in high school or, as I like to refer to it, the fiery pits of hell. I wasn’t one of those popular kids that ruled high school, or even those nerds that seemed oblivious to everyone around them. Hell I wasn’t even one of those ‘normal’ kids that no one seemed to notice. I was the full on reject. The most unpopular yet most noticed kid in the entire school and the target for bullying. Why? Well picture a guy with pasty skin covered in big red pimples, huge glasses, with dark curly hair that leaned toward afro on most days, and about five foot two with three hundred pounds of solid fat walking around. That was me. I got through high school went on to college, lost weight, got my skin treated, cut off my hair, and invested in contacts. Over all I’d say I had managed to become a pretty good looking man despite the fact that I had only reached a measly five ten. It was enough, however, to impress the woman of my dreams; Shirley Maine. We had a torrent affair for about two weeks before we went to the courthouse and I, foolishly, put a ring on it. Shirley and I only managed to stay married for six months since, me being in Public Relations, she had thought I got paid like the stars I work for. I caught her in our bed with one of my clients. So we divorced. The next day I was laid off. A few weeks later I moved back in with my parents where I started drinking. About two years later my mother insisted I get help so, reluctantly, I did. For ten years after that I was sober. Then the invitation to my twenty year high school reunion came. I decided to go to show off to all the assholes that had made my life miserable those four years. I knew there would be alcohol there, but I figured I had made it this long without a drink I could manage a few hours. I was wrong. I thought I’d go there and they would all be fat and balding. That’s how it’s supposed to go right? The underdog comes back and is suddenly the top dog and all the top dogs turn out to be mutts. Not at my reunion. They looked even better than they had in high school and were successful. I was unemployed, living with my parents, recovered alcoholic, and could only pass for decent looking. I could have just left, but I wasn’t that smart. Then there was the drink; just one little flute of champagne sitting on the bar. At that moment I felt the burning in my gut that I hadn’t felt in years. I became restless trying to ignore it. Then I caved. It might have been ok if I had just had that one flute of champagne, but I didn’t. I ordered a couple beers, and then I started doing shots. After that I don’t remember. I woke up in the middle of the sidewalk. I had no idea where I was. At first I thought it was all fine just have to get a cab and get back home. Then I stood up. Everyone was pointing and laughing so I looked down. I had no pants on. Not even boxers. I quickly ran into the nearest store and asked for a bag so I could cover myself. So there I was standing god knows where with only a plastic bag covering my junk and all I could think was: if only I could remember where I left my pants.

  20. marshall_durham

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years,” pushing someone else’s legs off my own, “and I was within three months of that coveted button.”

    When the legs fell to the floor I heard a moan I couldn’t distinguish from male or female. My mouthed tasted like something decided to take a dump in it sometime during the night. Staring up at the ceiling I realized that I didn’t recognize anything I could see.

    Though I would normally expect panic in a situation where I woke up in a strange place with body parts strewn across me, confusion was the prevalent emotion. I decided I needed to get a better look around.

    I tried to lift my head up but someone must have replaced it with a bowling ball because I didn’t remember it being that heavy. That was the moment I decided I would need more leverage and placed my right hand at the top of whatever I was laying on. Pulling with everything I could get in that situation I managed to get myself upright. The scene was something from a movie—and not a national lampoon comedy.

    There wasn’t a single piece of furniture that wasn’t covered in either clothing or bodies. Even the counter in the kitchen had a twenty-something blonde girl lying on her side with only a bra and white socks on. The dining room table was covered with coats and bottles (mostly emptied) leading me to believe we must have been drinking for hours.

    More bottles were on the chairs under the table and spread out on the floor around the table. I even saw two bottles that had been pushed into the sheetrock on the wall behind the table.

    “That was some party last night,” she put her hands on my shoulders and began to rub. I jumped up off the couch without looking where I was placing my feet. The scream I heard when I stepped on a partially closed hand made me jump again toward the kitchen. My foot landed on a bottle which rolled as soon as my weight was on it and the last thing I remember before feeling the sudden impact on my forehead were the words “look out!”

    “I think he’s coming to,” I heard someone say over the commotion of several voices behind me.

    “What happened?” I lifted my hand to my head but was stopped by the emt that was cleaning me up.

    “You split your head open on the corner of the coffee table,” he replied as he finished opening a bandage the size of a dollar bill.

    “Sir?” the other paramedic said holding a clipboard in her hands. “We’re gonna have to take you to the hospital now. Do you have any I.D. on you?”

    “Yeah,” I reached for my wallet and felt the back of my boxers. “now if only I could remember where I left my pants.”

  21. shaykwiat

    SERENITY PRAYER

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years…

    GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY…

    Highschool. A time of secrets and intrigue. A microcosm of screaming hormones mixed with illicit relationships and illegal substances.
    I don’t remember it much. You know the saying they usually attribute to the 60’s and 70’s… “If you remember it, then you weren’t there.” Well, I’m told I was there. I became the stuff of high school legend. But now, it’s like hearing about someone else. An old tale I recognize…
    But it’s not me.

    TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE…

    I am a recovering alcoholic. I cannot change the past. I can only be responsible for one day at a time. I was doing pretty good, until my friend reminded me about our 10th highschool reunion.

    THE COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN…

    No, I cannot change the past. But I decided to attempt to change the way people remember me. I can’t be the only one who’s ever been ashamed of their teenaged self.
    So there I went, dressed responsibly, a 28 year old semi-professional something or other. Just the fact that I could hold down a job is something, right? No matter if I can’t actually explain what I do.
    Who cares, right?

    AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE…

    Well. That was last night. That was until I met up with my old cohorts, reminiscing about the good old days. That was before somebody passed around the proverbial bottle, and drenched in the past, I took a sip. Then another.
    And woke up naked in the middle of the football field, clothes strewn all around me.
    Hindsight is 20/20. I never should have gone.
    If only I could remember where I left my pants.

    AMEN.

    –Shayla Kwiatkowski, 2013
    amazon.com/author/shaylakwiatkowski
    shaylakwiatkowski.blogspot.com

  22. donnajski

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years. I was doing so well. I thought I had my drinking problem licked, until I went to my high school reunion. When I arrived I saw the old gang, Patty, Linda, and Susie. We started talking and remembering all the fun we used to have in high school. Linda was the class clown. Patty was the fashion queen. Susie was the head cheerleader and I had the good-looking brother all the girls wanted to meet, so, I got to hang out with the cool girls. I knew they all liked me because they wanted to get to my brother, but I didn’t care. I was hanging out with the cool girls, which gave me access to the cool guys. After graduation we all went our separate ways. To be cool, I had learned to drink. The problem was that I liked to drink a little too much and I had to admit that I needed help to stop. I joined the local AA group and they helped me get over my addiction to alcohol. I felt terrific. I was married to a wonderful man. We had two great kids. Everything was great. And then I attended my reunion. Susie was there when we arrived. She came over and gave me big hug and it was great to see her. She introduced me to her husband and just as we began to chat, Linda and Patty joined in. I met their husbands and gradually our conversation drifted back to our high school days. At some point someone handed me a glass of wine. I thought I was in control. I thought I could stop any time. I thought one drink would be fine. I don’t remember much after that. The first glass of wine tasted glorious. I closed my eyes and savored the taste. I do remember my husband and I danced a few times and I asked him to bring me some wine and he got angry. I think he left then and said he was going back to my Mom and Dad’s house to be with the kids. I’m not sure how much I had to drink, but I know one of my friends and her husband drove me home. The next morning I woke up with a headache and my husband was still angry. I was so embarrassed and all I could think of was that I needed help. I needed to call Betty. She was a friend from my AA group and I knew she could help me. I had to call her today. My marriage and my life depended on her help. Her number was on a scrap of paper that I stuck in the pocket of my gray pants. But I didn’t see the pants in my suitcase. I began to cry. If only I could remember where I left my pants.

  23. Danielle

    Here’s my attempt. Enjoy!

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years,” I started telling the bartender. He barely glanced my way, which offended me. I was sharply dressed in a navy blue pinstriped Gucci suit paired with a neon green paisley print silk tie which the salesman at the store had assured me accented my brown eyes. His loss. He was probably straight anyway.

    I turned my back to the bar, a glass of red boxed wine swill my hand. It was my 15 year high school reunion and I wasn’t quite sure why I had come. I scanned the dance floor, a term I use loosely. A dance floor implies a place where people dance. This was the gym and very few people were dancing. Gyrating, yes. Bumping and grinding, yes. But true dancing, no. And as a trained ballroom dancer, I would know.

    Perusing the rest of the gym, I only saw the bloated shells of the former cheerleading squad. The same squad that had rejected me because I wasn’t strong enough to support that heifer Tiffany Troutsdale. They looked miserable as their husbands, formally the peak of masculinity known as the Fighting Falcons football team, guffawed at each other’s jokes. All the other cliques were seated together at tables but no one seemed interested in busting a move as we used to say.

    So I gave up this charade of rekindling school spirit. I drained my wine and asked the bartender for another. I drained it too; after all, it was only my fourth glass of wine. I could handle more than that in my early drinking years.

    I kindly asked the bartender for another but he quite rudely explained to me I was cut off from the bar. I tried to calmly reason with the man but it only seemed to inflame him more. At one point, he threatened to call the cops if I didn’t just walk away. Well, that just didn’t make sense to me. He was the one being loud and rude, but I maintained a calm composure and left without further incident.

    The floor seemed quite uneven as I sauntered down the hallways of my former school. It’s a shame what budget cuts had done to the place in the past 15 years. I tripped over a loose tile and fell to the floor. Grumbling, I got up and dusted off my expensive suit. My dry cleaner will be most unhappy.

    In my attempt to find the entrance through the maze of corridors, the call of nature hit me. I found the nearest bathroom, I don’t remember the boys’ urinals being this open, and did my business. As I was finishing, a police officer tapped me on the shoulder. He inquired as to what I was doing. I politely asked him what business was it of his. He mumbled some nonsense about a person can’t go around missing his pants and urinating in public and proceeded to clamp handcuffs on me.

  24. Chilo

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years.”
    “Wow,” Lucy’s hand caressed the side of his arm, “it still amazes me, Angel.”
    “There goes the party,” Will raises his glass and gulps down his scotch, “ahh, that’s too bad.”
    “So much for the high school reunion of my dreams,” Isaiah chimed in.
    “Come on guys, it’s not like I can’t have a drink for old time’s sakes.”
    “I don’t know, Angel…”
    “Don’t worry, Lucy, I’m as sober as a cat without its catnip.”
    “It’s what?” Will burst out laughing, “You’d better take at least one drink before the speeches,” he hands Angel a glass of wine, “I hear that old jackrabbit, Mr. Hobbs is still alive.”
    “You don’t kid?”
    “Nah,” Isaiah sips his drink and suddenly spills some on Angel’s shoes.
    “Hey.”
    “Why don’t we do a 3-4 for all time’s sakes?”
    “Yeah,” Will places his glass on the nearby table.
    “What’s a ‘3-4’?” Lucy raises an eyebrow.
    She should have raised both for what she was about to hear.
    Angel drinks his glass in one gulp, “I don’t know, guys,” he wipes his forehead with the back of his hand and pulls on his tie, “That got us in a heap of trouble.”
    “They can’t suspend us… we’re like immune now.”
    “Maybe indecent exposure…”
    Lucy frowns and places her hands on her hips, “Would someone let me in on this little joke?”
    But before Lucy could finish her question, the three men walked over to the end of the table bar and hogged down a few too many drinks. They talked about pulling the stunt of the century right after old Hobbs finishes his speech… for all time’s sakes.
    All Lucy could do was watch from a distance and cross her fingers that whatever they were up to would not reflect on her.
    Once the music lowered and Mr. Hobbs began his speech to welcome and congratulate the class, the three men snuck backstage. They ran into an old buddy and paid him to pull the curtains open the minute the jackrabbit finished. Then, they positioned themselves with their back turned away from the curtains.
    After a long applause, Mr. Hobbs congratulated the class again and asked them to enjoy the rest of the evening. With an accompanying ka-ching from the band, the curtains rolled open and the three men lowered their pants and underwear, performed a moon dance.
    Lucy was horrified but the crowd loved it. They roared for more. Some women jumped onstage with them and pushed them off the stage and completely removed their pants.
    The commotion was too much for Lucy that she ran toward the exit. She paced the block for a few hours and when she noticed people leaving the building, she made her way inside.
    There lay in front of the stage, Angel and his friends.
    With drink in hand, Angel said, “If only I could remember where I left my pants.”

  25. theforce95

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years, those nights of waking up and not knowing I thought were long behind me. The fall down drunk I swore I’d never relive- all it takes is a trip down memory lane to land me smack dab in the middle of my high school reunion trying to understand why I allowed Jack Daniels to reintroduce himself to me after ten long years and countless, “hello I’m Jane and I am an alcoholic meetings. Honestly, I don’t know who is more dangerous my old friend Jack or my ex.
    Jillian knows my plight, watching Gregory walk in with a woman had me feeling like a second rate citizen, even though I know I’m FIERCE in this pantsuit, but I need the liquid courage Jack gives.
    “Hello Gregory!” Janie! It is so great to see you-extending a hand, a hand for heavens sake, has this what its come to? Ignoring the hand I close in on a hug. Well Greg, look at you. This is my fiancé Robyn. Now I don’t know if it was the thought of him being someone other than my husband or my old friend Jack making his presence known, but I felt uneasy. Janie are you well you don’t look so great? I am fine, I just need a little air excuse me.

    As I make a rather embarrassing exit to the terrace Jillian is hot on my trail. How did it go? Was that really his wife or whatever? More like a fiancé, head spinning I sit. Jane dear, you did DUMP him remember, you didn’t want a “hard partying frat boy”, those were your words right? I just have to accept the things that cannot be changed. “is that some AA stuff?” listen, you want him I know and he may still want you, but you need to pull yourself together and decide if you are going to make the next move.

    Are ou still a reporter? This from David, our very own “queen” and most changed improved whatever. Yes I am five years now!

    I thought after your fiasco on air they would have canned you!” EXCUSE ME? FIASCO, just as I was about to read him his rights Gregory appears and asks me to dance.

    Janie, should you be drinking? I only had a little drink! Are you still on probation at work for your outburst on air?I took a class to prove I wasn’t a drunk and all is well. I figured as much or I would have hoped you would have retained. Still a comedian I see.

    After dancing the night away in the arms of my one love, seeing old friends, and being reminded why I no longer like the company of Mr. Daniels, just a couple of thing still puzzle me, (a) why is Gregory on the floor (b) everything would be great If only I could remember where I left my pants.”

  26. nelleg

    Missing pants 1-15-2013
    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years and then I found myself standing at the bar next to my best friends Andrea and Katie. They didn’t know about my addiction, it was the only thing I ever kept from them. Being drunk was just a common thing in a small town like ours. When I left Hudville they didn’t know how badly the addiction had it’s claws in me or about my AA meetings. I was doing great with my diet coke then I looked up and saw Luke walk in. How could this be? He never went to these “stupid things” as he used to put it. “Class reunions are for the losers who can’t let go of the past.” That’s what he used to say. So why was he there?
    Of course he walked in with his younger wife on his arm. He was all smiles as he talked with everyone If they only knew what he really thought of them and all the things he would say about them all. And how he couldn’t stand their “ignorance to the real matters in life.” It didn’t seem to bother him anymore. What would his wife do if she only knew he was still secretly seeing me when they first started dating. The only reason why he stopped his Monday night visits to me was that he got her pregnant. I thought about just standing up there on the bar shouting all of his dirty little secrets but I knew no one would believe me. He was the “nice boy next door” and I was the girl that broke his heart when I cheated. Instead of a grand confession I chose to order tequila shots. Andrea and Katie decided I needed the alcohol so they just bought the bottle.
    I vaguely remember what happened as the night progressed. I do remember glimpses of the events from last night. There were several surprised looks from formal classmates, writing on a wall with a sharpie in a bathroom stall, tears from Luke’s little wifey and a stolen police car. Which would explain why I woke up in the driver’s seat of the sheriff’s patrol car this morning and Katie, Andrea and Luke’s wife oin the back seat. Now if only I could remember where I left my pants.”

  27. sara

    Colour My World

    © copyright 2013

    by Sara Jacobelli

    “I hadn’t a drink in nearly ten years.” Famous last words. But that’s what I was thinking when I walked into the Harding High 1975 Class Reunion, at the Holiday Inn in downtown Bridgeport.

    That’s what I was thinking when I ordered a vodka cranberry at the open bar. Figured, if I could handle being sober for ten years, I could handle being tipsy a few hours. Then go back to my sober life, the boring AA meetings, the gallons of cappuccino.

    “Tony? Tony Riccio, from Mr. Licamele’s homeroom?”

    A middle-aged woman with hair dyed a poor choice of red peered up at me from thick glasses. I looked at her name tag.

    “Angie Cervone?” I juggled my drink and paper plate piled with cheese and crackers. “Good to see ya, Ange!” She hugged me. I wasn’t sure if I remembered her. There was a ton of Angies at Harding, along with numerous Donnas, Carmens, Vickis, Tinas, and Marias.

    I noticed the crinkly laugh lines around her eyes. Everyone looked old.

    I headed for the restroom as an excuse to dodge Angie, then got back-slapped on the way by a few guys I used to play football with. A convention of fat and balding Angelos, Carmines, Peters, Pauls, and more Tonys.

    Looking in the mirror and combing my thick, dark, wavy hair, I mumbled, “They’re old. Shit, I got a thirty year old girlfriend.”

    One of the Tonys came into the can and looked at me strangely.
    He nodded on the way out. “Hey, you’re still a dreamboat.”

    Back at the party, I got buttonholed by Tina Tattaglia. She was flipping through photos on her digital camera, showing off kids and grandkids. In the 70s we slow-danced to Colour My World, she smelled like lilacs, held tight to my shoulders.

    “They’re cute.” I wanted to call my girl back in San Francisco. Misty. A razor-thin Starbucks barista and artist. God, I was lucky to still look so good. And to be so free.

    “Tony, you married? Kids?” Tina had chosen not to die her hair. The natural gray highlights looked kind of pretty, if you go for that sweet grandma type.

    “Nah. . . never was the settling down sort.”

    “Well. . . “ Tina puffed on one of those fake electronic cigarettes. “There’s something I need to tell you.”

    I gulped down my third vodka cranberry.”Yeah, what? Been carrying a torch for me all these years, babe?” I kissed her on the cheek.

    “No, it’s just that. Well, Orazio died last year. Remember Razzy? Two years ahead of us? He dropped out and went into construction with his father?”

    “Razzy. Nice guy. Sorry.” I put my arm around her shoulder. Felt sorry for her.

    Tina held up the camera. “Our oldest, Giovanni? He’s thirty-seven. I never told you, but he’s yours.”

    That’s all I remember. This morning, I woke up, looked around the hotel room, and wondered, “If only I could remember where I left my pants.”

    498 words

  28. DonaMaria

    “I hadn’t had a drink in ten years, Officer. I don’t know what happened – I mean one minute I am walking into my high school class reunion, which by the way, was totally bizarre because I didn’t recognize anyone. My first thought was who would bring their parents to a reunion? But then this bald, fat guy appeared out of nowhere by my side and practically yelled ‘I took you to prom!” which I strenuously denied until I finally caught a glimmer of that cocky, bad boy in his watery blue eyes. I felt awful, of course, that I did not recognize him but, in my defense Officer, I do not recall him being so short. Then I realized that these old people who had walked up and were now surrounding me were my high school classmates! Yes, it had been twenty years but the reflection I see in the mirror every day has not changed that drastically. All of their youthful features had been totally snuffed out by wrinkles, sagging fatty flesh and gray hair – if they had been lucky enough to keep it that is –“.

    “Ms. Posso” interjected the officer. “I am not interested in the details of your high school reunion. I asked you for identification. My job is to book you for disorderly conduct. Which I must say, you being a woman an’ all, is a first for me and for this town. “

    “Officer” I said “I wish I could provide you with my drivers license, you can call me Ellen by the way, but I lost my purse along with a few other things — like my memory. Which is the reason I had quit drinking in the first place because I would have these blackouts where my last memory would be quietly sitting at a bar, sipping a whiskey and diet coke and the next thing I knew I would be waking a day or even days later in a hotel room, an alley, a jail cell or some really odd place like the time I woke up in the lobby of –“

    “I don’t need to hear your life story Ms. Posso, er, Ellen. As riveting as it might be as an episode of some reality show I have other work to do here. So, if you don’t have ID I am going to have to lock you up in holding until we can get you processed. We will hold you overnight and you can see the judge in the morning.”

    “Seriously Officer? Can’t you make some exception? This is a very small town. I probably graduated with some close relative of yours which makes us almost family. Can’t you see a way to release me with just a ticket? I mean other than wandering around main street and watching that poor old lady drive over the curb and into the front of the Red Cross Drug Store I don’t see what was so disorderly about my conduct. I was not in the drivers seat of that car—I had just bent over to pick up this penny I have in my hand which was lying heads up and means I am in for some good luck – but if I had been driving that car I am sure my hands would have been at 10 and 2 just like I was taught by Mr. Bridges in Drivers Ed. Although he announced at the end of every one of my driving lessons he was going to quit he might still be available. Maybe he could give that old lady –”

    Exhaling sharply the officer said “I am afraid there will be no pass for you Ms. Posso. That “old lady” was the mayor’s mother. I have no choice but to take you down to holding. Please stand.”

    “Dang, I wish I had found that penny sooner. Oh, well. I’ll save it in my pants pocket until I find my purse because I am sure good luck is on its way. Now, if only I could remember where I left my pants.”

  29. Ted

    Off the Wagon
    by
    Ted Knoblach

    479 words

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years.”
    “I told you not to go Sean.”
    “I screwed up, okay? It was my 20 year reunion and I got carried away. That’s all. It won’t happen again.”
    “How many times have I heard that?”
    She was right. She had heard it many times before.
    “Listen, I’ll go back to AA tomorrow. Can you back off?”
    “Fine, I’ll “back off,” she said, if you get “back on.”
    “I will, I just had a slight misstep, that’s all.”
    Lisa sighed, “I’m going to bed; my alcoholic husband got drunk last night, and I’m tired.”
    At breakfast, though guarded, Lisa was nice. Sean didn’t bring anything up. He went to work. He was a claim analyst at an insurance company.
    In the late afternoon, he called, “Lisa, I’m going to work over, and then go to the meeting. It doesn’t start until 7.”
    “Fine, call me if you . . . whatever,” she hung up the phone. She knew him.
    Steve Wilkins leaned into his cubicle. “We’re having a get-together for Mary Ann; she’s retiring. 43 years in this shit-hole. You stopping?”
    “I doubt it.”
    “Sean, 43 years.”
    “We’ll see.”
    “It’s at Chauncey’s.” Steve walked away.
    As Sean reviewed a claim, his conscience teased him; “The least you could do is a card.” . . . “Just drop by, present yourself, and then go to AA.”
    At 6:15, he stopped at a convenience store, bought some gas, and searched the greeting card display. He found a blank card with a picture of someone fishing on the front. He scrawled “All the Best, love Sean” and shoved two twenties inside. He went to Chauncey’s.
    “Drop the card, and go.” He said aloud.
    “Excuse me?” the hostess heard him, she saw his shaky hands holding an envelope, “are you looking for the retirement party?”
    “Yes.”
    “Through the bar to the back room,” she said.
    ********** ********** **********
    The same hostess that had greeted him; woke him. Sean hoped she hadn’t noticed he’d pissed himself. Leaving, he spotted the Lost Sock across the street, and decided to wash his pants.
    Around 4:30 in the morning, Sean called, “Lisa . . . it’s me, Sean. I can’t―”
    “Stop!” a heavy sigh, “where are you?”
    “A laundrymat.”
    “A laundromat? Where?”
    “The Lost Sock,” can you believe that one?”
    “I’ll believe anything. I believed you were going to AA didn’t I?”
    “I can’t find my―”
    “So we’re back to this shit, aren’t we.”
    “But, I―”
    “Just, stay there and don’t drive, I’m coming,” she hung up the phone.
    Sean began to panic. He needed to get his pants washed before she came. “I took my pants off here,” he said to the sorting table, “then I bought the Tide over there; and now―” he peered inside an empty washer, “If only I could remember where I left my pants.”

  30. Dud

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years. Ten years? Three thousand, six hundred and fifty days. A few more here and there with Leap Years. How many nightcaps have I turned down? A thousand? Can’t be that many but it feels like one hundred thousand. White knuckles? How about bone-white knuckles? Not every night, mind you, but enough to have severe indentations on the seven or eight couches and chairs I’ve purchased over the last decade.

    Don’t even get me started about vacations! Diet soda is boring after a lunch or two. Especially sitting on a beach in Miami.

    Enough of that! My father, a great man and role model died eleven years ago tonight. I gave up barley and hops thirteen months after that; begrudgingly because I figured I was next. No more! No way! Relationships have come and gone with the same frequency sauced or sober. Life’s the same either way, right? Rationalizing? Probably, but one eighteen-pack won’t be the end for me. Tonight I pay tribute to Dad. They’ve been on ice for twenty minutes now. Time to get started.

    I’ve grumbled when and while I wasn’t drinking in Chicago. I’ve screamed at lack of alcohol in Boston. I’ve been out of breath at a conference in New Orleans as I ran up and down Bourbon Street; I was running to alleviate my thirst for brew. Makes no sense? No kidding. What recovering drinker goes to New Orleans, anyway, unless it’s life or death? The memories have made the first twelve go down smoothly but my faculties are feeling severely diminished as I crack open the next one. Dizzy. Dad, this thirteenth one is for you. “Lucky” thirteen. Some luck. I’m alone; searching for breath, anything with life; remembering “Vertigo” by Hitchcock. Am I grumbling like I did in the Windy City or am I imagining it? I’m trying to scream; can’t do it. My heart’s racing. Nothing coming out of my throat. What is going on? I remember panting like a dog one afternoon fifteen years ago. Something about combining vodka, beer and Vegas’s one hundred and fifteen degree heat. No sounds. Where is my voice? I can’t find it. Chest is heaving. Remember how to breathe. Breathe, dammit! Forgetting how. Can I regroup? Still remembering Vegas. Dog-like? I might be okay if I could remember where my pants are now.

    1. Dud

      Proofreading:
      Ignored the reunion-alone in the room surrounded by strangers-didn’t come across as I reread it
      Revise the last sentence: didn’t write it verbatim

  31. carmeniris

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years, honey.” He insisted. “I swear on my mother’s grave!”
    “Your… mother… was… cremated.” I responded.
    “Well, yeah, I meant on her ashes.”
    “I’ve always been able to tell when you are lying. It’s that ‘well, yeah’ that gets you every… single… time.”
    “All right, I admit it, but it felt like ten years, honey bun.”
    “Do NOT call me HONEY BUN.” I was getting furious by then.
    “Why? That’s a term of endearment.”
    “Yeah, sure, if I were Ann Marie. Remember her. You took her to the prom, after you broke up with me, the week before. You think I didn’t know you used to call her that?”
    “Are you sure?”
    “Oh, yes, I am sure.”
    “But I married you, three years later.”
    “Four.”
    “Four what? Oh, you’re right. I do remember. You looked lovely.” he said.
    “Good for you, your memory is returning. I’ll be sure to tell my attorney.” The last thing he said while I closed the front door was “If only I could remember where I left my pants.”

  32. megk88

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years. There’d been an incident in college, one that went far beyond a regrettable hook up or even a night in handcuffs, and fully convinced me of my need for sobriety. But that all changed when I walked into the room that I used to call seventh period — the John Adams High gym. Looking much different than it had a decade prior, it was filled with tables covered in elegant black table clothes, a make shift chandelier hanging over what I assumed was to be the dance floor for the few (or not so) people who’d drank up their courage, and a group of people who seemed much too old to be members of my senior class. The fully stocked bar sat in the corner of the room taunting me like a cheerleader trying to get me to smoke some pot.
    It wasn’t until Kelly Michaels walked in that it was subconsciously decided that a drink was more of a necessity than an extravagance.
    Let me break it down: Kelly: formally known as Michael Kelly (never trust a man with two first names): formally known as my prom date, boyfriend of four years, cause of senior year pregnancy scare, almost-fiancé and now, a woman. Confused? I was too. Best way to deal with confusion? Boozin’. Normally I would try to picture that virtual 10-year chip and memories of my decade of sobriety with all of those clear, conscious decisions I’d made. All of those parties where I’d been the sober one talking about the politics of Northern Iraq and the global consequences of formable actions taken by the partisan parties and constitutional rights of citizens. Yeah, AND making sense, all while other girls got silly and fell over chairs. But that didn’t stop me from ordering a light drink.
    “Jack on the rocks,” I said to the bartender.
    I sauntered over to a group that looked familiar, talked about familiar teachers, but after that things got sort of hazy. Someone yelled “Shots!” like you’d hear in a movie about rowdy teenagers and I felt compelled to join.
    They said I “rocked the house” that night. I got texts for weeks telling me how well I karaoked “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the sound of someone playing a harmonica.
    I woke up nestled in the closet where they kept the sports equipment. I stood up and brushed myself off, ready to go home and settle my stomach with some saltines.
    I heard cheers outside. Had I only passed out for a few minutes? I peeked outside. The high school basketball team was in bouncing back forth on the court with two sides of filled, screaming bleachers. I took a deep breath. Maybe no one would see me. I looked around making sure I had everything, until I noticed one thing missing and knew this would be a hard one to overlook. If I only I could remember where I left my pants…

  33. megk88

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years. There’d been an incident in college, one that went far beyond a regrettable hook up or even a night in handcuffs, and fully convinced me of my need for sobriety. But that all changed when I walked into the room that I used to call seventh period — the John Adams High gym. Looking much different than it had a decade prior, it was filled with tables covered in elegant black table clothes, a make shift chandelier hanging over what I assumed was to be the dance floor for the few (or not so) people who’d drank up their courage, and a group of people who seemed much too old to be members of my senior class. The fully stocked bar sat in the corner of the room taunting me like a cheerleader trying to get me to smoke some pot.
    It wasn’t until Kelly Michaels walked in that it was subconsciously decided that a drink was more of a necessity than an extravagance.
    Let me break it down: Kelly: formally known as Michael Kelly (never trust a man with two first names): formally known as my prom date, boyfriend of four years, cause of senior year pregnancy scare, almost-fiancé and now, a woman. Confused? I was too. Best way to deal with confusion? Boozin’. Normally I would try to picture that virtual 10-year chip and memories of my decade of sobriety with all of those clear, conscious decisions I’d made. All of those parties where I’d been the sober one talking about the politics of Northern Iraq and the global consequences of formable actions taken by the partisan parties and constitutional rights of citizens. Yeah, AND making sense, all while other girls got silly and fell over chairs. But that didn’t stop me from ordering a light drink.
    “Jack on the rocks,” I said to the bartender.
    I sauntered over to a group that looked familiar, talked about familiar teachers, but after that things got sort of hazy. Someone yelled “Shots!” like you’d hear in a movie about rowdy teenagers and I felt compelled to join.
    They said I “rocked the house” that night. I got texts for weeks telling me how well I karaoked “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the sound of someone playing a harmonica.
    I woke up nestled in the closet where they kept the sports equipment. I stood up and brushed myself off, ready to go home and settle my stomach with some saltines.
    I heard cheers outside. Had I only passed out for a few minutes? I peeked outside. The high school basketball team was in bouncing back forth on the court with two sides of filled, screaming bleachers. I took a deep breath. Maybe no one would see me. I looked around making sure I had everything, until I noticed one thing missing and knew this would be a hard one to overlook. If I only I could remember where I left my pants.

  34. megk88

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years. There’d been an incident in college, one that went far beyond a regrettable hook up or even a night in handcuffs, and fully convinced me of my need for sobriety. But that all changed when I walked into the room that I used to call seventh period — the John Adams High gym. Looking much different than it had a decade prior, it was filled with tables covered in elegant black table clothes, a make shift chandelier hanging over what I assumed was to be the dance floor for the few (or not so) people who’d drank up their courage, and a group of people who seemed much too old to be members of my senior class. The fully stocked bar sat in the corner of the room taunting me like a cheerleader trying to get me to smoke some pot.
    It wasn’t until Kelly Michaels walked in that it was subconsciously decided that a drink was more of a necessity than an extravagance.
    Let me break it down: Kelly: formally known as Michael Kelly (never trust a man with two first names): formally known as my prom date, boyfriend of four years, cause of senior year pregnancy scare, almost-fiancé and now, a woman. Confused? I was too. Best way to deal with confusion? Boozin’. Normally I would try to picture that virtual 10-year chip and memories of my decade of sobriety with all of those clear, conscious decisions I’d made. All of those parties where I’d been the sober one talking about the politics of Northern Iraq and the global consequences of formable actions taken by the partisan parties and constitutional rights of citizens. Yeah, AND making sense, all while other girls got silly and fell over chairs. But that didn’t stop me from ordering a light drink.
    “Jack on the rocks,” I said to the bartender.
    I sauntered over to a group that looked familiar, talked about familiar teachers, but after that things got sort of hazy. Someone yelled “Shots!” like you’d hear in a movie about rowdy teenagers and I felt compelled to join.
    They said I “rocked the house” that night. I got texts for weeks telling me how well I karaoked “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the sound of someone playing a harmonica.
    I woke up nestled in the closet where they kept the sports equipment. I stood up and brushed myself off, ready to go home and settle my stomach with some saltines.
    I heard cheers outside. Had I only passed out for a few minutes? I peeked outside. The high school basketball team was in bouncing back forth on the court with two sides of filled, screaming bleachers. I took a deep breath. Maybe no one would see me. I looked around making sure I had everything, until I noticed one thing missing and knew this would be a hard one to overlook. If I only I could remember where I left my pants…

  35. ShawnJohnson78

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years. Of course that was a year ago” Sam said holding a tumbler of ice cubes and looking for a way to refill it without getting up. “But as we are all gathered here at our 15 year Reunion it seems important to relive past triumphs that in no way impact the adults we have since become. Salute”
    “So what happened” she asked. “To make you ’fall off the wagon’”? She did the quotation in the air with her fingers instantly causing him to dislike her. With all confidence he could assume this girl has etched out a solid career as a waitress; local, probably a diner, but travels to Disney World once a year to gain worldly experience to vomit at a moment’s notice. He snorted a quiet laugh to himself. He could also say with all certainty that he also had no idea who the hell she was, but a sob story and alcohol brings about new relations. The idea of the diner brought up the image of French toast and he almost walked away without saying anything, overcome with an urge to take in some egg-drenched Texas toast. Ending this charade would have its own benefits; mostly it would be not listening to her as she tried to figure out who I was. From what he could glean by the photos strewn about as an artistic representation of what equated to 4 overly-hyped and under sexed years, she was quasi-popular and in none of the same classes as him.
    A slow song dripped from the speakers (something by Bryan Adams he thought) that was in no way connected to their 4 years of school. He was about to relay what had caused his relapse into the bottle when she (her name tag said Trish so he assumed that was her actual name) asked him if he wanted to dance. A quick glance out to the dance floor and it was high school all over again; almost everyone just kind of stood there rocking side to side with the exception of the few who took dance classes for their weddings (not a terrific difference in skill). He could do this. She was four cups past tipsy and girls like to dance. Yup, she rocks side to side too. Halfway through the song (please let it be almost over) he creates the world where he had lost his wife to cancer, or car accident or maybe both. He was getting along in drinks as well, giving up on ginger ale as a disguise. It went as he predicted. An hour later he was unconscious on the secretary’s couch near the principal’s office.
    Nothing had happened as he started to replay it in his mind but when he sat up he was alone. His head hurt and he was alone. Trish the waitress has stiffed him and he laughed.
    French Toast now. If only I could remember where I left my pants

  36. penney

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years. It was a horrific rock bottom that I hit. I still can only remember the start of a few evenings, but regretfully, and with great fear the mornings after. It is the in betweens that I know will haunt me.

    It was horrible walking through Wal-Mart with my new husband and little girl when someone from my past walked up expecting me to remember.

    “Hey, Penney where you been? What’s up? Wow how long has it been? Do you remember that night? God, you were so wasted,” said the guy with no name.

    I stared at this guy for an eternity. Who the hell was he? Had I slept with him? What the hell was he talking about? Oh, God please go away. I turned and looked at my husband and held my baby daughter tighter in my arms. Please God go away! That’s not me anymore. My husband took my hand, lovingly.

    “I’m sorry, she doesn’t remember you. That was a different time. Can we help you?” Randy took full control. Like a cop directing traffic, he guided my past slowly back where it came from.

    “Hey man, that’s cool. She was one crazy bitch though!” He started to laugh. “Is she going to the high school reunion this weekend?” I heard my past say.

    “I don’t know. Now would you please leave us alone? Thank you.” Randy motioned for us to turn away. “Go on, I’ll catch up,” he whispered in my ear.

    That night I had the weirdest dream. From what I can remember, I was running in the gymnasium of my old high school, just jogging the perimeter. I could hear the squeak of my shoes on the hardwood floor. Around and around in my Technicolor dream, when a girl (my old drinking buddy), came up beside me.

    “I can run faster. Always have, always will,” she said in her 80’s aerobics clothes.

    I ran faster leaving her far behind and proving her very wrong, but still around and around. Then I was in the girl’s locker room. Towel wrapped around my gorgeous body. I sat on a bench surrounded by my past crowd, a redhead nothing of a guy who had connections to the greatest, cheapest weed, and three chicks whose names didn’t matter sat watching my every move.

    Red had changed. Svelte, bear chest chiseled. Steam trickling down his pecks, I was impressed.

    “What’s wrong Penney? Can’t find you clothes again?” They all laughed at me.

    I stood there letting loose of my towel, full nakedness revealed. I reached for a beer, and gulped down the carbonated bliss. Foam pouring between my breast.

    “Ya, if only I could remember where I left my pants,” and then I woke up.

    1. DMelde

      Good story penney. I liked how you described the awkward meeting of one’s past; it made me feel uncomfortable for her. Also, the dream sequence was very good.

  37. Icabu

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years,” Paul mumbled. Looking at the tumbled bed coverings, he smiled. He vaguely remembered a beautiful woman, frowned when no details emerged from his throbbing brain. Lifting the covers, he was relieved to see he had his underwear on, frowned again seeing they were on backwards.

    Exiting the bathroom, he stopped, staring at the beautiful woman he could almost remember and silently cursed falling from the wagon. She definitely looked like he would enjoy reliving those lost memories.

    “Uh,” he blurted, “you found my shirt.” She looked far better in his shirt than he ever did. His sluggish brain could not come up with her name.

    “You weren’t using it,” she said and went to look out the window.

    “This your room?”

    Her laugh told Paul that she knew he had no idea what happened after leaving their high school reunion in the hotel’s ballroom last night.

    “Yes. We met at the reunion. My sister had a secret crush on you our junior and senior years. She couldn’t make it to the reunion this year.”

    “Belinda? Or Melinda?” Paul asked, remembering the twins from high school and wishing he could remember this more recent meeting. The twins had obviously outgrown their awkward teenage years.

    “I’m Bel. Mel says ‘Hi’.”

    “Okay. How is Mel?”

    “She’s fine. Married Howard Dorsey, you know.”

    “Dorky Dorsey?” Paul bit back a snicker. “Didn’t we fly his pants on the school’s flag pole?”

    “Yes. You jocks tormented Howie regularly.”

    “Well, you know …” Paul began, defensively.

    “Howie’s company sold his tracking software to the Government for three billion. He and Mel are off buying an island somewhere.”

    Paul coughed, nearly swallowing his tongue. “Three billion?”

    “He has a civilian version almost ready to release. You’ll be able to track packages from your phone independent of the shipper. It’ll be huge.”

    “Howie Dorsey?” Paul asked, shock preventing her words from registering.

    “Here, I gave you a preview.” She tossed his phone on the bed, slipped into a tiny skirt, ladder heels and left, still wearing Paul’s shirt.

    Rubbing his hands over his face, Paul dropped onto the bed, vowing to jump back on the wagon. He wanted to catch up with Belinda and find out just how well they had gotten to know each other. He scanned the room for the rest of his clothes, ignoring the map showing on his phone with a blinking dot just in front of the hotel at an elevation of approximately thirty feet.

    “If only I could remember where I left my pants,” he mumbled.

  38. DMelde

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years. That was before the zombies attacked at my high school reunion. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Jessie go down on the gym floor. They ripped her head off and one of the zombies, a jock in his former life, tried to make a free throw but missed badly. Zombies can’t shoot worth shit.
    It’s funny because I always thought it would be the robots that got us, and they still might, but right then, watching the zombies enter the gym and start clawing and gnawing at people, I was wishing that I had a big robot buddy standing next to me; a shiny metal one with size 40 shoes, which happens to be the perfect size for stomping out zombies.
    After Jessie fell more and more zombies started streaming into the gym. I never knew zombies could move that fast. That was when I started running for the door but I wasn’t quick enough, as zombie twins grabbed me while a third zombie, no relation, bit me on the neck. Well, I’m here to tell you I’m nobody’s zombie bitch. I kicked the biter in his zombie nuts and shrugged off the twins and headed for the door once again, but now I had a dilemma. Six, eight hours max, I’d be a zombie too.
    Why couldn’t it have been a vampire who bit me? They go out at night to concerts and seem to party a lot, and at least a vampire’s personal hygiene is up to human standards, despite the obvious drawback of having no reflection. No, just my luck, I was a not-quite-dead-yet zombie rookie, condemned to a life of wearing grimy clothes and wheezing when I walked. Not all zombies wheeze when they walk, but I was pretty sure I was going to be one of them that did.
    I finally reached the door, shirtless after a zombie fan got close enough to me to rip it off. I knew there was only one thing that could save me now and that something was alcohol, the only known antidote to a zombie bite. “Starve a cold and drown a zombie.” is what my mama always told me. I felt very thirsty. I was the quenchee and alcohol was the quencher. I drove due east, towards the dawn, stopping at ATM machines and withdrawing the max amount at each one. When I felt safe I stopped at a bar, laid down my money, and started drinking. All of my friends were there; Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and the Captain. I drank until that zombie was drowned and waterlogged. I woke up the next day; it must have been late afternoon, on a park bench, with two pigeons eyeing me. Success! I had escaped zombiedom! Now…if only I could remember where I left my pants.

  39. megk88

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years. There’d been an incident in college, one that went far beyond a bad hook up or too much Jack Daniels, and fully convinced me of my need for sobriety. But that all changed when I walked into the room that I used to call seventh period — the John Adams High gym. Looking much different than it had a decade prior, it was filled with tables covered in elegant black table clothes, a make shift chandelier hanging over what I assumed was to be the dance floor for the few (or not so few) people who’d had a few trips to the bar, and a group of people much too old to be members of my senior class. The fully stocked bar sat in the corner of the room taunting me like a cheerleader trying to get me to smoke some pot.
    It wasn’t until Kelly Michaels walked in that it was subconsciously decided that a drink was more of a necessity than an extravagance.
    Let me break it down: Jamie: formally known as Michael Kelly (never trust a man with two first names): formally known as my prom date, boyfriend of four years, cause of senior year pregnancy scare, almost-fiancé and now, a woman. Confused? I was too. Best way to deal with confusion? Boozin’. Normally I would try to picture that virtual 10-year chip and memories of my decade of sobriety with all of those clear, conscious decisions I’d made. All of those parties where I’d been the sober one talking about politics and philosophy while actually making sense as girls fell down and chipped their front teeth (Ok, not ALL the time but you can imagine the hilarity of that one). But that didn’t stop me from ordering a light drink.
    “Jack on the rocks,” I said to the bartender.
    I sauntered over to a group that looked familiar, talked about familiar teachers, but after that things got sort of hazy. Someone yelled “Shots!” like you’d hear in a movie about rowdy teenagers and I felt compelled to join.
    They said I “rocked the house” that night. I got texts for weeks telling me how well I karaoked “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the sound of someone playing a harmonica.
    I woke up nestled in the closet where they kept the sports equipment. I stood up and brushed myself off, ready to go home and settle my stomach with some saltines.
    I heard cheers outside. Had I only passed out for a few minutes? I peeked outside. The high school basketball team was in bouncing back forth on the court with two sides of filled, screaming bleachers. I took a deep breath. Maybe no one would see me. I looked around making sure I had everything, until I noticed one thing missing and knew this would be a hard one to overlook. If I only I could remember where I left my pants…

  40. megk88

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years. There’d been an incident in college, one that went far beyond a bad hook up or too much Jack Daniels, and fully convinced me of my need for sobriety. But that all changed when I walked into the room that I used to call seventh period — the John Adams High gym. Looking much different than it had a decade prior, it was filled with tables covered in elegant black table clothes, a make shift chandelier hanging over what I assumed was to be the dance floor for the few (or not so few) people who’d had a few trips to the bar, and a group of people much too old to be members of my senior class. The fully stocked bar sat in the corner of the room taunting me like a cheerleader trying to get me to smoke some pot.

    It wasn’t until Kelly Michaels walked in that it was subconsciously decided that a drink was more of a necessity than an extravagance. Let me break it down: Jamie: formally known as Michael Kelly (never trust a man with two first names): formally known as my prom date, boyfriend of four years, cause of senior year pregnancy scare, almost-fiancé and now, a woman. Confused? I was too. Best way to deal with confusion? Boozin’. Normally I would try to picture that virtual 10-year chip and memories of my decade of sobriety with all of those clear, conscious decisions I’d made. All of those parties where I’d been the sober one talking about politics and philosophy while actually making sense as girls fell down and chipped their front teeth (Ok, not ALL the time but you can imagine the hilarity of that one). But that didn’t stop me from ordering a light drink.

    “Jack on the rocks,” I said to the bartender.

    I sauntered over to a group that looked familiar, talked about familiar teachers, but after that things got sort of hazy. Someone yelled “Shots!” like you’d hear in a movie about rowdy teenagers and I felt compelled to join.
    They said I “rocked the house” that night. I got texts for weeks telling me how well I karaoked “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the sound of someone playing a harmonica.

    I woke up nestled in the closet where they kept the sports equipment. I stood up and brushed myself off, ready to go home and settle my stomach with some saltines.
    I heard cheers outside. Had I only passed out for a few minutes? I peeked outside. The high school basketball team was in bouncing back forth on the court with two sides of filled, screaming bleachers. I took a deep breath. Maybe no one would see me. I looked around making sure I had everything, until I noticed one thing missing and knew this would be a hard one to overlook. If I only I could remember where I left my pants…

  41. casmick72

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years, “but it’s a special occasion, right?” At least that is what I told myself before attending my 20th high school reunion. I could handle one or two drinks to be social. It’s not that I felt the need to drink but the need to be like I was at 18 years old; the cool jock that made everyone laugh. My nerves at seeing all my old high school friends could have been part of the reason I decided to fall off the wagon. What started as one drink with my best friend, Beau, turned into five before the band had even warmed up. Tripping over my own feet I felt the liquid courage to ask my high school crush, Leanne, to dance with me. Not surprisingly she said no. Leanne’s girlfriends gave me the evil eye as I start to follow her across the dance floor. Stopping in my tracks a woman bumped into me. I turned around and was face to face with Julie, slut numero uno. “Here’s my chance to get laid” I remember thinking. I asked her if she wanted a drink. Smiling she took my arm and lead me over to the bar. We ordered a round of shots. One became four. Julie asked me to take a walk with her. The deserted hallway was the perfect place to begin making out. I remember lifting her skirt and unzipping my pants. It all becomes a little foggy then.

    My drinking began in college and didn’t stop until two DUIs and a lost job later. A night of binge drinking with my buddies on my 28th birthday landed me in the bed of a questionable looking woman. The heroine needle found on the night stand was all the push I needed to seek out treatment. Stumbling into the nearest AA meeting I could find online, I sat at the back of the room and observed the other members. The people there during the day seemed to be normal. Why then did I feel superior to them? I didn’t really have a problem. I just needed to slow down the drinking. By the end of the meeting the leader had echoed all the lies I had been telling myself for years. After a few meetings I found a sponsor and started my road to recovery. It had been difficult at first but became easier as the years went by.

    Gingerly sitting up in the bed I had obviously slept in, I noticed Julie snoring softly next to me. My eyes and head felt as if they were stuffed with cotton and being poked with a screw driver. Before getting dressed, I walked into the bathroom to splash some water on my face. As I returned to the bedroom I noticed the heroine needed on the night stand. Now, if only I could remember where I left my pants.

  42. ShannonG

    I hadn’t had drink in nearly 10 years and there was a reason for that. My last drunk started with me threatening to blow up Water Street Bridge in Fairview, IA and ended with the bomb squad blowing up my brand new $98,000 cherry red Mercedes-Benz SL. Being able to afford a car like that, I classified myself as a “functional alcoholic”, despite the fact that the police department classified me as a “terrorist”. I blame it on the fact that I was not able to tolerate high volumes of tequila and it tended to make me just a tad paranoid. I was convinced that the dirty homeless guy living under the bridge was a secret spy from the CIA and had mind controlling devices hidden in the mounds of filthy clothes and paper bags occupying his living quarters.

    When I got the invitation to my high school reunion I didn’t even think twice as I checked the box indicating that I would attend. I probably should have rethought this decision when my wife told me that she couldn’t go and then realized the reunion would be held in a local bar.

    “I’ll be fine honey. I promise I won’t drink.” I told her. Famous last words from an alcoholic.

    As I walked through the bar doors I immediately felt right at home. That familiar scent of stale cigarette smoke, cheap perfume, and desperation began to awake my inner demons and something began to stir restlessly in the back of my mind. I inhaled deeply and made my way up to the bar.

    I had always been warned by fellow AA members that going into a bar could be very dangerous. I faintly heard this warning in my head as I made myself comfortable on the bar stool. And then it was gone replaced with a deep, loud, slightly raspy voice next to my ear.

    “Rusty! How the hell are you?” I turn my stool to the right and look up and into the face of my friend from 25 years ago.

    “Steve?”

    “Yeah buddy!”

    We do the awkward male friend greeting thing providing each other with courtesy slaps on the back and a few high fives and then resume our seats at the bar.

    “You drinking?” Steve asks me, indicating to the lack of a glass in front of me.

    “Na. Not tonight. I’ve got to drive home and the wife’s expecting me in a few hours.” I reply.

    “Awww…you can have one. Let me buy. Bartender, two shots of your finest tequila!” Steve can be very persuasive.

    Just one drink, I tell myself. I can have just one. More famous last words from an alcoholic.
    So despite my better judgment, I find myself completely inebriated and hours later face down in the dirt lying under the Water Street Bridge.

    “Mister. Are you okay?” I look up to see a familiar crusty old face.

    “Hey! I thought I blew you up you dirty secret spy!”

    I start to stand up confident that this time I will be successful in accomplishing my mission. Now, if only I could remember where I left my pants.

  43. onaway

    I hadn’t had a drink in ten years, then suddenly I had a drink and became a writer so I took a shit on my computer and this story came out. If only I could remember where I pissed my pants.

  44. douglangille

    A few words over-long, I was challenged by some peeps at work to pick up the story from last week.

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years and, sitting strapped to this chair, I certainly wished I was at a meeting instead. Hell, at the bottom of a bottle would be great. Not now though. No way. Stone sober.

    The night didn’t start out that way of course. I was at my high school reunion, proud as can be that I could show off a better me: thin, clean and healthy. I didn’t even smoke anymore.

    I was always the outcast and despite my designs for the evening, I remained on the outside. Few took notice of me. Those that did, forgot my name.

    My mood quickly soured, but I was stubborn. I didn’t want to leave. I sulked instead. Typical me. The music was old and loud. I was getting a headache.

    I knew better, but I was feeling sorry for myself and a little lonesome. I sought solace in the familiar – the professional ear for the down-trodden. I crossed the old worn gym floor to one of three makeshift bars and started chatting up the bar keep. The room was laid out strange and this one was not particularly busy.

    It’s funny how I can be so forward with complete strangers in a sea of all people stat knew me at my worst (or at least if they remembered).

    She was dressed in caterer’s garb, complete with bow tie and a ladies-cut shirt and vest. It was meant to be flattering and it indeed was doing its job on her already perfect curves. Her smile lit her face like sunshine.

    Crazy. She seems so familiar to me now.

    We chatted away about nothing at all and at first I didn’t drink. It was full party mode but we were trapped in an eddy. An hour passed and she must have been getting bored with the inactivity. She looked at me with a conspiratorial eye and suggested we toss back a couple.

    Given my otherwise disappointment with the evening, I fell. I just couldn’t resist her – or that was the lie I told myself.

    One shot quickly became six and, man-o-man, it was like riding a bike! We laughed as we drank. Something magical was happening. I let my guard down and laid my soul bare for her.

    In the noise and distraction of it all we stole off and found the teachers’ lounge unlocked and unattended. Afterwards, she excused herself to the washroom and in the quiet dark I opened a window to clear my head.

    The cool rainy night air struck my face and I felt lightheaded momentarily.

    I felt something hot prick my neck. It stung and tingled. I reached back to feel the welt and was roughly lifted off my feet by two sets of meaty hands.

    As I was being manhandled in to the waiting van, I tried to take stock. I was shamefully drunk. I was obviously drugged. I was definitely in trouble. I reached for my cell in my pocket to call for help and came up empty. I almost laughed aloud at the absurdity of my predicament. So I took to giggling instead. I couldn’t help it. I passed out thinking: if only I could remember where I left my pants.

  45. Scarlett Karra

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years.” I muttered to no one in particular as the reason for my over sensitive eyes and ears registered with my brain.
    This wasn’t due to absence of people mind you. Because there were a number of bodies draped over every available surface in various states of undress. I winced as the curtains moved and a shaft of sunlight touched my altogether too sensitive eyes. I looked down in horror at myself and, sure enough, there was nothing covering me except my pink lace bra and my fishnet stockings.
    What happened last night?
    My brain reeled in protest as I tried to recall exactly that.
    I remembered getting into my brand new Chanel pants and a red silk Valentino shirt. I also remembered getting into Kyle’s car s he drove me to my high-school reunion party. And I remembered getting into the over-crowded gym of my high school. My memory went as far as the time when Brian, the geek-turned-Greek and my dance partner of the evening, had tempted me to a drink.
    After that though, my memory was curiously blank. I massaged my throbbing temples and rocked back and forth n the feather mattress.
    Shirley, my BFF, was lying on the couch and moaning absentmindedly as she rubbed herself and was that Brian lying naked on the space next to me?
    It was too much for e t think.
    So I got up on leaden feet and started finding my clothes, desperately trying to ignore stumbling over the odd melee of the strewn bodies. I got into my shirt and fished y matching lace panties from the face of Steve, the high school quarterback, and pulled them on. I found my Coach bag near the door and sighed with relief when I found all the cards and the cash in there.
    Now for my pants.
    I looked around, up and down, right and left and in the nooks and crannies.
    No luck.
    I panicked and pulled on some skirt lying around not bothering to think about the consequences and rushed out of the building that I identified and Steve’s house.
    Thankfully a taxi was passing by and agreed to drop me three and twenty seventh.
    Where the hell were my pants?

  46. handyman43127

    MANS BEST FRIEND

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years” I say to the dog looking up at me as if to say who are you and what are you doing in my bed? I rise and look around the unfamiliar surroundings of the room I am in. Finding a chair I sit down and grasp my thumping head with both hands.

    Lifting my pounding head from the cradle of my palms I ask the dog, “so what’s your name you ugly mutt you and does she belong to you?” I point to the women laying naked on the bed with only her head covered. I’m not sure what is more disturbing to me, the tramp stamp of a mans name on her lower back, the fresh sucker bite on her left ass cheek or that she is snoring like a lumber jack. “I hope she is just dog sitting you” I say to the dog, “you know what they say about owners taking on the features of their pets, and you sure are butt ugly!”

    Trying to piece together the last moments I could remember of the night before at my high school reunion was cloudy to say the least. I remember drinking coffee and talking to friends I hadn’t seen in twenty years. Their was Kelly who I went to all the high school dances with. Christopher, Bobby, Sam and Joey my best friend and drinking buddy from way back. I remember showing him my nine year token from AA and explaining to him that in one week I would receive my ten year token. Joey and I went to get a glass of punch and after that everything goes cloudy. “Shit, shit, shit!” I say under my breath, “Joey spiked the punch!” That little shit did it again, I thought, he always spiked the punch.

    Looking at the dog I say, “I’d take you for a walk and toss that token away, and don’t take it personal, but I would get me a little of the hair of the dog that bit me, if only I could remember where I left my pants.”

      1. handyman43127

        Thank you prettylemon. Sober Yea, especially knowing the description of the dog that I left out, he suffered from a skin condition that left him almost bald, and there was a wig on the night stand next to the women. Whew, call me the Kool-Aid Kid!

  47. theprettylemon

    “I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years. “ I say as I clutch the bottle of golden scotch.
    “Before tonight? No shit. Well, we’re gonna die anyway.” Daniel gruffed beside me.
    I hated Daniel in high school. He was the jock type, and I was the valedictorian. It’s safe to assume we didn’t run in the same circle.
    In all my life I never dreamed I’d die sharing a bottle of scotch with the high school quarterback that made my life a living hell twenty years ago. I always thought I’d go out from falling back into alcoholism.
    Then again tonight isn’t exactly how I pictured my high school reunion turning out either.
    I brought the bottle to my lips and swirled the liquid around my mouth enjoying the stinging bite of it’s flavor. Daniel snatched the bottle from my hand and took a swig.
    “You know, I always thought you were a pussy in high school. I guess I was wrong. You and I are the last ones standing.” He slurs and passes the bottle back.
    I laugh. Moments from death and he’s still an asshole.
    “The only reason I came was to show you assholes up. You still live in your sad glory days of high school football and dating cheerleaders, but I went out and made something of myself. I went to college and became a neurosurgeon. Hell, I’m dating a model now. Er, was dating a model anyway.” I say and take another greedy gulp of poison.
    Daniel turns away from me and wipes at his eyes with his sleeve. It comes away damp.
    “Look, man. I know I did a lot of stupid shit in high school, but it wasn’t no fun for me either. You know the other guys on the team used to make fun of me for being a virgin? So I made fun of other people to get the attention off me. You didn’t need to come back here to show us up. After you left you became the town’s big shot. You did good, man. You did real good.” He says.

    Something scratches the other side of the office door that Daniel and I are hiding in. We both hold our breath and wait for the noise to pass, but it doesn’t. It grows louder. We know our end is coming.

    “You’re a neurosurgeon. Did you know zombies were real?” Daniel asks.
    I shake my head.
    I don’t tell him about the email I got hours before the reunion started. I thought it was a stupid prank. Besides what does it matter now?

    The groans of our hungry classmates are louder outside the office door.

    “Where’s that model girlfriend of yours anyway?” Daniel grins.

    “We were screwing in the football locker room when the first one came and bit her.” The tile is cold under my thighs. I take another swig of scotch and laugh, “That suit cost 10,000 dollars. I can’t believe I’m going to die in my boxers. If only I could remember where I left my pants.”

    1. handyman43127

      I like this story very much. I love the way you make the conversation flow smoothly. I stumbled a little at the end until I realized who was missing the pants. Great job!

        1. handyman43127

          I really don’t think it was your mistake I just had a mindset that the women was wearing a dress, that is where I stumbled until I put two and two together and realized I had a preconceived notion that confused me.

          1. theprettylemon

            Did you read “theprettylemon” and think I was writing from a woman’s pov? Understandable! I like to write from different characters. I should make it clear next time.

    2. DMelde

      Zombies. Very over the top response and that’s how I viewed this week’s prompt too. If I had read your story first, I think I would have written my own story about something other than zombies – like robots from space. I like your story. Great job.

  48. MGH1979

    I hadn’t had a drink in nearly ten years. The counting of my days being sober, worrying about picking up another bottle of blueberry schnapps, and the endless struggle to leave the past in the past caught up with me on this one crazy night. My twenty year high school reunion. Like an avalanche everything came crashing down around me.

    I thought I was strong enough to resist the darkness that crouched in the corner like Gollum, waiting for me to make a mistake. The darkness that wanted nothing but blueberry schnapps. The last time I was drunk was ten years ago to the date…my ten year high school reunion.

    My crush–Alana Stanford was there, wearing a beautiful blue sequined dress, the color of blueberries. The thought of just one drink to help me fit in was overbearing. After all these years I thought I was over her, was it love I felt?

    She made eye contact with me from across the room. I smiled in response to her attention. She gestured for me to come over. The crowd seemed to part just for us. The song playing- Zombie by the Cranberries. In slow motion I crossed the dance floor, feeling the tightness of the tie around my neck. I stopped, unable to meet her without a drink. Just one would make me feel so much more at ease. Then it happened Jimmy, the bully quarterback gripped my hand in his and slipped a bottle into it. Blueberry schnapps! Alana watched me as if in a trance. I glanced back to Jimmy but he was already clapping someone on the back, laughing at what he knew was going to be my very undoing.

    I licked my lips–I could taste the drink already–the smell was intoxicating. One drink wouldn’t hurt? I threw back my head and gulped down the devilish liquid. A Gollum-like laugh escaped from my lips as I realized I couldn’t stop now.

    I woke up in Vegas–in a small chapel-o-love with a wedding band on my left hand and Alana sitting next to me…her smile seemed sweet and gentle, until she smacked me on the head, “Get the car ready, we’re moving in with my mother.”

    If only I could remember where my pants are now.

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