Get the call. Party. Talk to my bro, he has duty but will go and not drink and then go to duty. I decide not to drink. We go downstairs and drive. Freeways crowded for a Saturday night. People being stupid all over the place. Music on the radio is good, I say forget that and slide Trainspotting soundtrack into the CD. Much better. Put foot down a little and watch the speedometer rise. Much better. Brian Eno is a lyrical genius. Music gets louder due to finger pushing button to make it so. Groovy. Drive for awhile and think about life. Things are good but they could be better. Don't really want to go to Japan but then again I do. Never been there. Want to climb Mount Fuji. Why the hell do they call it Mount Fuji instead of Fuji Mountain? Hash out esoteric geology later, white Tercel hell bent on cutting me off. Driver seems preoccupied. Ignore that in future, probably has issues. Looks like it from the way they are driving.

Change lanes, pass Tercel and accelerate, notice speed and slow down after seeing the Heat a few cars ahead. Morons seem to be unaware that the large reflective letters on the backs of their cars make them visible targets. Damns and helps at the same time I suppose. Get a little farther. Drop off one freeway, get on another. Check rear view and find brother still following. This is good thing, don't want to lose him, has no clue where we are going. Burn onto another freeway, south again after going west for a few miles. Bay smells funky as usual, roll the window up to light a smoke. Roll windows back down. Crank music a little more and crunch down in the seat a little, hang hand out window and enjoy the night air. Exit getting closer, get over and pull off freeway and onto the regular roads. Drive through a couple of intersections and hang a turn at the same place, drive a little more and hang another one. Pull up, holler at bro to park. I get the better parking, it's okay, he's leaving before me and can handle that. Walk up to the front gate, infernal damn gate thing is always a pain in the ass. Screw with it for a few minutes and curse myself for not bringing a tone dialer to just force the thing open. On second thought maybe that's not such a good idea, don't want friends evicted. Third thought, fuck that. Need a dialer.

Succeed in getting door to work, short conversation ensues and door opens. Good thing. Walk across lawn and go to first of two apartments, no one there and go to the next one. Go up stairs, party spilling onto landing. See people I know, say hi. Blah, blah, blah, haven't seen you in awhile either. Trite at sea formalities. People I do not know, get introduced to next door neighbors. Find out is A's party. She's turning 3.14159. Thought she was older than that. Just goes to show how much attention I pay to details. Go inside, make rounds. Everyone knows me except for the people that I was introduced to already, B and C. D is here too, say hi. Been through some shit with D. See M, talk to him haven't seen M in a long time. M's annoyed by something that I can't identify, apparently the presence of B and C as suggested by nervous glances. Go back to talking to D. E says hello, no new tattoos I can see. Not that I mind, the twelve there are enough on her already. F is standing outside with G who he started dating I found out five months ago. Been that long already. Hot damn…been on sea duty too long.

I go outside to have a smoke with bro, B, C, F, G and someone who is entirely too drunk for his own good. C is in military, hair gives it away. Ask what he does in Navy. Get snide remark about laying tile. Probably a SEAL. C turns around to go get another drink from inside. He's a SEAL, pistol hangs in back belt a little heavy. No one else notices, not that they would know what it was if they saw it. Tell tale drag on the shirt and lower body movements, make note for later if trouble starts. Small apartment, definite tactical disadvantage on my part. Decide to keep an eye on them. More SEALs show up. H, I and J greet B and C. I wander back inside as K is entirely too drunk and trying to guess my name. I hate that. My name is Yurei to you people. Trust and then you can call me by my real name, if I feel like it. Get a little disgusted. D is standing near blender, we have conversation about fire detection systems and their installation while he makes a margarita. D has a new job doing aforementioned. Better than driving tow truck like before. Wondered when he was going to ditch that stupid ass job and get something worthy of his intelligence. D's girlfriend shows up, like her a lot, old friend and a helluva person at that. We say hi and talk. Not pointless, L is good and it's a shame to see her getting the shit kicked out of her by the Navy. Damn shame.

A wanders over and says hi, we babble for a moment and then I wend my way back outside to see what's going on with bro. He's cornered by K and being told the way it is. Face reveals extreme torment. Says he has to go and excuses himself with the grace of a land mine from the conversation. Tell him to gimmie a holler tomorrow so we can go do something like see a movie or something. Going to miss him when I go to Japan. 33 days. Oop, midnight, 32 days. That short to go. B and C regale me with combat E & E school stories and a short conversation on operational security. Get to see the back end of C's Glock, he's showing off a bit but that is okay, he can do that, it's his job. Make mental note that perhaps they stick out like sore thumbs here. Wander back inside and talk to D some more. M leaves. Turns out M is a total lying psychopath. Disappointing as we have been friends for a long time but I was expecting that break to come sometime. C tells me about running into M at a bar and his…claims. Claims I know not to be true, as does C due to occupation. Difficult. Show D some pictures on my laptop from Mexico, we have a few laughs and I ask him to make me a drink. L drifts back over and looks at pics as D returns with well made, (albeit a tough strong,) White Russian. Hand car keys over, not on duty and feel like having a few drinks, big damn deal if I have to sleep on the floor. Screw it.

A is having problems walking, try to get her to bed as she does not pass out ignobly in living room. This proves difficult. Assistance lended by N and O who show up in time to aid my pursuits of taking care of people as usual. This always happens, I go to have a good time and wind up the one watching everyone. A finally makes it into bed. Says she thinks she is going to throw up, as I am about to leave the room. I turn and watch in horrified fascination as she does and then FUCKING ASPIRATES. SHIT. JAM ACROSS ROOM IN TWO STEPS, FLIP A ON SIDE AND DRIVE A KNEE INTO HER STOMACH. YELL FOR SOME FUCKING TOWELS, A GODDAMN BUCKET AND SOME WATER. A GURGLES CHOKES TWICE AND BLOWS SHIT ALL OVER MY LEGS AND FEET. Nice. She's BREATHING though, COUGHING, hurts a touch when you start choking on your own puke. Yelling has attracted considerable attention from remainder of party. Have close to fifteen people all trying to take control of situation. Check on A again, making the Technicolor Yawn in vast proportions but breathing and making shallow moans, tries to roll onto her back and puke at the same time. Color back in her face now. Stop that, back on your side. More people offering assistance, being more of a pain in the ass than a help, making people with bucket take longer to get back and more of this shit get on my feet. B pushes everyone out, asks me if I have it, I tell him it's all right and there is a trust there. This is good. Someone with a clear head and similar knowledge of the situation. He prevents more people from flooding into the room and I finally get my fucking towels and bucket. Still working on the water. Get A out of the bed and into the bathroom, P shows up and starts hovering in an annoying manner, I leave bathroom as this is not accomplishing anything.

Talk to B and he agrees that aspiration not a good thing. We talk about emergency tracheotomies and IV bags for a few moments until P opens the door again, A latches onto my shirt and leaves a wide swath of barf across my arm. How nice. P bails and I am left with N and O to get A back into her bed. She again begins honking and this time I have a bucket. Make a mental note to wear vinyl clothing to next party, make it easier to wash off. Spend next quarter hour watching A puke into a pail and keeping her from choking on it, she has this thing with inhaling after vomiting. She passes out after a stint of dry heaves and questioning me about why I am doing this, the emotionless reply does not shock me. It's my job and I'd do it for anyone here. Automatic. I owe her one anyhow. Wakes up and haggles me about doing this some more, honks and passes out again. I wake her up and get her to rinse her mouth out, and let her pass out. She is going to need the sleep after all this.

I stand and notice that the everyone is gone except for B who is keeping half and eye on what I am doing. Walk out of the room, bullshit with B some more and go to check on A when she makes a funny noise. Hear yelling. Hostilities are erupting in next room…not good. Go out and find B and G about to rip each others faces off. Intercede and manage to get B pushed into bedroom with A and rationalize the futility of fighting with him. He knows, but isn't going to take that shit from G. I don't blame him, I say, G is being a punk and needs to either chill the fuck out or realize that this is a party and when people get hammered they say things they don't mean. This is the last straw for G. B meanders out to leave, the protective circle around the both of them is there. I am standing between B and G, for some brilliant reason I realize that this is not the best place to stand and move the entire thing a little closer to the door. Now standing behind B. Figure out that if it comes right down to it I am not going to be able to do shit to stop B from tearing G and new asshole and try to rationalize the futility of even being involved to myself. B smacks G across face, G's glasses go flying in one direction yet he remains resolutely staring at B, trying to prove the same old alpha male pack dominance bullshit that drunk men always do. Pugilism will never prove anything except that the cops have a shitty response time in this neighborhood. B is escorted from room and to another apartment, I follow after asked to make sure that no one does anything else stupid down there. G leaves…another hour and I am laying on the floor…sober…listening to music and shooting the shit with D.

Go back upstairs for the twentieth time to check on A, sleeping soundly. Very tired, three a.m. and have been running hard since nine in the morning the previous day. Find attractive spot on the floor and promptly fall asleep. Get kicked in the head twice a few moments later, then stepped on. Get up off floor, and at the behest of another person who lives in my apartment building and needs a ride home from this party I grab my shit and bust the gate. Shitty party anyhow. Walking out notice A standing in living room conversing with people, this is good, at least she's still alive. Bounce downstairs and back outside to my truck, S in tow and trying to talk to me about what happened in there. Normally I wouldn't mind talking to S at all, just right now all I really want to do is go home and enjoy my bed. Truck starts, and I drive. 32 days damn it.

back to Phase Maintenance

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.