After school I took the bus up Mass Ave. but stayed in Arlington and got off downtown. All the storefronts were filled with shoppers. It was a Friday afternoon in spring and the cobblestone atrium was littered with townies, students, and yuppies. In front of the Starbucks were outdoor tables and people were sipping coffee and typing up their novels under the sun. I walked past the shoppers till I got to the street where the residential Harry was staying at was.
I had met Harry at a different, more short-term residential program called CIP, also located in Arlington, right up the street from his current residential and even farther down the street was my school. I didn’t live in Arlington, and neither did he. We both lived in Newton even though we met in Arlington and we kept ending up in Arlington.
The residential he was at, similar to the one at which we had met, was just one big house, sort of a mansion. When I got there, there was an older guy in his 20s sitting outside talking to a girl about my age. I asked them if Harry was here. The guy said he would go in and tell him I was here.
While I waited there for Harry, the teenage girl asked me if I was Punk. She must have noticed my blue hair.
I said: I guess.
She asked me: Are you like nice Punks or Clockwork Orange Punks?
Harry came out. I smiled at her. Harry said: We’re about as nice as they come.
The guy, who I presume was one of the staff members, told Harry to be back before 10.
Harry nodded and said he would.
We hopped back on the bus and headed into Harvard Square, where we met up with Jeff and then found a homeless man to buy us a handle of the cheapest vodka. The vodka he came out with was Cossack. Then the three of us got back on the bus and headed back into Arlington and got off downtown. One of us went into the CVS and got a bottle of Sunny Delight and we poured out half the bottle and poured in as much vodka as we could.
The show we were going to was at the Knights of Columbus and we sat on benches on the cobblestone atrium and passed the bottle and watched the people till it was time to go to the show.
Then I vomited in some toilet. Harry was trying to revive me while someone was yelling at us telling us to get the fuck out of here.
I vomited some more.
I was sitting on a bench and the cop said: Is he okay?
Jeff told the cop I have an inner ear infection.
I rolled off the bench and fell on the ground.
Then Jeff carted me around town on his shoulder.
* * *
On the way to school the following morning I had a vague recollection of stashing the rest of the vodka in the bushes outside the Knights of Columbus.
So I took the bus a little farther down and got off downtown and headed over there. The bottle was in the bushes. I drank enough to feel good and then went to school.
Of course I showed up to Math class late and the teacher angrily smacked a worksheet down in front of me.
I started to feel it out and then read the top of the page and yelled: “Fuck it’s a test!”
The whole class laughed.
Next class was English and afterwards the teacher asked to speak to me in private. I knew she knew I was drunk by this point. But to my surprise, she told me this was my best class yet.
That’s when my guidance counselor came and got me and said they wanted to give me a sobriety test. I failed it. I couldn’t walk a straight line.
But I did ace the Math test which was probably the best I did all year.