It may have been my 35th birthday that triggered my backwards fall down memory lane. On the day I celebrated it I looked at the friends that were there and realised how long I had known then, and what they had been through with me. Lewis, I met in AA when I was 20. We ceremoniously climbed of the sober bus together on two occasions, and we have seen each other at our worst. I rugby tackled a transvestite prostitute who dropped pills into a drink of Dave’s. I got a phone call at about 3am on the morning of Christmas eve. He was at the casino that we did much of our whiskey downing money wasting shenanigans at. In his drunken slur he told me he was sitting next to THE most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Having been a regular at the casinos I knew that the most beautiful women in there were actually adam’s apple adorning men from Thailand. I asked him where he was and he mentioned the pet name we had for a particular machine, and I told him to stay put – I was on my way.
As I sleep naked, all I had on the floor next to the bed was a zip up hoodie, and slacks. My underwear was somewhere… I don’t know… so I caught a cab to the casino wearing an ill chosen pair of top and bottoms.
Thank heavens all manner of dodgy people go into the casino at all hours or they may not have let me in. My adrenalin was going because I knew that one of my best friends had most likely fallen for the age old tricks of the Thai she-men that wonder the casino’s. True as nuts there he was, passed out, head hung backwards, and the very tall, very pretty man was going through his wallet.
He/she looked up and put two and two together as I started to run. She/he literally shoved all of Lewis belongings (phone, wallet and car keys) in to her hand bag and started to run. Now, the laws of physics will tell you that if you are tall and skinny and wearing stilettos, and a short and not so small cannon ball grabs the handle of your handbag, knowing full well you will instinctively hold onto it – guess who wins? She/he did a graceful (considering) type pirouette before I slammed the rest of my body into her and grabbed her throat and we hit the revolting carpets.
I managed to grab the underneath of her handbag and tip it upside down while being hoiseted up off the ground by three burly men with walkie talkies and army crew cuts. I must point out that I have a serious set of lungs on me – so my bleating and fighting back won me an audience that may have been the only reason they put me down. I was pointing frantically at Lewis wallet, keys and cell phone. Not to mention all the other tickets redeemable for cash that I was pretty sure were his too.
I DEMANDED that I be shown video footage, so that I could prove that he had been drugged and that her aim was to steal everything. Mid shouting I realised I had half a boob hanging out and that half my ass crack was showing as my chosen clothes were not meant for tackling male hookers.
There was a lot of arguing and me threatening all sorts, and finally the footage was produced. As predicted, Lewis had been drugged. She/ he had gone to get him a drink, dropped something in it – and not long afterwards, he called me. Thank heavens he did.
I dragged him, and it took forever, out of the casino, as no one would help the drunkard and the lunatic – to a taxi cab and took him back to my spot. As I opened the front door, he puked, so I made him strip at the front door, and put him in my bath tub. Upright enough so that if he puked he wouldn’t choke – because I was not about to keep watch.
One night in that same casino, not long after that event – we both decided it would be a brilliant idea to get plastered and take turns buying the drinks. The bar was right next to the smoking roulette tables which were right next to the toilets. So I decided to order my 8th triple Jack and thought I would get another and his tequila on my way back from the toilets.
I passed out in the cubicle. With Lewis’s keys, wallet and cell phone in my handbag.
When I woke to my cell phone ringing, I saw I had 37 missed calls from my father’s house. I was confused. Lewis had looked for me for about two hours before getting so angry he walked 2.3km at 4am to my parents house and practically shoved his finger through their buzzer, demanding his car keys.
Now, my father being… a man of few words, and even fewer pleasantries was not a happy camper to say the very least. But he was now faced with a very drunk, sweaty angry man who had no way of getting home with out his keys, wallet and he couldn’t call me because I had his phone.
I remember attempting to wash my face and not having the fine motor co ordination to fix the mascara I had running down my face. I tried really hard to walk normally in my high boots and kept feeling my butt to make sure my dress wasn’t tucked into my underwear. My butt was numb though… so I still don’t know if my bloomers were a public thing or not.
My father had parked and Lewis was leaning against the door of the car, too angry for words – but he had his hands out and I fished for his things in my handbag. We didn’t speak for about four months. He totaled his car that night, and it sat half hitched on an island in the middle of a four lane road for two days before they came to get it.
But we both cleaned up after that. Actually, largely because of that. At least he did – for a while. I had some more learning to do. He is now married to the most beautiful woman, and his soul mate. I got a text one day after their first date – and it said ‘She is the one’.
I cried like a baby at his wedding because she knew he had sent me a text on their first date, and he finally told her what the message said – and it was a beautiful sentiment.
15 years later, and he is still one of my truest and most beautiful friends.