I’ve seen a lot of movies and I mean a lot. In the movies, when the girl gets drunk and starts retching all over the place, our guy, the principle protagonist doesn’t give a shit, he holds the girls head above the toilet bowl, pulls back her hair, whispers in soothing tones about how everything was going to be all right. It always looked so romantic, so loving, so awwww. But what they didn’t show you in the movies was the stink, the mess, the angry slurs exploding from the said drunk girl’s mouth and their weight, yes, weight, let me tell you, it’s not so easy carrying a girl in your arms all the way up the stairs even though she looks like she couldn’t weigh more than a thimble. My friend Krish who I consider to be extremely wise and perhaps the next Buddha, once told me to follow three rules while going to a college party. 1) Despite the popular belief, never get the girls drunk, it just brings out an avalanche of problems; 2) never drink anything that looks extraordinarily bright and 3) don’t smoke anything that looks wrinkled and smells funny.
See 2 and 3 I could follow, it’s easy and to the point, 1) not so much, well technically I didn’t get her drunk, she plunged into that well all by herself. But still someone had broken rule no. 1 and now I was in this mess. I was staring at her sweaty face and then at the previously white tiles which had now been defiled by yellow muck. I pulled her hair into a bun tighter so that her hair wouldn’t look like a gigantic bird had done its business on it. I tried to ignore the smell which kept trying to enter my nasal cavity even though I had stopped inhaling in an ordinary manner a certain time ago. The retching sounds kept getting louder and louder and the smell kept getting sharper and sharper. Now, I probably sound like a total douche, and I probably am one. But see this girl, beside me, emptying her stomach who I didn’t even know that well was not supposed to be my problem. She wasn’t my girlfriend, not even a friend, she was my other friend Dilan’s girlfriend no. seven, or was it eight? I consider him to be an idiot and remarkably stupid. He was the one who was supposed to be next to this girl whose name I couldn’t remember, holding her hair and preventing her head from drowning in the bowl. But he was nowhere to be seen, and me being me had to be her knight in shining vomit laden jacket. So let’s just say romance was out of the question and so were the awwww moments.
The music was blazing behind the bathroom door and I felt a pang of frustration. I was supposed to be out there, having fun, drinking, talking and flirting with Rozy (with a Z, and who just endured a tragic break up and needed a shoulder to cry on). Not in a tiny bathroom with a quasi-unconscious girl determined to stay attached to a toilet bowl. The devil on my left shoulder was urging me to leave her be and go have some fun and shake my somewhat flexible body to 50 Cent and Eminem. But the wretched angel on my right was voicing reasons why that would be a very bad idea. So I stayed planted at my spot until this girl (still couldn’t remember her name) finished her business, which she finally did after a thousand years. I waited for her to puke some more but nothing came. Having faith in my assumption that her tiny body had emptied itself completely, I lifted her head up and shifted her weight so that her head was against my chest. Her body was limp and her eyes were closed, and if it weren’t for the constant rising and falling of her chest I’d think she was dead. I reached forward to grab a length of toilet paper and wiped her mouth with it. Now was probably a good time to find Dilan and get him in here, if he was even here. I’d tried to call him but the operator kept insisting that the number was unavailable. I was about to place her on the floor against the wall so that I could get up when the door banged open and there stood Rozy with a z, one hand holding her phone against her ear and the other her lipstick against her lips. Her eyes went wide and she stuttered a sorry and vanished with quick steps.
Damn! I cursed myself. This was bad. I imagined how it would have looked to someone who had no idea what was actually happening. Me standing up, girl on the floor, both sweaty…okay stop with the imagining immediately. I had to do something, this was really bad. I had to explain to Rozy what actually happened before she started thinking too much and the whole college started talking about what she thought she saw. I thought of running after her but a soft moan from the girl halted me. I looked back, her eyes had fluttered open and were focused on me, I use the term focused loosely of course. Her eyes went wide with alarm, her mouth opened and I braced myself for an ear piercing shriek to fill the space but no sound came out of her mouth. Her mouth closed, she turned her head towards the bowl, squinted as if thinking if what she was seeing was real, and then looked back up at me.
“If you’ve lost my purse, I’m gonna kill you,” she said, as she burped and fell back against the wall, motionless.
I just stood there, staring at her. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Her purse! She was worried about her purse! On second thought, her purse should be something to worry about. Her cell phone, money, keys and anything else important could be in it and of course some vital info on her. I sighed as I thought about how I was supposed to find her purse in the jungle outside. And I couldn’t just leave her here. So what was I supposed to do? I did the only thing I could think of, which at that time had seemed like a pretty good idea. I sighed again as I bent down to scoop her up into my arms. I threw the door open with my foot and almost dropped her as the blazing music slammed into my ears. The laser lights and the smoke from the smoke machine made it hard to see ahead. People were staring at us with wide eyes, some fascinated, some wary, some found it funny. I ignored them and quickly looked around the room to see if Dilan was anywhere. I couldn’t see him anywhere, probably holed up in some corner boozed to the max, or probably in some corner with something better than booze. The thought made me even angrier and I held the still girl against me even tighter. I reached the steps that led outside and slowly climbed it, avoiding the people coming down like boulders from above. Outside the air was cool and I let it rush against me. The low buzz that had resided in my head began to somewhat clear. I walked briskly towards my car, avoiding the glances thrown my way, opened the door with my keys, which I somehow managed by holding her against the car with my knees and one hand. I opened the back door with even more difficulty and finally placed her snugly in the backseat. I didn’t have anything to cover her with and I knew she must be cold with that sheer cashmere or whatever sweater she was wearing. And the water I had used to wash her mouth and wipe her clothes couldn’t have helped much. So I took off my jacket (wiped clean with extreme thoroughness) and laid it on top of her. I shivered as I realised it really was freaking cold without my jacket. I slammed the door and quickly made my way back to the club. The smoke and the hot humid air inside was a welcome this time. I decided to check out the whole area thoroughly. I made my way through writhing and swaying bodies around the club, looking for the guy who I was probably going to kill. And finally there he was, just as I thought, in a corner on a sofa with his arms around a girl, whom I’d seen around college. She was a junior, with braided fake blonde hair and way too much eye shadow. My fists clenched as I made my way towards him. They were laughing at something he had said, when I grabbed his collar. He looked surprised, then mildly amused.
“Duuuuude! Where the hell were you? I was looking for you all over!” Great he was both drunk and stoned. He wrapped his arms around the girl tighter, twirling her hair around his fingers.
“Have you met…uhm…” he seemed to be concentrating real hard, he even slipped his tongue out towards a corner of his mouth.
“Niva,” the girl helped.
“Yes! Nivea, such a great and unusual name right? I mean I use Nivea all the time when my hands get all sore and stuff.”
Niva didn’t seem to mind that she was being compared to a cold cream; she just stared dreamily at him, leading me to believe that she was stoned too. I realised I was still holding his collar, so I let go.
I took in a deep breath and put my hands in my pocket, not trusting them.
“Your girlfriend’s drunk,” I stated.
Dilan looked confused for a second. He looked at Niva then at me, then again at Niva. Then slammed his head with his free palm.
“Jazz!” he said, as if a light bulb had been turned on in his head.
Jazz? Oh yeah, Jasmine, that was her name. How could I have forgotten a name like that?
“Yeah Jazz, she’s drunk and needs to go home. You know where she lives?” I asked. Seeing him I knew that there was no way he was going to be taking her home. Someone was going to have to take him home too soon enough. So lucky me was going to be the chauffeur for Madam Drunk.
But Dilan didn’t seem to have heard my question. He had this angry obstinate look that kids have when their parents don’t buy them their preferred chocolates or action figures.
“You know she thinks that I don’t care about her and that she thinks I was cheating on her?”
I rolled my eyes; at least the girl was perceptive.
“How dare she think I would do something like that? I didn’t even sleep with any of those other girls! I swear! Even though I seriously wanted to, and here she comes being all high and mighty.”
I realised this could go on all night, so I decided to cut him off and try again. But his drooping head came up again and began nodding in a wise manner.
“So I broke up with her. Yup, it was for the best. She didn’t deserve someone like me I mean I’ve got standards you know?”
Niva was nodding her head in agreement. Yeah, standards, I could see that.
“Look, I don’t give a shit about you and your standards, just tell me where Jazz lives and I’ll be on my way. Don’t make me pound you.”
“Duuuuuude relax, I’ll tell you,” he said and started snoring.
I threw up my hands in frustration. Niva was looking at me reproachfully, as if It was my fault the guy was stoned shitless.
“Go home, or call someone,” I said.
“A hole,” she said.
So now what was I supposed to do? Jazz must have friends. They must know where she lives. I looked around and my eyes fell on the corner of the sofa Dilan was snoring in. it was a purse, I quickly picked it up and went through the stuff. A lipstick, a pack of pads, Cell phone, wallet and yes, an ID card! Yup, that was her, the pic was black and white and blotched with something brown, but I could still make out her bangs and the slight hump on the bridge of her nose. It had her address. I let out a curse as I realised it was an out of valley ad. That means she must be renting or staying in a hostel, or probably a relative. Shit. I quickly grabbed her phone and stared at a blank screen. Great, it was dead. This night was going to go on and on wasn’t it? I went around asking people if they knew Jazz and where she lived, but after a few failed attempts I stopped. Didn’t the girl have any friends? Or did she come alone to this thing? All of a sudden I felt like I was about to collapse. I was so freaking tired. So I decided not to give a crap about what I was about to do. I got out of the club, into the night and then I was inside my car, turning on my engine and on my way towards my apartment.