Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Night I Quit My Crappy Job

I have been to two tattoo parties in my life, and both were great fucking times. EagleMan threw both parties. The first was several years ago. It was a sobering event, even with the copious amount of alcohol that was drunken by all. EagleMan's father had just passed, and as a tribute to him, we threw a big party in his now empty apartment. Well, empty except for all the alcohol. It was a night for remembrance, a night for anecdotes, and a night to get so blitzed that we tried to forget why we were there. But it was still in the back of all of our minds, and we knew that the pain we felt upon entering the empty apartment would return again, along with a massive headache, in the morning. But for a few hours we could celebrate life, and take away the pain of loss, and that is what we did. Holy shit that is what we did.

The second tattoo party was only a couple weeks ago. EagleMan has thrown quite a few in his day, but I was usually out of the state when they were thrown (I made a special trip into town for the first one for obvious reasons). I was in town for this one, so of course I attended. You know my feelings on my job, and as luck would have it, I had to work the next day, which was a Sunday. This hardly pleased me, as it never does, but I vowed to myself to stop drinking and head home at 10. When I arrived, I was shoved towards the keg of Bud Light. The night went uphill from there.

So what is a tattoo party? It is a simple concept. A person throws a party. Among others, he invites a tattoo artist, not to party, but to do his thing. The artist can easily make close to a grand tattooing people in rapid succession, as the hum of house music penetrates the walls around him. Pretty damn good for a nights work. Everyone who comes to the party knows that there will be a tattoo artist there, so most of the people who attend want a tattoo. And they know that they will get a good deal. There is far more business at one tattoo party than there is during a regular day at a tattoo shop. At least per hour anyway. EagleMan always gets a tattoo during these parties, and he usually gets a huge discount, merely because he brought in a shit-load of business for the artist. [Note: this article is interesting but the tattoo artist here is a professional, and everything was extremely safe, hence the ten minutes (at least) between tattoos to change out his equipment.]

So I showed up at 8:30 with the best of intentions. Hangout for a while, drink a couple of beers, watch a couple of tattoos being done, and take off so I could get my beauty rest for my killer workday. Then, I was told about the keg. I quickly found a cup, and headed out to garage was the keg was resting. It was a glorious site. I cannot remember the last time I went to a kegger. I pumped, flipped the switch, and watched the golden liquid flow out the faucet. My dear friend Bud Light and I were about to take our relationship to the next level.

After filling my cup, I returned inside, and surveyed the scene. "I should go into Criminal Defense," I thought to myself. Of the 25 people there, there was probably an accumulated total of jail time served near my age. The tattoo artist had just gotten out of the joint, and it was not his first stint there. EagleMan's younger brother has probably spent close to three years in stir. I did not really know much about the other people there, but they did not seem to me to be straight-edge. The tattoo artist was even wearing a shirt with a picture of a guy holding a briefcase that said, "Jack Schitt, Esq." Yeah, these are my kind of people.

Nothing too terribly exciting actually happened at the party. At one point I began offering discounts on legal fees for anyone who mentioned EagleMan's name. So if the that is the highlight, it was a pretty boring party. Except for all the tattoos of course. I stationed myself close to the tattoo artist to watch him work. I love watching people draw, mainly because it is a skill that I do not have. People who can draw a straight line without sweat forming on their forehead piss me off, yet never fails to leave me amazed. The tattoo artist is pretty damn good too. He has done most of EagleMan's tats, the ones the tattoo artist has not done (because he was in jail), are clearly of inferior quality. This guy makes it look so easy, yeah, I am a little jealous.

I was not there to get a tattoo myself (I have none and do not plan on ever getting one). I went for the free beer. I certainly got my money's worth. Ten o'clock soon turned into eleven, which suddenly became midnight. Around midnight I began bitching to anyone who was next to me about how I hated my job, and I should just fucking quit it. Had I been sober, I would have realized that rationalizing things when you are hammered is not the best idea. But I was drunk, and by one I began to think that quitting was the best idea since college football.

Around 1:30 I was having trouble staying upright, and began wondering to myself why the hell I was still there. I had to get up at six for work, and the way things were going, each sip made that less and less likely. Then it hit me. I knew when I could leave. EagleMan still had not gotten his tattoo yet. "I have to stay to watch that," I drunkenly slurred to whoever was standing next to me at the time. That person quickly moved away. I went to get another beer.

By the time the tattoo artist finally began EagleMan's tattoo (on his right pec, what a stud), I was shitfaced. It is a damn good thing I only live two blocks from his house. The tattoo would take an hour to complete, and I was unable to stay for the whole thing. At 2:30, I finally had a rational thought that said, "You have to go home and go to bed RIGHT NOW!" I stumbled and swayed back to my house, spent two minutes trying to find the right key to unlock the door, wandered around for a while looking for my bed, found it, and crashed.

Lucky for me, I had the presence of mind to set my alarm clocks before I went out. And at 5:45 I was shocked awake. I flopped like a dolphin off my bed, five feet into the air if it was an inch. I reached blindly out into the dark room trying to figure out how to turn off my alarm clock, and finally succeeded. You should know that this is no ordinary alarm clock. This one does not make any noise at all.

All my life I have searched for a cartoon alarm clock, one that has a mallet come out and bash you on the head when it is time to wake up. My search has, thus far, been futile, so I settled on the next best thing. A vibrating alarm clock. It is a normal clock, but it comes with a pad that you put into your pillow case. When the alarm is tripped, your head begins shaking like it is the only part of your body in a 7.0 earthquake. And when your head starts shaking and you are still drunk, it is enough to wake you up so violently, that your heart begins beating 200 times a minute.

I got out of bed, and stood up, or tried too, I was a little wobbly. I really, really did not want to go to work, but I really only had to stick it out for two more weeks, then I would have a nice cushion of cash, such that I would not have to worry about money while waiting for my refund check from the Law School. I braced myself, and took a step. The room began to spin. I took a deep breath, and ventured to put my left foot in front of the right. I nearly vomited. I sat down on my bed, and thought about what to do.

This would not be the first time that I had driven to this job drunk. But it would be the first time I would be drunk at work and it was over 90 degrees outside. I decided that I should suck it up, and go to work. It wouldn't really be that bad. In 13 hours all this would be over. Sometime around nine, I would start to feel hungover, and the dehydration would hit, and probably last until one, and then there would only be six hours of work left.

At that last thought I said that is it. Fuck it. I could have called in sick, or called to tell them that I would not be coming in, but Fuck it. All the drinking on work nights was just me acting out my misery. Why should I continue? My drunken mind thought that to be brilliant reasoning. So I went back to bed. And slept. Until noon. It was transcendent.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

That sounds like a helluva party. I have one tattoo myself, but shhh it's a secret ;)