Co-Worker's Party



"I went to a company party,

Didn't even drink enough to get high.

I met a preppy little wimp I should've whipped,

But I let it slide."

-Confederate Railroad


So, Saturday, I'm invited to a party being thrown by a guy at work. I rarely ever go to company related parties, because the people who are annoying at work are annoying in social settings, and there are very few people that I work with that I even want to see AT work, let alone at a party. I also feel that these parties are a waste of my time, troublesome in getting there and getting back home, so I usually just say "No" when invited. It's not that I'm anti-social, or that I don't like my coworkers; it's just that they really aren't my "friends," just casual acquaintances that usually annoy the hell out of me from 9 - 5, Monday thru Friday. When this guy asked me to go, I said I would think about it. He gave me the address which I stuck in my wallet.

I wasn't even planning on going; it started at 10:30 and it was in Manhattan. I live in Queens and I'm lazy, and there were a million other excuses that I went through while deciding not to go.

So, it's 9:00, and I'm home playing on the computer when I notice that if I started getting ready now, I could be at the party on time. Without even realizing what I'm doing (it was like I blacked out) the next thing I know, I'm standing on the street in front of Penn Station wondering why I'm here. That was when I decided to go. I mean, I was only 6 blocks away, so why not?

It turns out that it's a birthday party for some girl I've never met, and the party is full of total strangers. There's only a handful of coworkers, and they're mostly hanging out in the corners. Luckily, sometime during my blackout, I grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels off my shelf (one of 6 bottles left over from Christmas and New Years). I hand the bottle to the girl tending the makeshift bar and ask for a Jack and Coke. Ten minutes later, I finally get this weak-ass concoction of Coke with a splash of Jack for flavor. I had to take another cup, pour half of my drink into it, and ask her to fill the rest up with Jack, to which she argued profusely until I reminded her that it was my damn bottle, and if she wants, I'll just drink straight out of it all night!

So now that I've got my drink, I look for a place to hang and realize that I'm the most underdressed person there (as usual). Everyone else is dressed up for a grown up party, and I was hoping to slam back a few and ogle for a while. I chat with a few people that I know and make my way around the room. There's a few really nice looking women here, but they're all with friends and in little impenetrable groups. So, I find an empty seat, and plant myself. There's some cool 80's music going on the stereo, Dead or Alive, U2, so it's not that bad. People stop by every so often to say hi, knowing that it's rare that I ever attend one of these things. I start talking to one of the new guys at work, who's here with his girlfriend, his brother, and two other girls, one of whom is not bad looking at all. I'm my usual witty self, and at midnight they tell me that they're heading downtown to another bar, and would I like to join them? What the hell. We leave, and I promise myself that I'll only stay for one drink, because my next train is at 1:20, and the next one after that isn't until 3:50.

We get to this crowded little place in the Village, fight our way to the bar, and I manage to snag us some seats. We chat and laugh and joke, and the bartender brings me a watered down Jack & Coke. In hindsight, I should've just drank the damned thing, but instead, I swig down a quarter of it, throw two bucks at him, and ask him to top it off with more Jack. He gives me a look like I'm the Devil himself, but obliges anyway. Two or three of these later, and I'm the life of the party. We're looking around the bar, comparing the lowlifes around us to famous actors that they look somewhat like. "Look, it's Warren Beatty strung out on crack!" and so on.

By 1 a.m., I'm on a first name basis with the bartender, but unfortunately, it's the wrong first name. His name's Harry, and I keep calling him Henry, or vice versa. At 2 a.m., they all decide to leave. "Woah, my next train isn't until 3:20 (it's actually 3:50, but I'm drunk, and can't remember that); someone is staying with me until then!" I yell.

The brother stays. We get another round and start talking about guns and sex. Don't ask me how we got on these subjects, or how they pertain to each other; it just happened. At 3 a.m. we leave, jump into a cab, and start talking about the stock market. Again, don't know why, or how. I get to Penn Station, realize I've got 45 minutes until my train and decide to use the bathroom. For those of you who've never experienced the rest room in Penn, it's a real adventure. Hobos (are they even called hobos anymore?), junkies, drunks, and losers abound, myself included. I fall into a stall, have a seat, get back up, go out to the main part of the terminal, look at my watch; and it's 5 a.m.

That's right; I passed out in the men's room at Penn Station for 2 hours, and didn't even get mugged or raped.

I bump into an old Fraternity brother with some newbies I've never met, but who've heard stories about me, and one of them asks why I'm soaking wet. Low and behold, I'm drenched in what I hope is water. Someone must have been trying to wake me up.

They finally announce my train. I board, and head back to Queens.

A little while later (at least what I think is a little while) the Conductor taps me on the shoulder and asks where I'm going. I tell him Bayside, and he says that was four stops ago, I'm in Port Washington, the end of the line. Now I have to take the 6:45 train back toward NY.

Narcolepsy strikes again! I guess I fell asleep. I get off the train, and it's COLD outside!! Port Washington is an outdoor track, nothing around to cut the wind, and the connections to each track are via suspended bridges and staircases.

So, there are seven trains lined up in a row, and I have no idea which one is leaving first, or where it's going, and there is not a soul in sight. I wander back and forth, from train to train looking for an open door, or someone sitting near a train, any sign as to which train will be leaving next. I also want to get inside before I freeze to death. The doors finally open on one train. I run in and get a seat.

I spend the next 10 minutes smacking myself in the face chanting my new mantra, "Can't fall asleep, can't fall asleep, don't want to go back to NY, can't fall asleep."

The train pulls out, and the conductor comes up to me. I show him my ticket, which allows me transportation to Bayside, from Penn Station, NOT from Port Washington. He looks at me, and in my saddest, poutiest, puppy dog-eyed voice I say, "I fell asleep on the train and missed my stop; I just want to go home to Bayside and go to sleep." He laughs and walks away, so I return to my mantra, and try not to stare out the window too hard. As soon as I hear the announcement for Bayside, I'm standing at the door, so even if I do fall asleep, when the door does open, I'll fall out.

I crawled into bed at about 7:20 a.m., having already slept off most of my hangover. But I was still wet, cold, and more tired than you could imagine.

If anybody asks, this is why I don't go to parties thrown by my coworkers.


-Spat - 3/14/97



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