What a rollercoaster of a year 2020 has been. They say how you bring in the new year is how you will spend the rest of the year, and for once this rang true for me. To bring you forward I need to take you backwards. While I do I’ll share with you the songs that got me through.
My January technically started on December 31, 2019. In previous years I spent New Years eve a lot like other seasoned married people my age. We’d hang around the house tucked safely away from the dangers of drunk drivers, congested freeways, overpriced club entry fees, and obnoxious first time drinkers on the holiday. But this year, I was six months into my separation from my wife and I was done to death with trying to be a wife to someone who wanted a mother. I wanted to bring the year in with the rest of the hooligans hoping to take my mind off of my tumultuous home life. I enlisted a few friends, Lisa , and Alice and we decided to book a super expensive room at a swanky hotel in downtown Houston for the night. It was Alice’s birthday which only added to the excitement of the celebration, so we were definitely coming to party. Hard.
I checked into the hotel hours before my friends made it. I decided to use the extra free time to set up the food and drinks. While I was alone I also took the time to send a few headless sexy photos to a woman I had been anonymously messaging on a dating app for a few weeks. I was with the shit very early on in the night. For the rest of the story, we’ll refer to her as the driver.
The girls made it to the room after a while and we settled in. First, we oohed and ahh’ed over the views of the city and the aesthetic of the hotel. It was a beautiful place that made us all feel grown up and sophisticated. We were going through our own personal hell’s at this time, my seperation from my wife, Alice’s growing pains of switching her career, and Lisa’s difficult relationship with her boyfriend. The luxury of the room, and friendship, were a welcome break from the hardness of our own struggles. A girls night out to breathe is what we were after. A celebration of the end of a difficult year with the hopes of a better 365 days .
Once we finished Instagraming and Snapchatting our luxurious New Year’s Eve accommodations, we gathered around the kitchen counter to binge eat. What was on our menu , you ask? Rotisserie chicken and flaming hot fun-yuns! Lisa cued up the music and we started popping bottles, taking snapchat videos, posting pictures, doing girl shit.
The plan for the night was to catch an Uber to Main street in downtown Houston and spend the night bar hopping. After some pre-game selfies and snacks, we started getting ready for the night. Makeup, shoes, clothes, food, everything was everywhere. The room quickly began to look like a tornado had blown through it. Imagine it, three girls in one hotel room sharing the small bathroom mirror trying to perfect winged eyeliner and apply lashes. All of us squeezed in trying to perfect our make up, slightly drunk, and feeling ourselves. We were a mood! A few hours of gassing each other up, singing off key, and celebrating the beginning of a new chance to get it right, whatever it is, we were ready to step out.
While we waited for our ride to show up, I checked in with my wife to see how her night was going. Sure, we were going through a separation but I still love her and cared about how she was doing. I had been texting her all afternoon since I had left home but, she wasn’t responding to my texts, calls, or pictures. Meanwhile, the driver text me back about the pictures I had sent her and told me she may be able to swing through the city to meet me for drinks. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about it. While I was being wholly ignored by my wife, here this perfect stranger was giving me the attention I wish was coming from my wife. Although I had no intention of doing anything salacious with the driver, I was curious to see if she really looked like the profile picture I had been flirting with. Besides, having a few drinks wasn’t a crime.
Our ride pulled up to the curb and we pilled in, looking good, smelling good, and ready to get into some trouble. The drive to Main street was about ten minutes from the hotel and we used the time to do a final hair and make up check as we puled up to the first bar of the night.
The bar we stopped into was a cute hole in the wall type of place. It looked like it was once a storefront or a department store that had been converted over. A long brown bar that stood off center was being manned by three bartenders. There was a couple seated at the end that looked like they were maybe just stopping in, before getting out of the way of the crowds. They stood out to me because while the rest of the bar was screaming to fit in with the surrounding area, here this couple sat looking like they were the scene. The bar was still pretty empty since it was only around 10 pm. This was perfect for us because we had room to breathe. We knew we were going to be doing a lot of walking that night and we didn’t want to break a sweat and ruin our makeup before people really got the chance to marvel in our beauty.
After a quick visit to the bar, with beers in hand, we found a spot near the door where we could people watch and exit quickly when things started to pick up. We relaxed back into a cool leather couch and started on our first round of bar selfies. Alice, spotted a friend of hers out on the sidewalk and ran outside to say “hi” while Lisa and I sat taking more selfies and waiting on Alice to return. Maybe ten minutes passed and Alice still hadn’t come back inside so Lisa went outside to check on her. I sat alone in the club flirting through text with the driver for another ten minutes. Just as I was beginning to get worried, Lisa came rushing back into the club yelling over the music that it was time to go. Alice was in trouble. So many things started to rush through my head at that moment. True to form, I immediately started asking 101 questions. Exasperated, Lisa told me she didn’t have time to answer because she was about to fight the doorman for having refused to let her in to come tell me we had to go. I grabbed my things and we rushed outside to find Alice, black-out drunk, leaning against a wall barely coherent. Neither Lisa nor I knew what had happened. When we all left the hotel roughly an hour before Alice was perfectly fine. Now here she was, barely able to walk and completely fucked up. It was time to go back to the hotel. At 11pm.
We called for another car and struggled to hold Alice up while we waited. The questions came flying as soon as we were inside the car. Lisa and I both drilled Alice on what had happened. It was no use by this point though because she was a giggling mess. Since I had booked the Uber in my name, and I have a near perfect rider rating, I started to get nervous that Alice just might throw up in the back of this man’s car. I know, weird thing for me to be worried about at the time but hell, I didn’t want to start getting trash drivers in busted cars because of this night lol. We made it back to the room, no vomit and with my rating still intact. We took Alice upstairs and put her on the couch to sleep it off.
Alice, tucked safely on the couch with a trash can near her face and a bottle of water, slept. Meanwhile, Lisa and I sat trying to figure out what could have happened to her. I mean, yeah. We did have about three bottles of wine between us before we went out. But, that was over the course of a few hours and we were snacking in between. A million thoughts crossed our minds. Did someone slip her something while we weren’t looking? Did she have a bad reaction to something? We were clueless, hungry, and trying to find a way to salvage the night while keeping a watchful eye over our friend. Since there was a bar on the first floor of the hotel that looked pretty cool we decided we would make sure Alice had everything she needed and head downstairs for a few cocktails. We were trying to make good use of our outfits and make-up. If we happened to get nearly as wasted as Alice was, bonus!
I was bouncing back and forth between calling my wife, and getting no answer, and talking to Lisa when Alice, who we thought was asleep on the couch, walks into the bedroom of the suite fully clothed and announced that she had called a ride as was going home. What?!? Lisa and I immediately jumped into action, there was no way were about to let her leave in her state. She was not about to get into a car with someone we didn’t know. Even if it was a normal night, people are crazy and we didn’t know what could happen to her. We took Alice’s phone and cancelled the ride and put her back down to sleep. No sooner had we made up our minds to go downstairs again had Alice come storming back into the room proclaiming her husband was downstairs to pick her up and she was going home. After confirming what Alice had said was true, Lisa walked Alice down to her husband and sent her home.
While I waited on Lisa to come back upstairs, I called my wife to wish her a happy new year. She finally answered the phone. A few minutes of well wishes we hung up the phone. I shed a few tears for the state of my marriage before Lisa walked back through the door.
By the time Lisa and I got settled again it was a little after midnight. Still determined to have a good ratchet time, we finally made it to the bar downstairs. By the time we made it down, the crowd that had been there all evening had started to dissipate. Just our luck, we were either too early or too late for the party. The driver sent a text apologizing that she couldn’t make it to the city and promised we’d meet up some time soon. After each having a drink we decided to call it a night and go back upstairs. Lisa and I spent the rest of the night, or should I say morning, eating pizza and watching T.V.
I don’t know when I passed out but when I woke up the next morning, the whole room was trashed, I had pizza crust in my hand, and a hangover the size of Texas.
I didn’t remember drinking a whole lot the night before, how could I have? but here I was, fucked up with pizza crust. (Drinking in your thirties isn’t the same as in your twenties.) I got up off the couch and went to wake Lisa so we could call Alice and make sure she was good. On the way to the room I swung by the bathroom to run some of whatever alcohol was swimming in my system down the toilet. As soon as my ass hit the toilet seat, a ceiling tile came crashing down on top of my head. What the hell?? Ouch!
I came out of the bathroom with an even bigger head ache and we started calling Alice. She wasn’t answering her phone and our calls started going directly to voicemail. Again, what the hell? We left voicemails, started checking social media, Alice was ghost. We knew she had left with her husband but beyond that, we didn’t know where she was. Lisa, just as hungover as I was, suggested we spend the rest of the morning nursing our wounds until checkout. I eagerly agreed. We napped for another few hours before we were able to pull ourselves together long enough to clean the room and go home.
When I got home the next afternoon, after dropping Lisa off at home and swinging by Alice’s house to check on her; My wife was sitting in the living room with an attitude not even bothering to acknowledge I was home. I tried my best for the better part of the day to coax out of her why she refused to talk to me. This had been our, or should I say my argument, with her for months prior to the separation. It was why we were in the position we were in. Still, I cooked for her and tried my best to make the best out of a deteriorating situation.
New Year’s eve definitely was a predictor of the remainder of my year but you will have to keep reading to find out why. Will I hear from the driver again? What happened to Alice? What happened with my marriage? Stay tuned. The best is yet to come.
January’s theme song: Never Knew – O.T. Genasis