Screwdrivers For Stress

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“Have you seen the Easter Bunny?”

I’m flabbergasted by this question, hands in my pockets and arms held tight against my body to fight the sharp chill permeating Portland that night. I’m with Josh at Jones, a dance club which plays 80’s/90’s tracks with just enough new music to keep everyone amped up regardless. The occasion? Sarah, his German exchange student friend, is graduating with a degree in graphic design.

It’s almost 11, and yet the streets are flooded with pedestrians, policemen, and cars. Finding a spot to park was a frustrating endeavor, and admittedly I’m none too excited for the long night ahead, especially considering I don’t know anyone other than Josh.

I learned something about myself that night: alcohol loosens me up. Ok, not the most exciting revelation; certainly not a surprising one. What I mean by it is that alcohol, while dangerous, is also a wonderful social tool. My mood leaving that night was polar opposite of the one I entered with.

But back to the easter bunny.

The man asking me is dressed in white leather pants, a black vest, and a revealing v-neck shirt; all in all he looks better suited to be in a cheap porno in a previous decade. Soon after this thought goes through my mind, the Easter Bunny arrives with Elvis and Han Solo.

Inside the club is split into three sections: to the left is the bar and general seating; in the middle is a curtained private seating area; to the right is the dance floor complete with giant disco ball and a white screen projecting all sorts of psychedelic images. Neither Josh or I have been to a club before, and wonder where to begin searching for his friend. This is going to be a long night, I think. Thankfully his friend finds us, and we are taken to our own private booth in the reserved area.

Josh introduces me to Sarah and a few other friends, two of whom are cute black girls with enough curve to drive Sir-Mix-A-Lot wild, and sass, which I so enjoy. A waitress arrives: Josh orders a whiskey sour (because that is really the only drink he knows to ask for) and I order, “Whatever they’re having,” pointing to Sarah’s friends—Screwdrivers? Sounds good to me.

I finish half my drink, finally loosening up. I’m introduced to someone across the table, whom I shake hands with, and upon pulling my hand back knock one of the (thankfully) empty champagne glasses over, shattering it across the table. The ice breaks at that point, so to speak. “Well, it isn’t a party until someone breaks something right?” I say, raising my glass. Mercifully they all agree, taking drinks themselves.

What happens next is unexpected. I wrongly assumed tonights group would be made up of white girls considering Sarah is, well, white. The group that arrives and makes up the majority of our company that night, however, is black.

Before I go further, let me point out that I have nothing against white girls–I just have a thing for black girls. It probably has something to due with my Godmother being black and being around a lot when I was younger. Whatever weird social awkwardness that exists in many and causes them to naturally magnetize toward others of similar color does not exist in me. I feel entirely comfortable being the minority. At the end of the night, we’re all just there to have a good time.

So I order two more Screwdrivers.

The music is hypnotic and exciting. Every song they play seems straight out of my iPod: Santana, ELO, Madonna, Men Without Hats, Blondie. Rick James “Give it to me Baby” comes on and I just about lose it. Josh and I freak when “Die Young” by Ke$ha comes on, and he later tells me I make him feel cool in such situations, and it’s probably the best compliment I’ve ever been given.

The floor feels uneven because of the delicious combination of orange juice and vodka dancing in my stomach. Losing myself in the music, the conversations with total strangers. It feels good. There isn’t an ounce of stress left in me.

And for whatever reason, I always feel inclined to drunk text my little brother at 2 a.m. He texts me back with a South Park quote, making me laugh: “What seems to be the officer, problem?”

Moral of the story?

Let go of the inner ego holding you back along with the fear of self embarrassment, because it will only keep you from making new and unexpected memories. Talk to strangers. Also know when to stop drinking, as I did when I knocked an entire glass of water onto a girls crotch.

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