A glass of crazy, p.31
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       A Glass of Crazy, p.31

           Tina Laningham
 
Rafa was not in the hotel room when Megan and I got back, but judging by the wet bathing suit hanging in the bathroom, he had already come back and showered. "I hope wherever he is, he's at least having some fun," I said to Megan. "Poor kid needs to lighten up."

  "You scared the bejesus out of him when you bailed from that parachute," Megan said. "He cares about you."

  "I doubt that," I snapped back and then I ordered a pizza. While Megan showered, I rummaged through Rafa's bag to see if he'd left his flask behind. No such luck. Now how was I supposed to drink on the beach?

  After I showered, the pizza arrived, and Megan and I didn't talk the whole time we were eating. Just as we finished off the pizza, Jax showed up.

  "See ya," Megan said. Jax fist bumped me and as they walked out, I spotted the other flask moving up and down in Megan's back pocket.

  I let out a frustrated sigh. I bought all three flasks, so technically, they were all mine. You'd think one of them would figure that out and give me their flask. I sat and stared at the vodka on the table. Since my bottle was lower than theirs, I poured some of their vodka into mine to make up for the fact that they were being extremely selfish with their flasks. And then I took a swig from their bottle. My second night of spring break and I had no one to hang out with. Rafa was making me choose between drinking and him. "This is who I choose," I said out loud and took another swig. That's when I remembered the beer bong boys. I picked up my phone and called Daniel.

  "Sup," Daniel said.

  "Hey, this is Abby."

  "Oh, psych. I was lookin' for you."

  "You're at the beach?" I asked.

  "By the stage," he said. "Where are you?"

  I gathered up my key and credit card. "Hey, you guys have beer, right?" Probably a dumb question, but I needed to ask.

  "Yeah and we scored a bottle of Mexican tequila."

  I grinned and headed out the door. "On. My. Way."

  The elevator took forever, and then that slow rotating door finally released me out into open where I was free to walk as fast as I wanted. I jogged along the outer edge of the crowded sidewalk because with the kind of luck I was having tonight, something better could come along and the beer bong boys would take off with their tequila and beer. Not that I'd ever tried tequila, but it was definitely on my to-do list. I picked up my pace and made it to the beach where people wandered aimlessly or huddled with their friends. Since I hadn't found my friends yet, I decided to look like I was wandering aimlessly, and finally, there they were: the nerdy, hilarious beer bong boys, but Daniel was much cuter than I remembered.

  "Hey," I said without looking at him.

  "There she is." He said it like we'd known each other forever.

  The two other guys smiled, but I couldn't remember their names. And then as if they'd read my mind, or maybe it was the lost look on my face, they said, "Bobby. Brad."

  "Bring your friends?" Daniel asked.

  "Nope, just me." I shrugged, like I was apologizing. Maybe he was disappointed that I hadn't brought Megan the boy magnet, or Rafa the rat.

  "Alright, let's head out," Daniel said all cheery.

  Bobby and Brad lifted the ice chest.

  "Head out?" I said.

  "We can't stay here," Daniel explained. "With glass being totally illegal on the beach and all." He reached in the pocket of his baggy shorts and pulled out a bottle of tequila.

  Bobby opened a button down shirt to reveal what was underneath. My mouth dropped. Over a Pancho Villa T-shirt almost exactly like mine, two black straps loaded with shot glasses crisscrossed his chest.

  "Pure Velcro," Bobby said proudly.

  "Don't laugh," Daniel added. "We might actually be engineers if we ever grow up."

  Okay, that explained the duct taped beer bong. They were inventor geeks. Somehow that made me feel comfortable and since they were all staring at me, waiting for my reaction, I smiled and said, "Lead the way."

  We found a place in the sand dunes where we were sort of hidden, but had a great view of the full moon rising over the Gulf of Mexico.

  "And then there's that ridiculous law about how old one has to be to drink, like sixteen isn't old enough." Daniel flipped open the ice chest. "It's wack. Who makes these laws?"

  "My dad," I said. "Well, he didn't make that law, but he was a lawmaker." I'm so not telling them I'm fourteen.

  Brad pulled out the bong. "Our guest of honor can go first," he said and handed me the tube.

  "Wait!" Daniel said. "Your dad's a politician?"

  "No, no." Bobby wagged his finger at Daniel. "Once the bong is removed from the ice chest, all serious conversation must cease."

  Bobby popped open a beer and poured it through the funnel. The ice cold liquid filled my stomach. I handed the tube to Daniel and closed my eyes. And then I let out an enormous burp that I didn't even know was coming.

  "Yes!" Bobby and Brad high fived each other.

  Okay, that was kind of nerdy. I mean nobody high fives anymore except old people. But it was their nerdiness that made them kind of cute and definitely real.

  "Wait, who's your dad?" Daniel asked.

  "Nope, you know the rules, Danny boy," Bobby said with a smile. "Drink first, ask questions later."

  After everyone had downed a beer, we all got quiet and mellow.

  Brad eventually broke the silence. "Oh beautiful one, Sir Daniel over here really wants to know: Who's your daddy?"

  "Yeah, is it him, him or me?" Bobby asked, cracking up.

  "You'll have to excuse my poor judgment in friends," Daniel said, half kidding.

  "No, no, they're hysterical!" I said, staring at the beer.

  "Well alright then," said Daniel, cocking his head. "Who's your daddy?"

  "He's not a senator anymore," I said dismissively, "so it's no big deal." They all stared, waiting. "Oh crap, whatever. John Alexander."

  This time it was their mouths that dropped.

  Bobby peeled off his shirt and pulled four shot glasses from the arsenal strapped across his chest. Daniel pulled out the bottle of tequila.

  "Damn," Daniel said. "I did not see that coming."

  Bobby cleared his throat and Brad just sat there with his eyes bugged out.

  "Seriously?" I said. "Give me the frigging tequila. Let's get this over with." I filled the four shot glasses and passed them out. I looked Daniel in the eye, lifted my shot glass, and in my most sarcastic voice said, "To scandal."

  Brad smiled first. "To scandal!"

  Daniel stared in disbelief.

  "Wait!" Bobby said. He unstrapped a salt shaker and a lime from his chest and cut the lime into four pieces. "Have you ever had tequila?" he asked me.

  I shook my head, but I wasn't really thinking about the question. I was relieved we were actually having a normal conversation again.

  Bobby licked his hand, sprinkled salt on it and then licked the salt off. He signaled me to do the same. After I had, he threw back the shot and downed it all at once. His whole face puckered up, and then he stuck the lime in his mouth and sucked as hard as he could. I immediately downed mine and sucked on the lime. Tequila tasted completely different than vodka and honestly, it wasn't very good, but I immediately refilled my glass.

  "Come on!" Bobby said. "We're getting sober sitting here waiting for you guys to catch up." He moved the glasses closer to Daniel and Brad.

  Once everyone got caught up and could handle reality, I said to Bobby, "I have that shirt. Pancho Villa. I like that guy."

  "Liked," said Brad. "He's dead you know."

  "Yeah, but he went out in a blaze of glory," Bobby said.

  Daniel grinned. "If you fight for what you believe in, you get a T-shirt after you're dead."

  "How can you get a T-shirt if you're dead?" Brad asked.

  "Pancho Villa stood up for something," I said. "That's important."

  "Damn right that's important." Bobby poured another round of tequila. "To Pancho Villa."

  After we spit out our limes, I said, "Let's go sta
nd up for something. You know, wrong a right."

  Daniel laughed. "You mean right a wrong."

  "That calls for another shot," Bobby said. "To righting wrongs!"

  Together we licked, swallowed, sucked, and spat.

  "What's a wrong we need to right?" Brad asked.

  "I can't think of anything right now," said Bobby.

  "I can think of a hundred things," Daniel said.

  "Name one." I didn't know who said that. They all sounded drunk.

  "I have one," I announced, fully aware that I sounded drunk too, but proceeded anyway. "Look at that dumb sign." I pointed in the general vicinity of the sign. "Why can't we bring a glass bottle to the beach? Isn't glass made of sand?" I sifted sand through my fingers. "If it breaks, it just goes back to being sand."

  "How are you gonna get rid of the signs?" Brad asked. "Run for city council?"

  I got up and staggered over to the sign, which was not easy. "We need to change the signs," I said. "All of them."

  "Change to what?" Daniel asked.

  "Betcha all didn't know I'm really a badass." I could tell by their puzzled looks they didn't believe me. "No seriously, people actually call me badass."

  "I did not know that about you," Daniel said.

  "Here's what I think." Then I forgot what I was going to say.

  "We're listening," said Bobby.

  Finally, my brain started working again. "We could change these signs," I patted the pole with my hand. "Right now it says, No Glass on the Beach. We paint over the No and the Gl so it just says ass on the beach."

  Bobby's face lit up.

  "Then write Bad, so the sign says, Badass on the Beach."

  Bobby and Brad howled.

  "We'll hit every sign from one end of the beach to the other." I opened my arms to be more dramatic.

  Daniel got up and dug around in his pocket. He dangled some keys in the air and said, "I'll go get my truck!"

  - 32 -

 
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