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Grapevine : November 2011
at a house party, so I went with some friends, determined to have a good time. I stayed sober for the first hour. I sipped on ginger ale and boasted about my sobriety. I quickly got bored with the pop and pretension, so I headed to the bathroom where the keg was hiding. I locked myself in and drank several cups fast. I was about 10 beers in when I struck up a conversation with the bass player. We talked about music and summer; I told him I had gone skydiving for the first time in August. He said he would love to go sometime. "How about now?" I asked. "But it's winter in Minnesota---there's no way we can go now," he replied. "We will have to wait until summer, right?" "It's not winter everywhere," I said. "Let's go somewhere warm and jump out of a plane!" We dropped my friends off and went back to his loft downtown. We drank lots of whiskey and listened to Mos Def. We chatted about live music and discovered we were at the same Widespread Panic show in New Mex- ico. He grabbed his camera and then me before we took off. I dropped the glass I was holding as he threw me against the wall and kissed me. It was hot, but we both knew it was just going to be this one night. We left his loft and headed to the airport, both hammered. We were laughing the whole time, kissing like teenagers in love; we couldn't keep our hands off each other. We marched right up to the ticket coun- ter to a stern-looking woman and asked her what the first flight out to a warm city was. "Excuse me?" she replied. I repeated that we wanted to go somewhere warm. "What's your first flight?" I asked. She looked con- cerned for our sanity, but said there was a 7 A.M. to Tampa. "OK, we will take two tickets to Tampa," I said. "Are you sure?" she asked cautiously. I handed over my credit card, and just like that, I was $1200 poorer and on my way to Florida with some gui- tarist. Before we boarded the plane we bellied up to the bar for tequila shots and were four rounds in when the bartender asked us to leave. Our early morning shenani- gans didn't jive with the nearby fam- ily enjoying their pancakes before their flight to Disney World. We headed to the gate to board our plane. I sent my mother and my boss a message: "Headed to Florida. Back Tuesday. Won't be home or at work today." That was it. I turned off my phone to avoid the inevitable calls of concern from co-workers, friends and family. And off we went for some booze, thrills, and fear and loathing in Florida. We drank lots, made out on the beach, wreaked havoc in pub- lic and jumped out of an airplane. It was thrilling---the high, the heat from the sun on the beach, the bottle of Bombay we polished off in our St. aagrapevine.org 45