The Full Moon Brings All the Boys to the Yard?

Well, well, well….Look’s like I have at least a few fans I wasn’t aware of <3 A few were asking when I was going to give you more writing. I am honestly flattered anyone wants to read my stories because the reason I quit writing as frequently is because I hit a very hard story in my life to talk about from when I was 21 right after having come out and it’s incredibly embarrassing to me and I became incredibly self-conscious of my writing and putting my life on display as an open book. I don’t know who does or doesn’t read my blog and so I started feeling like everyone was secretly judging me. Sure maybe that’s being a little paranoid but I have my reasons. So anyway, that’s why I haven’t really posted anything new. BUT! Back by a few peoples request! I’M BACK…. At least until a cute boy distracts me and I lose interest in writing again.

I really had such a crazy month…and by that I mean I watched WAYYY too much Netflix, didn’t leave my house except when I was forced to (Like to walk my dog), and to go to work. I did take a little mini vacation from my life in there too and ran away to Rehobeth Beach for a night. Yes, I could have probably written new stuff, but I was dealing with some major miscommunication between my roommate and me that took a lot of energy and mental power to try and understand his point of view. It’s like we speak two different languages but we’ve resolved a lot of our issues and things are going well.

During August you may remember a little thing like a solar eclipse happening. That’s when all the trouble with my roommate started. After several disagreements and arguments and fights, we came to a lull and he kind of realized how crazy we were being and according to him I was acting different (I could say the same for about him). He asked me a funny question; he asked if I knew anything about the moon phases. Now, clearly I’m not astronomer, astrologer, or astronaut, so what I’m about to tell you is strictly an observation that could really be happening or my brain might be trying to trick itself into seeing evidence that isn’t there for the sake of a concept to grasp to make sense of this crazy thing we call life.

Now, you need some background info here about some of my beliefs, One of the most hippy-ish things you will hear me say is if you listen to what your body is trying to tell you through yoga or meditation you can fix or eliminate a lot of your negative habits and stresses. If my ex is reading this right now he probably laughed out loud at the thought of me saying something like that. You see, I suffer from depression and so I used to be a very negative person. He tried to help me every way he could but in the end, I couldn’t grasp any of the things he was trying to tell me. I had pretty much given up trying to do the work to get better on my own and relied solely on the prescriptions the doctors kept changing up trying to reduce side effects and elevate the mood levels. Finally, in a desperate last attempt, I got a therapist that I specifically sought out because he is also gay and just gets it. He knew how to talk to and handle the emotional basket case I was just 2 short years ago and when to be stern and when to be compassionate.

So now that you have a bit of the back story, let’s continue, I try to vaguely track my depression cycles so I can bring them up at the next session. So in my tracking, I noticed that around the week before the full moon my moods dip to either lower moods or depression. I noticed it dipped because I felt like people were avoiding me or blowing me off, someone might ‘ghost’ me, which means if you’re messaging with someone and they just all of a sudden quit replying for no reason and leave you hanging. Or maybe I get forgot on an email list for a company happy hour. Something happens that makes me feel rejected or alone and forgotten and whether that’s actually true or just the way I react to the situation that week isn’t quite clear in my observation.

It seems like after going to bed a couple days before a 100% full luminosity moon it just seems like a light switch has been flicked on (pun semi-intended) and everything is better. In fact, it’s like I’m irresistible and then everyone that I couldn’t get to talk to me the week before or whoever disappeared for months on end would choose those days leading up to the full moon to contact me all while my normal friends contact me to hang out and go do things. The week of the full moon seems to be my most active social week of the month.

Is this hard documented evidence? No. Does it happen with the same people all the time? No. It’s merely speculation and keeping half an eye on my depression cycles and noticing when I said obscure things like, “What the hell is *Fill-in-Blank* doing texting me? Must be a full moon..” (Said mockingly…cuz…you know…a full moon brings all the weirdo’s out). But then I actually started checking. First just if I happened to be out at night or thinking how bright it is at night while taking Bosley to the bathroom and looking up and noticing it.

That was when I noticed the coincidences and watching them. I’m in my third month of actually tracking the phases and it’s pretty predictable. What’s not predictable is what person (romantic or otherwise) it will affect or who is going to decide to randomly get back in contact with me. When I see my love interests start to pull away instead of trying harder like I did before, I let them go because I’m like, “Bitch, you’ll be back…they always come back.” (Sometimes it’s because they tell me I need to get checked. But coming back is coming back, why we splitting hairs, Susan?!)

Again, take it for what it is. A personal observation about my life that I may possibly be hallucinating. Does anyone else notice weird things happen with a Full moon? Just me? Maybe I am just finding more meaning in things that aren’t there. I’m just saying that our bodies consist of between 50-65% of water and if the moon can affect things such as high and low tides…come on people connect the dots here…

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Warn Against Coffee!

Friends don’t let friends become coffee addicts. Mine started with recreational use, a cappuccino here, a mocha there. I have always had a borderline drinking problem with green tea, really I think that was the gateway beverage to coffee.

My friends and I started doing it as a way to wake up after an 8 hour work day and we needed to perk up. Pretty soon I started using it in school as a way to stay awake for studying and class and during the day at work. It was always the good stuff, I’d never be one of ‘those’ coffee drinkers that drank the deluded drip coffee at home or god forbid gas station coffee. Nobody ever thinks it’ll happen to them, you know?

Soon I started asking people on dates to coffee to see if we clicked. Eventually, I met my boyfriend, and he was addicted and always insisted I use with him, he’s the first person to show me how to Keurig my coffee for an even quicker fix. We would drink coffee all day, four sometimes five cups in a sitting. He soon started working for Starbucks as a way for us to afford our addiction. I wasn’t happy about him pimping himself out to all those people at Starbucks waiting in lines for him but as soon as that aroma from the coffee hit my nostrils all bets were off and it’s like we forgot the pain of it all, he got a discount from Starbucks so we’d spend even more on coffee because it is the premium stuff for a gas station cappuccino price.

The slide down was steep and quick before I knew it I’d take a quick hit from the Keurig and continue with my day like nothing happened. I wasn’t just enjoying the lattes and cappuccinos, now I was enjoying the drip coffee and I couldn’t afford the premium quality that Starbucks was slinging anymore. I was desperate, I was no longer using for recreation or studying, I was using because I had to, I relied on this stuff, I NEEDED THIS STUFF!

The slide was quick and steep and before I knew it I was that jittery half-awake guy in sweats and a sweaty, stale, and stained t-shirt sucking the last little bit of coffee out of the grounds at the gas station. I could no longer adult around people without a cup of coffee in my system — 2 cups if it was stupid people I had to deal with. My friends were the ones that got me to use and they failed me, they gave me a lifetime pass to this addiction now!

I’ve lost everything because of my coffee addiction.  I lost my job because I was so jacked up on coffee I punched my boss in the face. My boyfriend eventually broke up with me because he couldn’t take the constant state of anxiety I was. My family abandoned me because I couldn’t be around them without some caffeine in my system. And all the friends that got me addicted left me because they still only use occasionally for work or school. Coffee ruins lives. Friends don’t get friends started on coffee. Please don’t let your friends suffer a similar fate. Warn against the use of coffee.

Alone but not Lonely.

*Archived from December 2016*

What you say and how you say it are imperative for communication, there’s a reason we have language. Often time’s people say things without even realizing that what they say has an impact on people’s thinking and actions. If you’re in the sales industry such as real estate then you know just how important your description words are for describing a small property as a “Cozy quaint cottage”.

In fact, there was the perfect little blurb in the Wall Street Journal talking about exchanging the phrase of “I don’t have time” with “It’s not a priority” and then used it in a few different examples and said “if these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point.”

As a former server how people worded their requests for ranch determined if I would charge them for a side or not. Someone who said it as a question usually didn’t get charged (Oh, could I get a side of ranch, please?) but someone who used a declarative sentence absolutely got charged because their language put me on the defense. (I need a side of ranch.)

So with that, I’ve been working on how I spent my holiday season post for the last 2 weeks and it’s so long and probably more information than is relevant to what I want to say. So, I have attempted to summarize the events and what I wanted to say.

Over the holiday weekends, I made the flying statement that I would be alone, but not lonely. That was mostly true until my X decided to side swipe me and invite me to his family Christmas (along with about 5 other invites from friends). I didn’t go to his but his lingering words, “I just can’t imagine the thought of you being alone on Christmas, why don’t you come spend it with people who love you.” made me realize I was actually lonely and wanted to spend it with someone.

I made a post last week for my NY resolutions swearing off my past (boyfriends, flings, etc) and I received a message from someone (Actually all of the guys from the last year and a half messaged me, except for X.) we’ll call him Carter, and I realized I wouldn’t be able to spend the holiday alone after all, even though I had multiple invites none of them really felt welcoming to me.

What I mean by that is the wording. People all heard what I was saying but not everyone knows what I meant when I say I’m lonely.   I’m not lonely for just anyone to fill the silence or space, I’m lonely for that raw connection with someone who knows me well, who has seen my broken soul, and chooses to stay anyways.

Although (mostly) all the invites came from good friends that I truly appreciate the offers from, they all lacked the wording in the invitation to make me feel welcomed.  I was searching for people similar to my own situation; someone single, lack of family (or closeness to them), no obligations (family traditions) etc. I wanted someone similar to me because I didn’t want to distract anyone from what they needed to get done and I didn’t want to compete for their attention over chores, kids, family, other friends, partner, TV, etc. It’s terrible to be in a room full of people and to still feel completely and utterly alone.

So, I messaged Carter the following day after his text and told him I would really like to see him for Christmas Eve and explained to him why.  He understood why and agreed to see me. While we were discussing the details of our hangout on Christmas Eve he said he was tired from work and that he was going to put me to work and listed off everything he had to do in preparation.

As I previously mentioned I didn’t want to burden anyone with my neediness and was starting to feel uncomfortable (read: guilty) having turned to my past so quickly after my resolution post so I saw my opportunity to cancel plans.  I attempted to cancel the plans by saying I didn’t want to be in the way or add to the stress, that I didn’t feel like doing anything and that I would just see him tomorrow after his family left like previously agreed upon, but he did something unexpected.

I knew Carter was the right person to see me because he did what no one else does, he fought to see me. What I mean by that is he didn’t accept my cop out answer and he attempted to persuade me with things like “I even lit a fire and everything” and explaining what he meant by stress and he didn’t care if I was a mess. The final message that finally convinced me to come over was, “Sigh…Ok”
“PS I didn’t want to be alone tonight either.”

He didn’t make it sound like I was inconveniencing him or that I was a pity invite, he made me feel like I was helping him as much as he was helping me. He took it from being “Oh you poor thing, Come to my Christmas because I asked what your plans were and you said you didn’t have any and couldn’t afford to fly home and now I feel awkward talking about this.” To “Zak, this time of year sucks. I get it. I get that you’re independent and don’t need anyone, but if you decide that you do, I’m here and could really use some company myself.”

I cannot express to him how much that truly meant to me not just the invite but the fact that he knew how to deal with me and my independence without making me feel more vulnerable than I already was. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and a good start to 2017, mine was just what I needed.

My Night with a Naughty Nurse

I’m not sure how it happens to me but I always seem to get the very chatty weird doctors, nurses, therapists, masseuses, etc. Since some of you are probably new readers you probably missed my conversation with a doctor during a physical last year in which he kept me in the office for 45 minutes gushing about Montana (My home state). I posted it just before this one so you can read it if you want to.

Yesterday while I was at UPenn for the study I’m participating in I got this friendly nurse. I will refer to her as NC for Nurse Cougar from here on out. She’s probably about 40-45ish wearing a pencil skirt and flip flops she reminded me of Kirstie Alley 20 years ago (from the tooth fairy movie). NC hands me a pee cup and sends me on my way down to the bathroom. When I come back and drop my urine off on the counter I see she’s on her phone texting. No big deal. So I sit in the chair and wait for her to finish her message and then she puts her phone down shaking her head and, no lie, this was our conversation:

NC: “Ugh, young guys…young guys.” she says absent mindedly trailing off.
Me: “Right?” *in a confused tone because what the hell do you say to that?*
NC: “So I’m seeing this younger guy right? And he’s an engineer, uck like engineers are so weird” she says smirking looking up at the ceiling, “And he works all these crazy hours and he works like 10 hour days and he works through the night and I told him, Man how are you supposed to get laid with those kind of hours? Like I gotta be in bed by 11 because I gotta get up and go to work.”
Me: *Shocked with Jenna Marbles face inside my head know she still had to stick needles in me still*
NC: “So I was like you should ask your boss how you’re supposed to get laid with hours like that and he was all ‘Yeah I’ll see what he says.’”
Me: *Still stunned* was this appropriate patient nurse conversation?
Me: “Heh heh Yeah, those hours suck,” I say dead pan like a bad actor.
NC: “Right? This is what I said to him,” she starts reading her text message to me and I drifted in and out of the message until I hear her saying, “And I’m gonna rip your clothes off and…” I force myself to blank out again…She finally puts her phone down looking pleased with herself.

We continue with the small talk and she asks if I have a roommate, yes…She asked if I liked living with them…yes…Then she opens up about her roommates and talking about how she’s renting out her house she owns and then renting this other house she doesn’t and has 2 roommates and that she didn’t save money like she should have while they’ve been living with her and how she’s been travelling all over (I’m guessing she’s a divorcee who’s living it up). I’m shocked at just how much I’m learning about this nurse who’s conducting a serious study in such a manner.

Finally, my IV drip is done and she tells me that I have to stick around for a half hour to make sure there are no adverse effects. I try to bargain with her,

Me: “How about 15 minutes because my parking runs out at 2:59.”
NC: *Mulling it over in her head* “I…I’m really not supposed to..”
Me: *Sitting there with a blank stare on my face while she keeps mumbling I’m not supposed to, debating if she could let me leave 15 minutes early.*
Me: “I just need to go put more time on my meter so I’m gonna have to go put more money in and then come back,” I say to make it easier for her so she doesn’t to say no.
NC: “I’ll escort you out to your vehicle,” she says with a sly smirk and side eyes as if to say ‘Almost got me!’ thinking I’m lying about coming back.

We’re walking out to my car and my stride is probably twice hers and she’s clopping right along in her flip flops trying to keep pace in a pencil skirt. I have a bright blue bandage wrapped around my arm because my IV connector was there (Because if there was a reaction then the paramedics would have to come and she had to have access to an IV line or something…) I pay for another half hour and we start walking back:

NC: “Woo, get me in the shade!” as she’s fanning her face.
Me: “Aww and you’re in all black too”
NC: “They’ll be calling me Johnny Cash, but I was feeling fat today.”
Me: *Internal Jenna Marbles Face* “Oh…”
NC: *Sigh* “I just got so behind on my summer body this year but I just love food too much.”
Me: “Oh yeah when I’m stressed I’m the opposite I can’t eat, I took 18 credits my last semester in college this year and I was so stressed I looked like I was a heroin addict.”
NC: “Oh and you’re already so tall and slender, I’m sure it was noticeable, you just need to eat more.”
Me: “Yeah that’s what people keep telling me but it’s hard because I’m not hungry when I’m stressed so I’m literally having to force feed myself.”
NC: “Maybe you just need some pot.”
Me: *Burst of laugher* “Yes, yes I do.”
NC: “Definitely, it helps people so much for different problems. Anxiety and hunger..” she trails off.
Me: “Yeah but I don’t think *Current state I’m living in* has anxiety as a recognizable symptom or ailment for their medical marijuana card. Is it? ”
NC: “I don’t know, you just need to get a prescription for anxiety, or get the *insert cannabis pill name here* that cancer patients use. Just tell them you know you’re gonna be stressed during this period and that you need to eat I don’t know if it would work but it’s worth trying.”
Me: *WTF* “Yeah, I guess I’ll have to look into that”
We finally get me back up in the room and I have to sit and wait 20 more minutes to make sure nothing bad would happen. She finally takes my IV connector out and puts a bandage over my arm and sends me on my way.

If you liked this story and didn’t read the doctor one read it now! Also, like my facebook page and follow it because it gives me a false sense of pride.

My Doctor Appointment

So I’ve been trying to think of a witty post about my Montana adventure and ways to talk about me cutting my foot, skinny dipping, and commemorating a friend who passed suddenly, but nothing I came up did justice to what I want to say and tell people so I suppose my vacation will just have to be an “in-person” story I tell because there is just so much and since I’m not entirely sure who reads this thing, I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable admitting to strangers. PS I haven’t slept in 24 hours so me not talk to pretty right now.

So Instead, I figured it would be funny to tell you about my conversation with the doctor today for my physical. My Doctor looked like Will Sasso from Mad TV (Seen above). I had gone in for a routine physical and he was collecting family medical history and this is how it went, it’s jumpy I know, but this is honestly how the conversation went.

Doc: “So, how are you today?”

Me: “Well thanks, you?”

Doc: “I’m alright, Name?”

Me: “Zak”

Doc: “Your parents live in Delaware?”
Me: “No, they live in Montana.”

Doc: “Montana? Did you move here or did they move there?”
Me: “I moved here.”

Doc: “Were you there for the filming of the River Runs Through It?”

Me: “Uhh, I was born in 1990 so I’m not sure…Maybe? I don’t think I’ve seen that movie…”

Doc: “Oh Sheesh…Do you work?”

Me: “Yes full-time for an IT company.”
Doc: “Very nice, how long you been doing that?”

Me: “MM, like 6 months?

Doc: “Great, do you like it?”
Me: “Yeah I love it.”

Doc: “So you moved from Montana….to Delaware?”

Me: “Yes”

Doc: “Why Delaware?” *Skrunches up face like Da fuck?*
Me: “Love…Followed my heart here”

Doc: “Oh man that famous writer lives out there in….I wanna say, Livingston? Do you know who I’m talking about?”
Me: “Well contrary to popular belief, we Montanan’s don’t all know one another. I can guess an author, Gary something….Has a pet black bear?”
Doc: “Noo….”

Me: “Ben Michaelson? The author of the Hatchet or something?”
Doc: “No…Here…” *Pulls out iPhone and looks up Anthony Bourdain interview with Montana Author and proceeds to make me watch the video to see the author he’s talking about.
Me: “Oh…Cool.”

Doc: “Yeah, it’s been a buddy and I’s dream to go to Montana, we’d sit in our car loaded up to backpack in Nashville talking about driving out to Montana for a week in college. Never made it, though…”
Me: *Internal eye roll* “Well it’s definitely got some pretty landscapes I loved being there. I just got back from vacation there.”
Doc: “Any history  of diabetes? High blood pressure? High Cholesterol? That sort of thing?”
Me: “No…wait..depression?”
Doc: “Well you’re in Delaware and you’re from Montana…it makes sense..”

Me: *perplexed and amused*

Doc: “Height? Weight”

Me: “6’4 and as of last night 169.4”

Doc: “Good weight…So the person you moved for did things work out with him-uhhh-her- *ahem* them?”

Me: “Not exactly”

Doc: “Any history of diabetes? High blood pressure? High Cholesterol in your family?”

Me: “High blood pressure, high cholesterol and my dad had cancer.”
Doc:  “Siblings?”

Me: “Yeah a sister.”

Doc: “Cool, she still in Montana?”

Me: “Yeah…”

Doc: “What she do out there?”
Me: “Uhh, I’m not really sure, to be honest, I think she works at a methadone clinic or something..” *thinking why are we having a chit chat? Haven’t you other patients to see?

Doc: “What sorta cancer did your dad have?”
Me: “Lymphoma”

Doc: “So you moved here 6 months ago?”
Me: “No, a year and a half. I moved April 4th, 2015, we broke up April 16th, 2016.”
Doc: “So what did she-uhhh-he-they do around here?”

Me: “Barista, going to school now”

Doc: “They have a school for baristas now?”
Me: *Holding back a snort of laughter* “Uh no, that’s not what he’s going for..Something in music.”
Doc: “Oh my sister is a professionally trained opera singer and she’s unemployed and I mean if there isn’t anything for a professionally trained opera singer…I keep asking her when she’s going to join us in the real world”
Me: *internal eye roll again* “Yeah that’s not really what he’s going for so…”

More mindless babble…and decides he can open up to me more.

“So at our small Christian college in Nashville, Kyle, That’s my friend, and I saw a girl with Montana plates and we were fighting over who called dibs on her. In the end, it turns out he won and he was going back to Montana with her to visit family and see it and he calls me and is all like, I think Kyle always wanted to marry rich so he could do whatever-“

Me: “Well naturally, don’t we all?”

Doc: “Yeah, so Kyle calls me from the border of Montana and is all like ‘This dumb bitch…. Bro, I’m not going to Montana without you’ and I was all like, you went into Montana and turned around and he was all like ‘No man, we got to the border and we turned around’ it was like from the movie when Brad Pitts brother asks him to move to Chicago with him but Brad says “I’m not leaving Montana” and I just couldn’t believe he made it all the way to the border and didn’t go check it out.”
Me: *Literally stunned into silence making a Jenna Marbles face and eye twitching thinking are you actually a medically trained doctor or posing as one?!?*

Doc: “So What’s there to do in Montana? Is there the Blackfoot River there?”
me: “Yeah, there’s a brewery named after it…I mean there is like Glacier and Yellowstone National Park and they’re pretty cool I guess.”
Doc: “Oh yeah, like is it cold there?” (asking in an Alaska sorta way)
Me: “I mean there is snow year round on some of the mountains and like sometimes Highway to the Sun is closed until July or August because of the snow pack. There are lots of backpacking and there is this place called Hidden Lake and it’s really cool you pack in like 3 or 4 miles and there is this big….Hidden Lake (duh the name?) and sometimes there is snow in there in the middle of July and it’s really pretty and cool.”

Doc: “So like if I was to bring a couple of turbo powered Artic cat sleds up there could I like… them on the streets? Or would the police be all over you?”
me: “Uhh, I mean if there is enough snow in town yeah for the most part as long as you don’t take them on the highways cops don’t really care, we have people doing it in my neighborhood”

Doc: *Stares mesmerized off into the distances*

Doc: “So let’s say I was to go visit Montana and take my family when would be the best time to go?”

Me: “Well I mean that depends on what you guys are into…Skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, winter activities….I’d say Like January?”
Doc: *Practically salivating* “Fly fishing. That’s what we’re into…fly fishing…”
Me: “Oh well there’s some great fly fishing in Montana, in that case, I would say like July-August-ish…Montana has an Indian summer a lot so it stays warmer in August through September. You could go on like the Missouri river it’s pretty awesome fly fishing or Flathead lake. It gets all the run off of the glaciers so you can see like 8 feet down below the water and it’ll look like it’s about a foot under the surface it’s so calm and peaceful and clear.

By this point, I’ve lost him again as he gazes off into the wall behind my head daydreaming of Montana.

Doc: “So you fly fish?”
Me: “I’m from Montana, I do it all. Hike, fish, hunt, backpack, ATV, boat, etc”

Doc: “So you were raised in Montana from when?”
Me: “I was born and lived there until I was 21 until I moved to New Zealand for a year.”

Which I was really trying to blow his mind because New Zealand usually does that to everyone and he goes nonchalantly “Oh I hear they have like the best healthcare in the world.”

Me: *Utterly dumbstruck by the comment…nothing about the Hobbit, the beautiful scenery, the amazing lush green rolling hills, driving on the opposite side of the road as us…No, instead he comments on their healthcare system.*

Also me: “Uhh, sure…I don’t really know, I never had to use their hospitals. I know you had to get a prescription for melatonin though which I thought was stupid but it’s whatever.”
Doc: “Yeah that is weird, say did you ever try that Bob Marley Tea?”
Me: *Dude, did you miss your ADHD meds today? Cuz Shit I haven’t taken mine for a week and I’m more focused right now than you are…*

Also me: “Uhh yeah I have actually, I thought it was weird cuz it totally made me mellow an—“

Doc: “Yeah me too, it put me right out! I was like whoa, this stuff just knocks you right out.”
Me: *Jenna Marbles Face again…*

Doc: “Yeah this patient came in drinking one and she was all like don’t even try to buy these, they don’t produce these anymore, so don’t even try” (In a mocking girlish tone) “I’ll give you mine, though.”

Me: “And it’s all like, where did she get hers then if they don’t produce them anymore? In some kind of mellow green tea underground black market?”
Doc: “I think people buy them by the cases or something..”

Doc: “Right, So why don’t you go ahead and take your shirt off and sit on the table over there.”
Me: *Uhh…You sure you ok to stand up cowboy? I don’t want you passing out on me*

He proceeds to complete the what should be a 10 minute physical in just under 40 minutes.


This has to literally be one of my weirdest doctor visits of all times and I’ve had one where the doctor was telling me how I wasn’t ADHD because I graduated high school. Please, if you have a weird doctor story do share in the comments, I’d love to hear someone else’s weirdness.


Vegas Part 2 – The Hangover.



The alarm clock is buzzing in my ear.

The sun is peeking in through the black-out curtains, I look at the clock and it’s 7 am. What ass hole sets an alarm for 7 am in Vegas? I fumble slapping the top of the clock trying to make it stop until I finally lose my patience and toss it across the room, but it’s still going off. I hoist myself out of bed as the world swirls around me from my lingering hangover. As I become more conscious of my surroundings I realize it’s my phone’s alarm clock…Whoops.

I turn my phone off and manage to get a few more winks in until about 11. My phones ringing and I seriously consider throwing it out the window this time. I pick it up and groggily say, “Hello?” to which my peppy and super positive sounding ray of sunshine besty pipes up, “GOOD MORNING GIGGLES! How did you sleep?”

I pull the phone away from my ear and look at it turning down the volume, “Oh god, why are you yelling? Do you hate me?”

“GET UP! YOU’RE IN VEGAS!! Have you eaten?”

I had missed the hotel breakfast and I was in some serious need of something carb-y, greasy, and cheesy. I tell her no and we agree on a restaurant nearby that has burgers. I arrive at the restaurant a minute before they do and go in to get a table. I’m wearing my sunglasses with my hair a mess with no plan of removing the sunglasses or fixing my hair.

Shawna and Garret both show up and sit across from me, “Oh honey. You look miserable” Shawna sympathizes.

“I just need some food and I’ll be fine. I’m never drinking again.” I lament.

“So how are you going to drink with Adam?” Shawna asked.

“Who’s that?” my face contorted confused why she was asking me like I knew this person.

“Haha very funny,” she said. My face didn’t change its expression, “Wait…are you not kidding do you not remember him?” I still look befuddled.

“…You met him last night, it’s Garret’s boss” Shawna’s face is in shock, “You hugged him and told him he was your new best friend and that you could keep up drinking with him. We’re all supposed to go out tonight…”

I’m shocked by this information, “No-I-did-not.” I say, mouth agape from surprise.

“Yes you did,” She persists, “He’s picking us up after lunch and he’s giving us a tour of Vegas and taking us to the gay bar, Champagne. Then we’re all going to go to Tina and Tony’s Wedding.”

I take a second to process this information. I say ok and ask questions trying to remember meeting him on the escalators at my hotel. We finish our lunch and pay our tab and they give Adam a call that we’re done. Adam picks us up on the corner at a crosswalk and we all pile in his rented car trying to escape the Vegas heat.

“Hey Buddy, good to see you again.” Adam mocks seeing I’m clearly still hungover.

“He doesn’t even remember meeting you!” Shawna tattles on me.

“Really? You didn’t seem blacked out? You don’t remember me? You hugged me and told me I was your spirit animal.”

I give a sheepish grin and drop my eyes in embarrassment, “Sorry?” I offer up.

“No worries, buddy we all have had nights like that, maybe you’ll be able to keep up with me after all.” He jokes.

He gives us the 50 cent tour and we end up at Champagne Café. The parking lots empty with weeds growing out of the cracks in the asphalt and the bar is off separated from the strip and other businesses. It looked abandoned truth be told, and I’m not the only one that thought so.

“It doesn’t look like much now, but trust me…around 9 or 10 this place will be packed,” Adam says nonchalantly.

We make our way into the red velvet-walled bar. Upon entering it’s a scene straight out the Wild West movie. We open the door and the sunlight pierces the surprisingly dark and dimly lit bar that has no windows to the outside. There are only 2 or 3 patrons in the bar plus the bartender and all of them turned and stared at us. Their eyes are narrow slits of piercing daggers questioning who we were and what we wanted.

Once the door safely closed behind us and the bar went back to being dimly lit, everyone turned back to their drinks and back to ignoring us. Adam walks up to the bar and throws down his credit card and buys us all a round of drinks. In fact, I think he bought ALL the drinks while we were there. We discuss the upcoming plans for the night and after 2 or 3 drinks (I’ve kept up so far) decide it’s time to head back to the hotels to get cleaned up and ready for Tina and Tony’s Wedding.

Later that night:

We all reconvene down in the lobby of my hotel and Adam has a lady with him. He introduces her as Kelly and I say, “Hi Kelly, I’m Zak” she smiles and laughs and says, “Yeah Adam mentioned you didn’t remember last night. We met on the escalators when you met Adam.” We instantly became old friends.

We get into the show and Adam immediately orders us all a drink (I was drinking Long Islands that night) and we wait for the show to begin. If you don’t know what Tina and Tony’s wedding is, it’s basically like a Jersey Shore Wedding that’s an interactive play. The show began with the bridesmaid and her boyfriend getting in a fight, the dad, and his new much younger wife, and the mom is a grade A bitch to everyone.

I clearly am an easy target for women in Vegas being 6’4 because after her ‘breakup’ the bridesmaid starts drama by looking for a rebound date to make her boyfriend jealous. Guess who that rebound was….YEP! Me…

So she slides up to the table and tells me I’m really sexy and this that and everything else. Her boyfriend comes over and yells at her and puts me down calling me ‘gawbage’. The father walks by and sees the bridesmaid and I talking and says something I can’t remember, I feel like it had to do with basically calling me a slut. She asks me to dance, and frankly if you haven’t seen me dance than consider yourself lucky. I have zero rhythm for any kind of dancing WHATSOEVER. She and I fumble our way through my terrible rhythm (at least the alcohol made me confident). Then her boyfriend makes an appearance and we get into this dance-off between him and a nun as partners and her and me as partners. We were trying to make them jealous by dirty dancing.

She starts with putting my hand on her back and then he does the same to the nun pulling her closer. She then slides my hand onto her butt, having me pull her closer. He slides his onto the nun’s (who is also an actor) and she gives him a look and slides it back up to her back. I then take over the situation and put both my hands on her butt and he’s forced to dance in a less sexual manner with the nun.

Now, by this point, I’m on my 2nd or even my 3rd long island, so I whisper in her ear to follow my lead. I grab her ass again and hoist her up around my bean stalk body and she wraps her legs around me. She breaks character laughing in my ear and saying, “I’m not sure my dress can handle this.”

Her boyfriend attempts to grab the nun like I just grabbed the bridesmaid and she pretends to be disgusted and slap him and storms off. Her boyfriend leaves embarrassed and then the bridesmaid goes running after him leaving me alone on the dance floor. Just as she leaves though the gay cousin of the family ballroom waltz in outta nowhere and swoops me up ballroom waltzing around the dance floor. We continue waltzing for about 15 seconds before the music ends and he strategically waltzed me in front of the stage. As he sashays away someone from behind grabs my shoulder pulling me back up on a stage. I remember being pissed because they ruined my perfectly faux-hawked hair by shoving a cowboy hat on me.

The next thing I know YMCA starts playing and spotlights are shown on me and the other dancers. I was too in the moment to pay attention to who the others were. I assumed other patrons like me. Turns out they were actors and I was one of the only patrons on stage. I had a shorter but much buffer sexier actor next to me and I see him strip off his shirt and throws it over his head. In my drunken haze, I was not about to be upstaged just because he’s got pecks. So I start unbuttoning my shirt and yank it off and lasso whip it around my head and through it into the crowd. Everyone is hooting and hollering for us and the song ends and the same invisible hands yank off the hat and pat me on the back guiding me off the stage.

I jump off the stage find my shirt and walk to my table where my friends and several other people behind our table were clapping and cheering me on. A guy behind our table walks around and shakes my hand as I sit and congratulates me saying, “That was great man!”

The father of the bride walks by and with an Archie, Bunker accent says, “Christ first yawh wit a wooman, then yawh wit a guy. Yaw need to make up yawh mind and stawp ruining relationships.” And then the mother walks by after him and gives me a nasty look and with a straight Jersey accent saying, “Yaw need to keep yaw shirt on, yaw terrible. Yaw ruining my dawghters wedding.”

The rest of the show was pretty unmemorable, mostly because I was 3 or 4 long islands in. Also, they didn’t have me in the second half of it. So, anyways, we head home and I’m already pretty drunk by this point. I get up to my room and pop one of those famous Ambien’s I’ve talked about and started getting ready for bed. I get a text right as I’m brushing my teeth saying, “Hey we’re all meeting at the Dueling Piano Bar in your hotel. Come down.” So forgetting I just took an Ambien I figure why not. I planned to go down have a drink and be up to bed in 45 minutes. I throw my clothes back on and head down.

I show up downstairs to find the table and to my surprise, Adam had already ordered me a Long Island. I start drinking it I only have about 20 minutes of my memory left. Just long enough for Nik (See part 1 if you don’t know Nik.) to make an appearance as we get called up on stage for the dueling pianos with Kelly.

Our group of friends had told the dueling pianos that we were celebrating our divorce. I don’t remember the exact exchange of words between the piano man and us, but it was something about our made up kids. I’m almost positive that no one in the bar believed we were actually married or had kids, but no one said a word.

While we were being serenaded by the piano men, in my Ambien alcohol-fueled mind I thought ‘since taking my shirt off went SOOO well at Tina and Tony’s wedding I should do it here too!’ Kelly was a total sport about it and Adam yells “WOOOOOO” from the back but everyone else in the bar was more than confused as to why I thought that would be a good idea. After the song and what felt like an eternity, we finally return to our table and the last thing I remember of the night is the Piano Man saying, “Two words for you Zak, push ups”…

Don’t worry the story doesn’t end there.
Vodka Zak (as he’s now known by friends) continues to take a few blurry pictures of the night at the piano bar and at some point wanders away from my friends for about an hour. To this day no one, including myself, knows where I went for an hour. All I have is a brief drunken voicemail to my coworker, Jen.

“JEEENNNNNN!!!!! It’s Zak! I miss you! I’m in Vegas! YOU SHOULD COME! I’m just outside a club right now! I don’t know what my name is but I think it’s Nik! I LOVE YOU!!! SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!” slurred pretty drunkenly

The next brief flashes of memory I have is waking up in the shower, with it running, with the tub filling up with water and Caesar salad floating around in the tub with me. The shower curtain rod and shower curtain are on the floor. I somehow manage to turn the shower off and roll out of the tub as it drains lying on the bathroom floor wet, as my consciousness fades out again.

The next morning I awake in my own bed covered up probably around 9 in the morning I’m still drunk so I feel great. I lay there checking my phone trying to recall the last thing I remember from the night. I look at my hotel room and it’s not trashed like in The Hangover, phew. I throw the covers back in the plans to go down and grab breakfast before they stop serving again. I sit up having my hotel room starts swirling around me again from the drunkenness and the soon to be hangover.

I start feeling nauseous so I decide to go puke before I put clothes on and go down stairs. I put my feet on the ground and stand about 3/4ths of the way up before this excruciating searing pain shoots up my leg from the bottom of my foot causing me to fall back on the bed recoiling in pain. I start noticing my surroundings and realize there is blood all over my sheets. I carefully adjust my butt on the edge of the bed and carefully pull my foot up on my knee to take a look. I had a HUGE DEEP GASH across the arch of my foot in the shape of a crescent moon. I quickly access the rest of my body for any more deep cuts and find an additional one on my calf in a straight line. Both had managed to scab while I slept and were no longer bleeding but they were still very painful.

I hobble into the bathroom to get toilet paper when I see the disaster that is my hotel bathroom…It’s still in shambles from the night before. I get the shower rod and curtain back up in the shower and that’s when I noticed the shattered glass next to the sink. I get everything cleaned up when there’s a knock on my door.

I look through the peephole and see Shawna’s mom standing there and I let her in. She sees me hobbling around my room and then the blood on the sheets and asked if I’m missing a kidney. I laugh and show her the bottom of my foot and she gasps, “Oh that looks painful, you should go to the ER” and I, being a big burly man (Let’s all laugh together at that statement), say, “No no I’m fine, I’ll wait and go when I get home. Do you have a bandaid?”

“I don’t honey, but a band-aid is not gonna hold that you’ll need gauze and tape for that.”

“What are the odds you think that they have that at the front desk?” I ask,

“Not good.” She says.

She helps me jerry rig a makeshift bandage using toilet paper to mummify my foot in 1 ply. I carefully get my shoes on and hobble out to her car. She takes me to the nearest pharmacy and runs in for me to get gauze and tape and antibacterial goop stuff.

We get to my bestys hotel and while the bride to be is getting ready for her bachelorette party, her mom helps me properly wrap my foot since I was mostly too hungover at that point to do much of anything on my own. I ended up getting suited up to go out with the boys even though I had been puking all day and couldn’t keep anything down. I made it as far as the restaurant for dinner and while the guys ordered Steaks, I ordered crackers and water. They all looked at me as if I committed sacrilege. Adams the first to say something, “Hey buddy, how ya doin’? You gonna be able to make without any food in your belly tonight?”

I’m sweating bullets trying to keep the water I just drank down. I go to respond but I feel the stomach bile coming back up and I hold up one finger and run (as best I can with my foot) to the bathroom. Upon returning to the table having sweat through my shirt and just dry heaved for 5 minutes, I make the call not to ruin the night for the groom or groomsmen. I announce that I will be leaving and returning to the hotel. I leave them with these final words of wisdom from the Hangover, “Guys, what happens in Vegas…Stays in Vegas…Except for herpes. That shit will come back with you.”

If you enjoyed this story, make sure to like my Facebook page and subscribe to my blog to find out about my first gay hookup next week.

I Can’t Sleep – Poem

I Can’t Sleep

By Zak Awry

It’s 1 a.m.

And I can’t sleep,

Your memory lodged in my head so deep.

Just lying trying to count some sheep,

Thinking of you will only make me weep.

It’s 2 a.m.

And I can’t slumber,

I just lie here reciting your god damned phone number.

You said you’d never leave, why can’t you just remember?

Our very first Christmas that was just last December!

It’s 3 a.m.

And I get no shut eye.

All I want to do is see you and cry.

Even after the awful way you left me and chose to say goodbye,

Like I was merely second choice, nothing more than just your standby.

It’s 4 a.m.

And I’m wide awake,

Because I cannot stand this fucking heartbreak.

So I wear your ring as my own keepsake.

You were never my worst mistake.

It’s 5 a.m.

And the sun is near.

It’s taken all night to get my head this clear.

To have finally shed my very last tear,

So I say this begging, please lend me your ear,

And do not come back for me again, my dear.

(c) Copyright 2016 Zak Riggin