Oh, That Drunken Blackout!

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2 years ago
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Erik stuck his thumb out to hop a ride in moderate, 45 m.p.h. traffic. Destination? Florida. Ohio had dealt him a nasty heart blow when he was laid off from his union job and his wife divorced him.

Alcohol only killed the pain temporarily.

A new Honda Prelude pulled over, a Spanish man with slicked back, black hair at the wheel.

"Where you headed, homes?" he questioned. His eyes were bloodshot.

"Anywhere in Florida, bro," he replied, hopping in. "Mind if I drink a beer?"

"Only if you have another."

"Warm, but good," Erik said, handing the brewski to the driver. You got a name?"


"Okay, man, good to party with you. Erik." They dapped fists, laughed, and then drove on in relative silence.

Five hours later in the early morning they entered the city limits of Vero Beach. "Wanna make some bucks at a day labor place? I need some fast cash, homes." Ladron slurred when he spoke.

"Sure, dude; I'm broke as well." Erik had $3 left.

After 8 hours of standing on a broom at a new housing development construction site, the men picked up a measly $38 each. It certainly beat a zero.

"Let's get a beer at this joint I know." Ladron was already hammered but Erik agreed. After all, he had nowhere else to go.

The men tossed back 5 each and returned to the Honda.

"I need to ditch this car, man, then head to my sister's casa."

"Why don't you park at your sister's place?" Erik inquired.

"Because, homie, I stole this car about 24 hours ago."

"Whoa. Dude!" Erik swilled a half a can of brew. "Drop me off anywhere, man."

"Aight. I'll leave the keys at the supermarket a half mile down the road, you know, in case you want the car and all. I'll walk to mi hermana's casa."

"Sounds tight. Oh, by the way, man, I'm curious: what does Ladron mean?"

"Thief, homes." Ladron grinned, then sped off, smoking the tires.

Thirty minutes later Erik snatched the new Honda and bought some beer. He headed north to Orlando with $8 to his name.

The next morning Erik woke up and looked at his watch. It was 6:47 a.m. and he was in a hotel room. The sheets were soaked on one side with fluid and vomit. The stench made him gag.

The room was trashed. Empty beer cans, bottles of wine, and two empty bottles of vodka were strewn on the small tables and the carpeting. Cigarette butts had overflowed makeshift ashtrays. Empty food containers were scattered hitherto.

Erik had no recollection of the previous night. None. He didn't recall passing out or who he had been with. Blackout.

His hands shook. Erik needed a pick me up, a calming drink.

Into the bathroom he wobbled where he spied 5 beers in the sink. They were still a little cool because of the air conditioning but the ice had melted some time ago.

He twisted off the cap and gulped half of the twelve-ounce weight. Taking his time to peer at his face in the mirror, Erik brushed his blonde locks back, wiped his teeth with a wet finger, then went to the window to peep out.

The area was unfamiliar to him.

Reaching into his sagging pocket, Erik found he had $1,341 in cash and a half pocket of change. Perplexed, he peered through a crack in the curtain anew while simultaneously sipping his beer.

He scanned the parking lot, the nearby light traffic on the street, and spotted an elderly gentleman at the ice machine. Erik bolted out the door with a small ice bucket.

"Excuse me, sir," Erik began as he approached, "could you tell me what day it is?"

"Thursday. You okay, young man?"

"All good, sir. Thanks. Just need some ice."

"You from around here?" the senior asked.

"Well, I don't know."

"You don't know? Are you okay?"

"Sure, sure. By the way, sir, do you know how far it is to Orlando from here?"

The man stood still and looked Erik in the face. After a pause he answered. "About 480 miles, I reckon. Why?"

"Wait, this isn't the outskirts of Orlando?" Erik swallowed.

"Orlando!? Son, you're in Biloxi, Mississippi!"

Erik returned to the room. Ironically, the only thing he remembered was another blackout he had in Ohio. He cracked open a fresh, cold beer.

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