Monday, August 6, 2012

Epic Weekend and the story of the homeless velociraptors

May 11-13 I had a weekend that condensed all of the interesting things that would have normally happened to me in a month or two into a span of less than 48 hours.

Back around that time I was scheduling way too many things in my life.  I had plans for Friday evening, Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, and something that probably could have been construed as a date on Sunday.  But on Epic Weekend, nothing went according to plan.  I'd intended to hang out with a friend on Friday night after dinner with my old coworkers, but the plans I'd made for Friday night he had made for Saturday night, so the scheduling miscommunication left me with some extra time on Friday.  I decided to cancel Saturday afternoon so I'd feel less overextended, but then the guy I'd planned to see on Sunday invited me over, and for some reason that didn't seem like a stupid idea.  We didn't stay up too late, and I crashed at his place; he took the couch and I took his bed.

That worked well for all of about 45 minutes, when suddenly the front door was slammed open and people started yelling and entered the apartment.  My heart rate jumped to about 150 as my body switched over into "preparing to run for your life" mode, but soon amidst the yelling and loud noises I heard laughing, and someone turned on music.  What the...  what's going on?  Does he have roommates?  It certainly hadn't looked like he had roommates.  This looked like an apartment for one person.  But that's what it sounded like—it was 2:30 or so, his roommates were home, and they were very drunk, very loud, and wanted the couch.  Ten minutes or so after they arrived, the door to the bedroom arrived, and my new friend stumbled over to the bed in a zombie trance mumbling something like "ugh... couch... ugh... sleep here."  Then he collapsed into the bed and seemed to instantly fall asleep.

So now I'm lying in a bed next to an unconscious person I don't know extremely well, in a place I've never been before, right after what my fight-or-flight mechanism was pretty sure was a home invasion.  My heart rate didn't slow down.  Not a bit.  I was wide awake for hours.  Hours.  During the night I was slow-motion elbowed in the face several times, I had the back of my head grabbed like he was going to either attempt to detach my skull from my spine or make out with me, and I was intensely bear-hugged for about ten minutes, all while he was fast asleep.

I don't know when I finally passed out, but I'm guessing it wasn't until about 7, as it was light outside at that point.  In the morning we walked around and talked for a while in my two-hours-of-sleep state, but then he had other plans, so I headed back home.  When I got home a friend from Malaysia was online and I hadn't talked to him in a while so we chatted for a while, and by the time it was all said and done, I had time to nap for about an hour or two before it was time to head to Seattle for a birthday party.  I was a bit late in my exhausted post-nap state, so I quickly found a garage and headed to the restaurant for the party.

I sat at the end of the table, across from a cute guy I'd seen on Facebook before, but upon discovering that I was an engineer, the guy sitting next to me pretty much monopolized my time for the next couple hours.  The guy across the table didn't seem to notice my staring, though I found out a week later that everyone else at the table was quite eye-rollingly aware.  I talked to the one person I knew there for about one minute out of the whole night.  After the restaurant closed, the remaining half dozen of us (including me, the birthday boy, and the cute guy from across the table, but not the conversation monopolizer) went across the street to a bar to continue chatting.  That went on until about 1:45.  I headed back to the garage, pulled up to the gate, and noticed that nothing was moving.  I was locked in.  Sigh.

Given that I had now slept three or four hours in the past forty-eight, and the fact that I had an I-guess-this-is-a-date scheduled for later that day, I saw the "if you're locked in, call this number and for a $25 fee we'll send someone to let you out" sign and said YES PLEASE.  So I called the number.  "We're sorry, but this number is not in service."  Double sigh.

Guess I'm sleeping in the car for now.  It's 2:00.  People need to park for work... garage probably opens at 5.  I can leave then, cross the bridge with no traffic, get home to Redmond, and sleep in a comfy bed until a more reasonable wakeup time.  So I set alarm and set to work on the whole sleeping-in-the-car plan.  This turned out to be more difficult than anticipated.  As four-door sedans go I have a reasonably large car, but even in my ready-to-sleep state it just wasn't happening.  At 5 I went to see if the gate opened up.  5:05, still nothing—but I did finally find the garage schedule.  On Sundays they don't open until 9.  Craaaaaaap.

This particular garage was interesting in that it was split into two levels that were separated by ground-floor businesses—an underground level, and an upper level of additional parking.  I decided to see if the upper level had an attendant yet, or an updated phone number to call, or anything else.  A few minutes later, no dice.  Defeated, I returned back to the lower level of the garage... only to find that the door was now locked behind me.  Arrrrggghhhh.

I had nothing left to do but wander the streets of Seattle for four hours.  I figured that if I have to be outside and awake I might as well at least get some exercise.  So I walked.  And walked.  A homeless black man came up to me with alternating concerned and happy looks on his face, warning me of something he had just realized: there was only "like a 1 in 20,000 chance that God is black."  I thought about asking exactly how he had calculated that probability but I decided against it.  A couple blocks later, I walked past just about the sketchiest group of people I've ever come across, who were standing at strategic locations around a few intersections, clearly communicating something to each other nonverbally.  Perhaps they were homeless velociraptors, strategizing a plan of attack.

It had been quite a while since I'd eaten anything so I looped back around after a bit and stopped in at the McDonald's that was half a mile or so from where I'd parked once it opened.  (Not even Starbucks was open that early.)  In there I met a very angry man—specifically angry at all of the motherfuckers.  The motherfuckers who worked there, the stupid motherfuckers outside, the stupid motherfuckers with their pants falling off, the motherfuckers that he sees at some place he goes to a lot that I don't recall anymore, and the other stupid motherfuckers he sees all the time.  Apparently I was the only person in there who didn't look like a stupid motherfucker, because he followed me around the McDonald's and decided that he'd eat with me and tell me about motherfuckers, and how if it were back in the day when he was in the marines, he'd show those stupid motherfuckers what was up.  But I heard just about enough of the man's terrifyingly obscene rants so I took care to finish my food before he did and then bid him a good day and continued on my epic journey.

I made it back to the garage a few minutes before 9, ready for all of this nonsense to be over.  I drove up to the gate, of which there were two—a metal security gate that opened precisely at 9 (hooray!) and let new people come in and park, and a regular wooden one that lifts up once you pay the man in the booth.  But at 9:05 there was still no man in the booth.  Nor at 9:10.  At about 9:12 the attendant finally showed up, and he walked up to my car and said "Hey, how are you?  You looking to get out?"  This seemed like a moderately absurd question given that I was parked at the exit gate to a parking garage at 9:00 in the morning, but I indulged him.  When I answered yes, he got a concerned look on his face.  "Hmmm.  So, there's a problem.  The guy's not coming."

"What... do you mean, exactly?"  "The guy, he's not coming," and he pointed at the booth.  Turns out this was just a security guard.  We talked for a while longer and he decided that he would go call someone in charge, which seemed awfully, uh, nice.  Long story short, at about 9:25, an SUV barreled into the parking garage at about 60 miles an hour and a guy stepped out to take my credit card, cheerfully charging me something like $50 for two days of parking.  I was long past the point of caring at that point, so I drove home, took out my contacts, and pretty much just fainted into bed.

Then the guy I had plans with on Sunday stood me up, completing the checklist of absolutely nothing on Epic Weekend going as planned.  Pissed.

Probably in retrospect I should have just laughed at the ridiculousness of it all.  But either way, the cute across-the-table guy I met at the birthday party is now my boyfriend, so Epic Weekend all worked out in a weird sort of way.


Andy Misle said...

Um, OK... so my big question as I read this is why, instead of sleeping in that room with 10 other people like some Mason-D'Croz-planned vacation, you didn't just drive home and go to sleep in your own bed?

Travis said...

I was 45-60 minutes away from home. Also, only one other person in the room; a few others in the apartment.