QSL / Thomas Rose

Getting Down With the Gulls

 

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“Hey Vermont kid, are you okay?”

Probably not. I was passed out in an unknown hallway with blood on my face, a dick drawn on my neck, and hazy memories of a 40 oz. bottle filled with what looked like Tide detergent floating through my head. It was the Sidewalk Slammer, the drink of champions, and at some point in the night I had taken a slam in its honor. A concoction of a 40oz Colt 45 and Blue Hurricane flavored Four Loko, it’s known for its cheap price and the ability to get you fucked up faster than a rabbit on roller skates.

I was visiting my good friend Billy from back home who had recently just cut off all of his glorious mane. From last I remember his hair reached down to his mid or lower back and in its tangles it captured the perfect aesthetic of a punk rock surfer boy. Its absence was a sore sight and although his new cut was well sheared, something was missing. We decided to fill the void with Malt liquor and alcoholic energy drinks. A decision that cost one pair of glasses, my favorite hat, and perhaps a scar and permanent shoulder damage.

Billy goes to Endicott College in Beverly Massachusetts, a school which I can boil down to just three things: beautiful women, D3 sports teams, and getting really fucked up. I had arrived on homecoming night to a display of fireworks which erupted in a breathtaking display of flair and color. According to Billy and his friend Spencer, who would later draw a dick on my neck (Fuck you Spencer), Homecoming week also meant there was no parking spaces.

Yet parking spaces or no, there was work to be done and sidewalks to be smashed. Perhaps the best part about the slammer, other its ability to make you run faster, jump higher, and remember almost nothing of the night before, is the finishing move that you earn upon completion, which I was first introduced to last year in Lowell. It was jazz night at the litterbox and my friend, namesake, and lead singer rockstar of Lowell’s own Landing Feet First, told me he felt heavy.

“It’s the sidewalk slammer,” he said. “And when you finish, you smash it on the sidewalk.”

Shortly after I watched Tom smash, and although the cold Lowell winter stole the shatter out of his grasp and replaced it with a cruel bounce that defied all logic, I knew one day I too would have the chance to smash.

And smash we did. Up the hill and outside the townhouses the masses of Endicott College had gathered to celebrate their homecoming weekend and overcrowded parking lots. I saw people I knew and many I did not gathered outside, saying fuck you to those who wouldn’t let them into their parties. Electing the fresh air and roominess of the outside over the hot sweaty nuisance of apartment style living turned dance party.

Sipping slow and deliberately, Billy and I drank our liquid confidence. His red, a fruit punch loko and mine blue, a hurricane, our glass bottles reflected the fireworks we had seen just hours earlier that night. And when we finished the last drops of our crust punk alcohol concoction, we stared at our empty bottles and knew what had to be done.

With stars in our eyes and the stripes on our back we charged to the nearest sidewalk. The glass was heavy in my hand as beads of sweat formed between my palm and the thick neck of the bottle, anticipating the smash which would bring the Colts time to a close. We saw the pavement, and across the road, the walk. And with a holler that could be heard across the Atlantic, Billy and I raised our empty drinks and brought them down furiously upon the sidewalk. Exploding glass took to the air and caught the light, shattering into millions of pieces, one for every lock of hair lost to the razor.

We stumbled back to the crowd, I was greeted with a beer, and from that point on I remember nothing. I awoke in a hallway with cuts on my face, a bruised shoulder and a strong desire to go to the hospital. Was I still drunk? Yes.

I was greeted by the girls who lived in the suite behind the door I crash landed in front of the night before. I figure I must have ran into them at some point previously, probably stammering out something along the lines of, “I’m fram vormahnt,” hence my title of “Vermont kid.” However the ladies we’re kind and let me use their bathroom.

It was here, while washing a crudely drawn dick off my neck (Fuck you Spencer), that I noticed the pain in right shoulder along with some gnarly cuts along the right side of my face. I had a serious head bump as well that still hurts now. Turns out I hadn’t actually made it too far though, wherever I was going. The room I was in was one door down from Billy’s.

We regrouped, I explained my pain, saw my broken ray bans, and we left for the hospital in a state of defeat. I’m not sure when or how, but it was clear that I went down hard. Luckily it turns out I was just being a weenie. After an eternity in the emergency room the doctors concluded that my shoulder was fine if not badly bruised.

I left that day with a sling and a $100 co-pay. I was surprised. I was certain that this pain was worse than just a bruise. A six out of eight I explained to the doctor. His diagnosis did not change.

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