Q&A based on outtakes from Burying the Lead....

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/01/04 10:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/01/04/6973332.aspx

Written 03 Jan 2008 at 3:00pm....

I have had several people ask me via the Contact link and even a few in person about the beginning of the story in Burying the lead, aka A weekend perfected not by art but by mortality.

It really wasn't interesting, I think I said most of it in that first paragraph (relevant sections bolded):

The beginning of the story isn't too terribly interesting: an old friend comes in from out of town and tells me she wants to get really drunk all weekend. As regular readers here know, I had no plans. And this is somebody I have gotten drunk with a few times over the years. But that part of the story is pretty ordinary, so I'm going to start the telling of the story in the middle. After getting monumentally drunk twice without ever leaving the house, with the person who has to be one of my bestest friends over the years -- a PNL (Perfectly Normal Liz), the secret inspiration for normaliz.dll in Windows. My friend Liz....

And that is one would think enough.

But people kept having questions, so think of this as an FAQ, or maybe a FAQ (which one depends on whether you call it "FAK" or "EFF -- AAY -- CUE")....

It seems centedred on two topics -- sex and alcohol. If nothing else, I have a sense ofwhere the mind and hearts of some of my readers lie.

You can think about this post as a way to address these apparently burning questions.

Q) What kind of alcohol was consumed?

A) It was a combination of the following:

  1. Rattlesnakes (basically Bailey's, Kahlua, and white creme de cacao) as shots, interspersed with other drinks, until the Basiley's ran out
  2. Flatliners (sambuca, gold tequila, and Tabasco sauce), given up after just a few tries; we got close but neither of us could seem to get the recipe just right
  3. Kamikazes (vodka, triple sec, and lime juice) as shots and cocktails -- our main staple
  4. Limonata margaritas (salt, lime wedge, tequila, triple sec, crushed ice, and Limonata) -- an ill fated attempt that we drank but did not try to repeat
  5. Captain and 7 (Captain Morgan spiced rum and 7-up) -- another staple, our secondary one

So mostly it was the third and fifth items, with occasional doses of the first.

Q) What did you talk about for two days if she didn't tell you what was going on with her that whole time? Were just silently hooking up grain alcohol IV lines?

A) I honestly had no idea exactly what her news was, but I knew something was up. In the past there have been times that she'd be upset and we'd get drunk (maybe just us two, maybe with others) and usually it would focus around a guy, somebody behind  recent breakup. She did hint several times about recent relationships that hadn't worked out that well, so I just assumed that it was one of those....

In retrospect it is easy to remember when she said stuff like it doesn't matter anyway and what's the point? but to be honest that would be no different had it been about a guy she had just broken up with, so I don't think it was me not paying any attention at all. She was genuinely wanting to avoid spending the whole weekend with me unable to see past the whole impending imminentness thing, and she did accomplish that with me spending the time getting drunk, watching her get drunk, and trying to cheer up (occasionally succeeding).

Q) Did you two sleep together?

A) Both of us stayed up very late two nights in a row and slept in the same bed, both nights. FYI -- Liz still snores.

Q) Did you two sleep together?

A) Okay, that is probably what the first question was about. no, we did not. The first and only time we ever even kissed was when I was getting her to her flight. And that's it.

Beyond that, it just to would have felt wrong to me after being friends for so long. It did come up as a topic of conversation a couple of times, but with the overarching conceptual framework of a break-up on her side, I had real trouble seeing how that ever could have been a comfortable thing, for either of us.

As a large group we'd had our share of random brief "friends with benefits" style flings and one-night-stand mistakes over the years, but that had really caused some people to grow apart from the group over time. I think both of us have consciously wanted to avoid that, given the difficulty in maintaining a stable "friends with benefits" type relationship for any length of time that both of us had witnessed with others.

Bottom line -- good friendships have more intrinsic worth than unsuccessful romantic entanglements....

Q) Do you think you two would have slept together had you known that it was likely to be your last weekend together?

A) A lot of interest in my sex life, people. What's that about?

I have been honestly been racking my brain a bit on this one.

Though remembering that neither of us drank a thing the last day and were not all that hungover since we drank a lot of water, I think it is obvious that even given means, motive, and opportunity that nothing happened -- this strongly suggests that nothing would have happened even had there been more time.

Q) So was all the talk about her old relationships, or were yours a topic of interest as well?

A) There was some talk about formers and mostly formers on both sides, yes. But none of that is really relevant to either that post or this one, so I'm just gonna say nothing further on that. Sorry!

Q) Are you an alcoholic?

A) I don't think I am (though I suppose all alcoholics would say that?). There is probably nothing I can really say here to convince anyone asking the question otherwise....

Q) So you stopped drinking after you she told you about the tumor?

A) Techncally we fell asleep, first. The news had a very sobering effect on me even though I was already sober by the time I woke up, nd neither of us had any alcohol once the news was out there.


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