The Real World, Chapel Hill

Before I could even begin letting the satisfaction from my Bojangles chicken biscuit and spiced fries go to my head, they were talking about beer again. I found myself irresistibly drawn to do it, too, like peer pressure, only I believed in it and wasn't just doing it to fit in. I was in already. We had about three thousand visitors for Halloween weekend. Alright, that's an exaggeration but considering I don't even want to take the time to figure out the highest number of people that were in our house at any given moment, it means there were a lot of them.

College friends, their friends from New York, my friends who knew them who live here, my friends from here, people from home, all blended in a haze of used towels and rock music. We had a party Saturday, and on Sunday I awoke to see Craig sleeping soundly on the porch, snuggled in a sleeping bag, cups and popped black balloons surrounding him. Max we found in Craig's car with all the windows creating an internal temperature of what felt like 600 degrees. There was a random guy in the upstairs bedroom on the floor, where four girls had also slept in one bed.

The Bojangles-more-beer incident happened shortly after we all woke up and realized we only had one night left (Sunday) to make it happen, "it" being a memorable throw-down of sorts. Even though we'd already made it through a Friday night on the town and a party on Saturday that lasted til 5 in the morning, they were only around for the weekend and we had priorities. After all, it was Halloween in Chapel Hill, and if we stopped drinking beer, even for a second, we might lose our speed and risk missing out on a strong third night.

I conjectured that I felt still slightly intoxicated from the night before (I made punch with Applejack and brandy, kept tasting it to ensure it was alright, and then there were all the orange Jello shots) and if that was true perhaps I could have more beer and, thus, risk hangover.

No, I was told. No, it always comes.

So we trekked to the Franklin Street bar with the huge beers and our tired, but willing, selves went at it again. More people arrived and the possibilities became more exhilerating. The individuals who'd felt too bad to drink starting drinking. A strong third night, we murmured, a strong third night.

We made it happen, at least until about 1:30 a.m. After my body ceased fighting off the idea that I was just going to do this again (not be sensible) I was able to start shouting and meeting random people for a little while, just like you're supposed to do when pushed to the limit.

After a late-night Wendy's stop we had to go to bed. You are done, my body finally said. The next morning was all quick showers and "Where's my keys? Where's my sunglasses?" because we had to go to work. Are you kidding me? Despite the confusion, I liked seeing all those people rush up and down the stairs. I liked the hugs before people drove off in cars.

When it was over, I took some badly needed time to let myself recover, with, I'll admit, a small tinge of sadness that the house, once again, belonged only to J and I. It often takes the encouragement of others to make you get up and go, no matter the goal.