A few years back, when I lived by myself in Chicago, I awoke—no, I was jolted awake–on New Year’s morning to the sound of very loud, aggressive fucking. My gay neighbor downstairs had apparently picked up a treat in Boystown and was either giving or getting the ass-pounding of his life.
It was at this time, as I was lying in bed, that I had one thought: Man, I gotta get laid.
See, it had been a while. I’d broken up with the dude I was sharing an apartment with a few months prior, but I was working insane hours and applying to grad schools. In other words, I didn’t have a lot of free time to go scouring Windy City bars for dick. But after a few dry months, I realized on that blistering cold New Year’s Day that some changes were in order.
Luckily, I had a Nerve profile I hadn’t been paying much attention to…So I fired up the computer and decided to get some action.
It didn’t take long. And so, I arranged on Jan. 3 or 4 to meet Peter, a 26-year-old bass player in a band called the Penthouse Sweets, I shit you not, that desperately wanted to sound like the Replacements but did not. We met at Carol’s in Uptown. Now, Carol’s is a very special place—it play both kinds of music, Country & Western, and is a dive in every sense—it’s dirty, everything’s falling apart, the clientele is a mix of old, hardened barflys, locals from the PJs, gays, lesbians, hipsters, Board of Trade khaki-pants guys and everyone else who stumbles in. The bartenders are true Kentucky hillbillies—my friend once said that she saw the toothless bartender lady do a shot of whiskey while she still had a lit cigarette in her mouth, a skill I hope to master some day.
And so, I met Peter at Carol’s. It was my first Internet date ever—and it was going remarkably well. Peter was drinking whiskey and beer, I was drinking Bud, you could still smoke in bars and we were chain-puffing away. He was cute, tattooed, kinda dumb but funny—definitely fuck-worthy. The night was going so well that I decided to kick it up a notch.
I turn to the bartender, the very same aforementioned toothless lady.
“Two shots of Jim Beam,” I say with conviction.
She glares at me a minute. Then, with probably the most evil glint I’ve ever seen in someone’s eye, she stares at me, reaches down to the bottom shelf and pulls out the big bottle of Hawkeye whiskey. She pours two shots and slams them down in front of me.
I’m eyeballing her this entire time, but I don’t say anything. Now, in retrospect, I don’t know why I didn’t stop her, but I guess I wanted to impress Peter and I figured that if I started complaining about the pour, well, it would make me look like an asshole.
So, we toast something, slam down the shots and bam. I can tell that it’s going to come right back up.
“Uh, I gotta go to the bathroom,” I say, bolting for the back of the bar.
I barely make it into the bathroom and get the door closed, and I’m projectile vomiting toward the toilet. I manage to hit the bowl, but as the first few heaves come, truly the most body-racking heaves I’ve ever had, I was on my knees, shaking and heaving, and I lost all muscle control. And when I say all, I mean all.
Heave, heave…wait a minute…am I peeing? Seriously?
With each heave, I could feel a rush of piss coming out of me. Puke, piss, puke piss. As this was happening I was weighing my options if I could stop puking for a second to piss, but I couldn’t manage that without throwing up all over the bathroom floor. I decided to stick with one task at a time, get the puking done and worry about the pissing later. Maybe it wasn’t that much piss.
When I was finally done puking, I got up to assess the damage. And there was damage. This wasn’t just a little slip, I looked in the mirror at the huge stain across my butt. I had full-blown peed my pants.
Oh, shit. Oh, fuck. Please let there be a hand-dryer, please let there be a hand-dryer.
There was no hand-dryer. Only paper towels.
So, I get up on the sink (there isn’t a full-length mirror either) and am desperately blotting the pee mark. This goes on for like five, ten minutes, and people keep knocking on the door. I realize I can hold off drunk, pissed-off Carol’s patrons for only so long. My jeans are really dark, the bar is kinda dark, I’m hoping that during the walk back to the bar, maybe no one will notice.
I walk back to my seat. Peter gives me a weird look.
“Are you Ok?” he says. “I was about to come looking for you.”
“I’m great,” I say, taking a swig of Bud. “Let’s do another.”
Now, a person would think that would be the end of the evening. But two amazing things happened that night—a transvestite prostitute performed the best rendition I’ve ever heard of “Purple Rain,” including the “whoas, whoa, whoa, whoa’s” at the end, during karaoke night at Carol’s–and I pulled off a full-blown, peeing-of-the-pants incident and still had the best Nerve date of my life. Peter and I took a cab back to my place, we opened a bottle of expensive wine that I stole from Steve Poltz’s friend the week before (which you can read about here) and, dammit, I finally got some hard-earned action.
And that, friends, is a New Year’s Miracle.