Pictured above: Bianca, Daniel, Kristy, Fourbears, and me.
If I hadn’t labeled the back of this picture, I would have forgotten that the most epic free day of my one season in the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps also happened on Picture Day.
I recall that Picture Day involved a lot of standing around and waiting to be herded in a direction, and little to no rehearsal. Hence, it was paired with a free day in the afternoon and evening.
Unlike the other transplants from the small Division III corps I marched the two seasons before, I never really found a good group of friends to hang out with on free days. So, I hopped between groups who would take me. This time, I joined my old NA alum buddies Bianca and Fourbears, plus Bianca’s Very Good Friend Dan and Kristy from the colorguard.
(I looked through my journals to find a record of this night, but the Bluecoats kept me so busy that I didn’t have much time to sit down and write in my journal. I think there’s a grand total of six entries spanning the entire marching season. Anyway, I’m going to hope that the statute of limitations on this story is long since past. I’m also intentionally not including anyone’s last names, for the sake of searchability.)
Our buses dropped us off in a downtown area and planned to pick us up in a few hours. While other groups of people went out to eat and maybe catch a movie, we ate somewhere — I forget where — and drank. Which is to say, someone who was of age bought for everyone and we all huddled behind a strip mall with open containers. Although I was 21, I opted not to take part in the drinking, which got me made fun of by the rest of the group. I’ve just never been into getting drunk in unfamiliar places. I’d rather keep my wits about me, so I remember how to get back to the bus drop-off point.
I didn’t have a very good time.
The buses picked us back up, and at least three out of the other four people in my group were wasted, having drunk Goldschlager and other adult beverages for the past couple hours straight. We rode back to the school, and I beelined for my sleeping bag and passed the eff out.
Until Bianca woke me.
Dan had apparently had issues with holding his liquor, and had puked all over the parking lot. Since Bianca was with him at the time, she was informed that she was responsible for cleaning it up.
But she was still drunk, too.
So, visibly upset and emotional, she woke me and asked for my help. And me, being the good and responsible friend and corpsmate, obliged. We poured buckets of water onto the puke and washed it down the storm drains.
She thanked me profusely, then we all went to bed.
Seventeen years ago this week.