You ever have what, at first, appears to be a huge negative event take place, and in the process of gathering others to help deal with it, shit just gets way fucking worse? And afterwards you’re just thinking “I should have just kept my mouth shut and dealt with it myself.” That’s because people fucking suck. Except for me. And that has been time-tested and proven. If you start with a fucked up situation, the worst thing you can do is add more people to the fuckery.
It was a Saturday night back in the May of 2000 (I know, you read the title). A time before everyone on the planet had a cell phone (that’s foreshadowing). It was nearly 3am and one of my roommates, Bill, and I were walking home from the bar nicely toasted, singing “Oh Sherry” by Steve Perry at the top of our lungs because THAT’S WHAT YOU FUCKING DO, don’t ask.
We rounded the block and were approaching our city townhouse apartment when I noticed the front door was wide open. I had four roommates, so I expected someone to be home, but the front door being wide open was odd. As we walked up to the porch, one of my other roommates, Brian, appeared in the door with a phone to his ear.
“Dude. What the fuck?” he asked.
Asked me, apparently.
“What the fuck what? What’s going on?” I responded.
“I just got home before you…” as he points to our front window. Or, where our front window used to be. It was now fucking shattered and open, the curtains strewn halfway out onto the porch.
“The fuck?! Did someone break in?”
“Were you just singing Steve Perry?” he asked.
“Brian! The fuck!?”
Brian takes the phone from his ear again, “Just…dude, just come in and look.”
We walked into the house and turned into the living room. Next to the smashed window sat Steve, our fourth roommate, in a chair. He was passed out drunk, shirtless except for a coconut bra, his pants and the chair soaked with piss, and a stream of vomit/spittle mixture leaking down his arm. He was snoring like a Loony Tunes cartoon and sneaking in some Neil Diamond lyrics as well. Talent. It was fucking hilarious, even with the broken window…until we saw the blood.
There was a ring of it around the chair…ALOT of it. It started at the broken window and surround him like we had interrupted some kind of cult sacrifice.
“Jesus Fuck! He’s bleeding!” Bill and I rushed to him, Brian still deep in conversation on the phone.
I checked his body, careful to avoid the piss-soaked pants. I was continually slapping him the whole time, but he was fucking out. And he was also not bleeding. I even checked under the coconut bra (truly a dream come true), but nothing.
It wasn’t his blood.
“That’s good, right?”
We followed the dripping trail across the living room and out the open front door. I looked to Brian, “When are the cops getting here?”
He looked at me blankly. “Cops?”
“You’re on the phone with them! When are they getting here?”
“I’m talking to my girlfriend.”
I paused. “You didn’t call the cops?”
“You came home to find our window smashed, or door wide open, our roommate passed out in his own piss, wearing a coconut bra on a chair surrounded by pools of blood….and you decided this was a good time to call your girlfriend?”
“Hey she called me! Priorities, man.” He put the phone back to his ear and went upstairs.
Bill then began screaming that the faceless intruder had bled all over his Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds collection by the window, but calmed down when he realized this is probably exactly what Nick Cave would have wanted. Bill then wanted to play one, to see if it somehow gave the sound more character.
I slapped him across the back of the head and told him to call the fucking cops.
“Can’t! Brian is still on the phone with is his girl. He’s a dick about that shit.”
I shook my head. “Then go to the fucking neighbors and call…LOOK AT ALL THE BLOOD! HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS, PLEASE!!”
“Fuck that. They hate us. They threatened to kill us if we ever knocked on their door again.”
“That’s because you shit on their porch last week.”
“And I took a shit on their porch because they puked in our mailbox the week before that. Tit for tat, motherfuckers!”
“No, YOU puked in THEIR mailbox the week before that.”
“Hey, hey…we can go round and round about who started what…”
“You started it. Done.”
“Point being, I ain’t going over there.”
I took another look at our drunken roommate quietly singing “Sweet Caroline” to himself as he shifted in his piss soaked khakis. “Then just clean up this blood while I go get Brian off the phone.”
“The blood is evidence man. Can’t touch it. Plus…you know…AIDS.”
“AIDS? Seriously? Fuckin’ christ…..then fix his bra. It’s falling off. Let him have some dignity.”
“Dignity? Rick, he just pissed his pants AGAIN while we were standing here. That ship has sailed, my friend.”
I turned and ran upstairs. Brian was on his bed arguing with his girlfriend about whether to go to Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill for dinner on Saturday. Truly a passionate couple.
“Brian, get off the phone so we can call the cops!”
“Hold on, honey…Rick, Olive Garden has way better chicken parm, right? Come on…”
“Brian, I’m going to beat you with that phone if you don’t hang up.”
“You touch me and I’ll call the cops.”
I punched him in the liver. Two birds, one stone.
“…ehhh….honey….call you back….”
“Just get the cops over here, tell them someone broke in.” Suddenly, I heard Nick Cave blaring on the stereo downstairs.
“Bill, turn that shit off!”
“Dude, Rick…it does have more character! You hear that?!”
I could already hear the neighbors pounding on the wall. I ran downstairs, slipped on the blood and collided with Bill against the stereo. “Turn it off, fuckhead!”
“Dude, you got AIDS on me!”
I hit the stereo off in time to hear Steve fall off the chair and land face first into our mystery guest’s blood. I turned to Bill. “Seriously, one more AIDS joke….”
“Chill, Rick……he got the HIV on him now, nothin’ we can do…”
A pounding at the front door. “Better be the cops,” I say as I make my way to the front door and open it.
“Can you guys keep your fucking music down?!”
The neighbors, all three of them. 20-somethings like us. Unbuttoned Polo shirts, moused hair, and oversized belt buckles. Looked like they just got home from the bars too.
“Glad you’re here, douches….I need to use your phone,” I say.
“Our phone? Fuck you…you shit on our porch!”
“You puked in our mailbox!” Bill yelled from living room.
“NO! YOU puked on OUR mailbox!”
There was a pause from Bill then, “Fucking semantics! Let’s be adults!”
“All of you shut the fuck up! We need to use your phone. We had a break in…”
One of the neighbors chimed in, “Hey your window is broke.”
“Yeah, no shit….we-”
“Should get that fixed. Someone could break in.”
I turned to the alpha male in the brightest Polo shirt. “Your phone?”
“Eat a dick. And keep the music down or we’ll call the cops!”
I slammed the door. “Bill, I suddenly want to hear Nick Cave really fucking loud.”
“That’s what I’m talking about!”
The music was cranked. Cops would be here momentarily. Steve continued to sleep in another man’s blood…yeah, probably getting AIDS. A few minutes later, I saw a cop car pull up with its lights shining and I opened the door as he walked up to the porch.
I yelled over the music, “Ok. Not sure who called you or why but I’m glad you’re here-” and then I saw the pile of human shit right in front of the door that our neighbors must have left for us after I slammed the door in their face.
“Oh shit, officer don’t step in that-”
But he did and slid forward, caught himself on the door frame, over-compensated and fell forward onto his face into the hall. He turned his head and looked into the living room and saw my half-naked roommate in a coconut bra lying face-first in a pool of blood and glass, Bill leaning against the stereo…
“Hey cop, you like Nick Cave, right?”
And then Brian comes running down the stairs pointing at me, “Officer! This man punched me! I want him arrested!”
The cop looked around at all of us, “Oh yeah, someone is sure as fuck getting arrested tonight.”
Well wasn’t the first time. Wouldn’t be the last.
“And they puked in our mailbox too!” I heard our neighbors yell from outside.
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Oh yeah, Epilogue: What we eventually found out happened was our roommate Steve went to a Hawaiian themed party across the street with some friends. He got so fucked up he couldn’t even walk home on his own so two friends walked him back to our house. Steve had lost his keys but apparently told them it was cool to just smash the window and crawl in. ‘Cause, yeah, you should always listen to a drunken man in a coconut bra. Which his friend did with his bare hand and slit his arm up bad. He crawled through, dripping blood everywhere, unlocked the door, and they put Steve in the chair (which he promptly pissed in) and then they ran out and drove to Emergency. I heard he got like 15 stitches. I think Nick Cave would be proud for some reason.