It was truly an intense 36 hours between Saturday morning and Sunday evening! So much happened within that timespan, it seems surreal. Where do I start...
Well, I guess I could start with the idiots who live on the floor above my girlfriend's apartment. I finished packing my bags, had two glasses of red wine (Cabernet, of course), and went to sleep with no issues, around 12:30ish AM.
Fast forward to about 3:30ish AM.
Suddenly, music begins blaring. This is soon accompanied by hooting and hollering, which was actually loud enough to drown out the already obnoxiously loud music. There must have been 20-30 people up there; and all of them were 'talking' as loud as they could. Even though it had to have taken a good deal of effort to 'talk' over the music, it apparently made more sense to do that, rather than doing something like....Oh, I dunno...turning the goddamn music down.
Or maybe I'm the idiot with the crazy logic. I guess depending on who you ask, that might be the case, I dunno.
There were consistent bangs coming from the ceiling, which sounded like footsteps stomping on the floor. If I didn't know any better, I'd have thought there were a team of Irish Riverdancers dancing a jig up there.
Then there was the wonderfully deep, sawing sound of the glass door consistently opening and closing, over and over again, every few seconds.
I am Jack's horrible nightmare.
Meanwhile, my girlfriend and I were gnashing our teeth over the fact that this was going on, not just because of the annoyance, but because we had to wake up at 7 AM to catch an early flight to Atlanta then another to Memphis. This fact lingered in my mind the entire time like the slow drip of Chinese water torture on my brain, which of course only added to my stress and fury.
At one point, I got up from the bed since I couldn't sleep anyway, and walked out the glass door to the balcony; which faces East, overlooking the downtown Ft. Lauderdale area about a mile from the beach. It's a nice enough view, but who the fuck wants to see it at 4AM when you have to get up in three hours. I was basically hoping to get a break from the idiocy that was taking place above; but of course, no luck.
As I sat back in the chair, all I could hear were the incoherent, frat-boy type of moronic ramblings you'd hear at a stereotypical keg party on a college campus somewhere. This was an Animal House style party, apparently--except nowhere near as cool, or funny.
The conversations, if you can call them that, were your typical, "Dude, I'm so wasted" type of drivel that bores the shit out of you and makes you feel like your head is going to explode if you don't get far, far away from that person a.s.a.p.
Judging by the sound of things, I'd say everyone probably had done enough cocaine to kill an adult rhinoceros. Exasperated, I went back inside after just a few minutes of listening to that nonsense. I'd heard all I could tolerate without wanting to go break into some Army/Navy store, stealing a bunch of WMDs, then coming back and lofting a few assorted grenades and MOABs into someone's lap.
As I walked back in from the balcony, I blurted out, "Fucking assholes!" hoping they would hear me. I don't think they did, unfortunately. I laid back down and we waited, trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, hoping they would settle down after about an hour, but no luck. I think it was around 5:00ish AM when my girlfriend called the apartment complex's security desk. She answered some of their questions, and the phone call ended soon after it began.
Now that security was involved, I was gleefully awaiting peace and quiet for some much needed sleep.
I waited. Then I waited some more. And then a little bit more. About 45 minutes later, the zoo upstairs finally seemed to be quieting down. A few minutes later, it was quiet enough to deal with, and I tried to go back to sleep.
Twenty minutes after that, it's a full godamn party again.
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
It's a good thing I do not own a gun.
At that point, we gave up and just put pillows over our heads in the futile attempt to drown out the assholes above. I think it was around 6:30ish AM when Satan's army finally quieted down. All I remember at that point is that I crashed hard into a deep sleep for about an hour, when the alarm went off.
Oh, the misery of it all. I somehow managed to drag myself out of bed feeling much like John Belushi, or anyone else, really, who has been dead for twenty years. I walked into the kitchen to get a bottle of water, then sat down to compose myself. The silence was absolutely blissful. For a moment, I sat there with my eyes closed and took it all in, enjoying the quiet sound of nothingness.
A few seconds later, my eyes suddenly popped wide open. My exhausted, yet diabolical mind was brewing up a plan, seeking retribution. I casually surveyed the room, and my eyes caught the sight of the TV remote. At this exact moment, the left side of my mouth smirked liked a cat who just ate the canary. I turned the TV on and surfed the channels for the most annoying sound I could find.
Something that had no lulls or moments of quiet; something continual that would annoy the shit out of anyone in their 20s or early 30s who happen to be feeling the consequences of overindulging in booze and coke all night. I couldn't find anything on TV that was annoying enough, so I looked under the TV console and saw a few CDs. And then I saw it.
My girlfriend's Toby Keith CD.
I must've looked like Dinah, the cat from Alice in Wonderland due to the big, smiling grin that suddenly appeared on my face. Low-quality country music to a bunch of twenty-something, hung over cocaine fiends can't be good. Especially at 7:30 AM.
"Oh yeah!" I thought, giggling like a little schoolgirl.
I would not be satisfied until there was some kind of justice. I felt like I had to at least make an attempt at giving them a taste of their own medicine, just on principle. So while my girlfriend was in the shower, I put the CD in the DVD player and blasted Toby Keith as loud as her TV could go without blowing the speakers. In between the lyrics, I screamed things like: "How do you like that, you cocksuckers!" and "Payback's a bitch motherfuckers!" at the top of my lungs.
I don't know if they were conscious enough to hear me or the music, but it made me feel better regardless. After enjoying myself thoroughly for a few minutes of that, I turned everything off, finished getting ready, then drove us to the airport. I was completely out of it, mentally speaking. I had very little sleep, no breakfast, and was still incredibly thirsty. Being hungry, tired, and dehydrated, I could barely function or think at all, as a matter of fact. We were both operating on very little brain power.
Case in point: We thought we parked close to the Delta Airlines terminal; but as we walked out to the terminals, it turns out we were on the opposite end. Awesome.
So, in the oppressively hot and humid Florida weather, we schlepped our asses and luggage, walking for about 15-20 minutes to reach our terminal. I am completely shocked that neither of us got very lippy and there wasn't even much of attitude going on either. Thank goodness for that. The circumstances were bad enough without adding bad attitudes to it.
We actually made it through the security fairly quickly and arrived a few minutes prior to boarding, without any drama. Finally, we caught a break! Or so I thought.
We were flying from Ft. Lauderdale to Antlanta, then Atlanta to Memphis, then driving from Memphis to Tunica, Mississippi.
In case you're not counting, I was literally in 4 States within a span of 4 hours--and I'm not even a famous rock star, or anything close. Good times. But that's not even the worst of it. While putting my bags on the plane to Atlanta, I realized, much to my horror, that in the rush to get to the airport I forgot the suit I was going to wear to the wedding! I could feel my face get red and my ears suddenly felt about 10 degrees hotter. My blood pressure went through the roof as I sat down and put my hands over my face.
The wedding was the entire reason for taking this trip to begin with. What the hell is wrong with me! In that moment, my entire vocabulary was reduced to just one word. The only thing I could think or say was:
Yet, I somehow kept my cool; and by the way I was feeling, I would certainly call this feat a minor miracle. I took a deep breath and thought, "Stay calm, there's a solution to every problem." I sat down and informed my girlfriend on what happened. She could see I was visibly on the brink of spontaneously combusting.
She actually did a great job keeping me calm and offered to surf the web on her phone to look for a tuxedo/suit rental place near the airport. I have to give her brownie points for both keeping me calm and taking the initiative to make suggestions on dealing with the problem. All of this crap notwithstanding, we got through the flight feeling fine--crabby flight attendants and all.
Once we finally landed in Memphis, we took a shuttle to the Avis rent-a-car station. I somehow got a free car rental with my booking, so I guess that's one good thing. Now that we had transportation, we used the GPS on my iPhone to find a place that rents, measures, and tailors suits for use on the same day (that was fun). After trying on the suit and paying for it, we then drove the rest of the way from Memphis, Tennessee to Tunica, Mississippi.
The drive from Memphis to Tunica is the only thing that went relatively smooth. In fact, it was made so much smoother by the GPS. I highly recommend using one to everyone who's planning on taking any road trips. It truly saves you from so much aggravation. The GPS said it would take about 45 minutes to get there. I drove it in 25 minutes.
Feeling completely exhausted, we finally arrived about an hour-and-a-half before the wedding. Just enough time to take a nap and get our heads together for what would turn out to be a hell of an evening!
(...to be continued)