Monday, March 16, 2009

my first night in barcelona

oh, shit. where to begin.
i was in barcelona for three days, kind of. two, really. the second day there i did nice touristy stuff that was non-dangerous. walked for a long time. that kind of stuff. not really blog material but makes for a nice photo album.

i'm not here to tell you about that day.

my first day, thursday, i arrive in barcelona, sit down, read stephen king and wait for taylor. during my full day travelling the day before, i watched, in one sitting, the last ten or so hours of the second season of The Wire. this will be important later. i get a call from taylor, we meet up and head for the city/our hostel. walk around. unpack. get food. meet up with various people (rachel, kris, brittany, and alaina). agree to meet these people again for dinner and head back to the hostel.

on the way back to the hostel, taylor and i begin a fairly destructive back-and-forth relationship when i say that i want to nap, because i havent slept in two days, and he says no, we need to get stuff to pregame for tonight. i didnt really fight this much. we went to some supermarket and bought these oversized juice boxes of wine for fifty cents each. don simon.

we also got a large bottle of cheap vodka and some bottles of soda for concealment purposes. i get back and say i'm going to take at least an hour's nap. these girls havent even called us and given us a timeframe yet. i nap for maybe ten minutes, fifteen is being generous, and then taylor just keeps talking to me and won't let me sleep anymore. i relent and chug a red bull before we begin drinking. while doing fairly well in our respective boxes (his white, mine red, i call him a racist) he stops about halfway and says he just can't drink it anymore. this is where i finally get to make a bad decision and i tell him no, no, we need to finish these boxes of wine. we need to. lets get wasted. because a great idea our first night in a city/country we don't know and don't even speak the language in is to get blackout drunk. he relents. we drink, drink, drink some more. then drink more than half of our sodas and fill the bottles back up with vodka, creating horrible mixtures which we drink on the road on our way to dinner.

as a sidenote i would like to say that we were meeting up with very respectable, nice people. why we had to do all of this before what could have been a very civilized dinner is beyond me.

whenever they called us while we were drinking, they basically said meet us at 9, no later than 9 15. we left at about 9 30. halfway on the road taylor gets a phone call from rachel, saying hey, what's up? and taylor immediately says SORRY WE'RE LATE, ALEX GOT HIT BY A CAR. instinctively, i shout "ouch!" in the background. rachel then tells him "what?! we're not even there yet, we're late, what happened!?" to which taylor replies OH. ALEX DIDN'T GET HIT BY A CAR. and hangs up.

i remember meeting up with them very, very vaguely, but i do not remember dinner, i do not remember what i ordered. i am told that i was being so loud and vulgar many people in the restaurant got offended and left. i know i finished my fanta/vodka serum, split a pitcher of sangria with Alaina, and drank more of god knows what. we also talked about the movie Angus for some reason. but that's all my memory will give me. i was told later they had no idea i was drunk because i was just talking about movies the whole time. which is great. that's kind of my element. one of the movies we discussed was Angus. more importantly, one of the movies that I think we may have brought up is the movie Face/Off. this will be important later.

after dinner is where things begin to take a downturn. i remember shots at one of the places we went to though i do not remember the place. brittany later told me that she saw me leaning against the wall and sleeping a little, and asked taylor if i was going to be okay. taylor says "oh, he's fine. he's from wisconsin." they do nothing about me. i drink more. we all drink more. after this there was a nightclub. i believe this is the one where the drama begins. it was called opium. i got one drink there and (this i vaguely, vaguely know to be true) asked the bartender-lady if her or any of her friends had ever been involved in illegally smuggling prostitutes into america.

at this point i was kindly removed from the bar.

i kept trying to sneak back in, but i'm not exactly the sneakiest guy when i'm drunk. anyway, i guess i was being a real dick (i'll explain this more later, i want to give you the information as it came to me) and i got separated from the group. i was very, very afraid for my life, was being chased by angry bouncers, and ended up sprinting, alone, for about an hour, until i was on the outskirts of barcelona. on the highway. i called my parents to try to get them to be mapquest for me but all i did was worry them. that was a very stupid idea on my part because after calling them i lost my phone. just lost it somewhere. i don't know where. so for the rest of the night they think i'm dead. this begins the subplot of my parents doing everything they can to find me from across the ocean. around here they have my brother scouring facebook for clues, my dad figuring out where my hostel is, and my mom constantly trying every phone number she has for me. all i have told them about my trip to barcelona is that i will be meeting my friend taylor. my brother sees post from mutual friend Duncan Davis on my wall about taylor, knows that we know Duncan Davis' girlfriend, Katharine Kou, very, very well, my mom calls Katharine, Katharine talks to Duncan, and boom - my parents now have taylor's cell phone number and the number to his home in wisconsin, to talk to HIS parents.

They try Taylor's cell phone to no avail, because by now, in a completely unrelated incident and miles away from me, taylor has fallen into the mediterranean sea. he also had a bit of an adventure that night.

anyway, i'm out by the highway and all i see is a mcdonalds rest stop that is closed. i hide in the bushes for a while (i will explain later) and then, sobering up, pick a direction and walk in it for quite a while until i find a cab that takes me back to the hostel. by now it is 7 30 in the morning. as soon as i get back, the guy at the desk looks at me and says "...Alex?" I nod. I guess my dad's gotten to him. I call home, say everything's fine, i'm not dead, and we don't have the money to keep talking so i'll e-mail you tomorrow. oh, and i love you, ma. yep. gnight. by the end of this phone call Taylor has made his way to the hallway and we reunite miraculously. he apparently had just gotten back as well, because he wandered off, too. i go back to the room and we recap while he shakes the sand out of his pants and wallet. we sleep until 3pm the next day.

Here comes the twist.

Sometime after my return to london I run into Alaina. We talk about our trip and all that, and that one night, and I tell her everything and how I was running away and I know somebody was chasing me, blah blah. What I know now to be true is that I was simply running away from angry bouncers, to whom I was being very disagreeable.

She tells me that, at the time, just before running away, i said something about how I stopped a shipment of illegal prostitutes and now the russian mafia wants to cut my face off.

this simply cannot be true. but let's put this in perspective.
Me. Two days with no sleep and drunk off my ass on wine, sangria, vodka, and apparently a bunch of bacardi judging from the receipts. Having watched ten hours of The Wire without time to go to sleep and let that be put into the long-term memory and not the short-term. the entire plot of season 2 revolves around the illegal smuggling of prostitutes into america. and we discussed face/off at dinner. so all i had swimming around my drunk-ass movie-oriented head was the wire and face/off.

and this is when everything clicks. like a recovering amnesiac in a movie, i begin to remember everything - not every little detail, but quite a bit. i know that i was yelling at the bouncers about how they shouldnt do that to young girls, smuggle them into our country and use them as slaves. i do not remember the chase but i know i was chased by more than one of them, and being courageous, this is why i sprinted away for an hour.

but honestly, what really does it for me, is that I said I stopped an illegal shipment of prostitutes into America. I thought I did it. I honestly thought I did some good. I was a crimefighter. I was Batman. and this is why I thought i was a marked man, fearing assassination out on the highway by that mcdonald's rest stop. i had brilliantly foiled their prostitution/smuggling ring cleverly disguised as a barcelona night club. how they became russian in my head is beyond me.

I think I can legally declare insanity now.
Also, I should be fucking dead already.