The Vampires of Downtown Campbell

I’ve never been much of a drinker. It’s not due to high morals or lack of trying, I just never enjoyed the taste of alcohol. I tried the hardest in my late 20s to early 30s (I was a late bloomer at partying) when I learned which cocktails I could tolerate. Then came my 34th birthday.

My boyfriend (now husband), Jeff,  and I had only been dating for a few months but his condo was walking distance to downtown Campbell so we decided to celebrate at a bar there. I had been noticing that my tolerance for alcohol seemed to be getting lower and lower, but I had no hesitation about downing a few cocktails. Then a friend bought me tequila shots. I had done shots before and nothing terrible had happened, so I downed them as quickly as my delicate gag reflex would allow.

I felt fine for a little while. Then I was not fine. I turned to Jeff with my hand over my mouth. I must have been green because he rushed me outside where I proceeded to throw up all over the sidewalk while he held my hair (so sweet!). I continued barfing.  A lot. During one retching episode I noticed a flash went off. I looked up and found that my friend (oh, and BOSS!) had taken a picture of me. Before I puked again I asked her to send me the picture. I think I still have it somewhere. No, I’m not posting it.

Anyway, the party was over. I refused all offers of car rides for obvious reasons and Jeff and I walked slowly back to his condo. I don’t remember most of the walk. I know that I  left a bilious trail though. I also remember that at one point I grabbed onto a tree (in front of the police station, no less) and refused to let go. Jeff urged me to keep moving. “Just go to the next tree,” he begged. I refused.

Suddenly, it occurred to me there was a group of youths who would run around downtown Campbell doing vampire live action role playing. I started crying uncontrollably and Jeff was unable to understand why. Finally I howled: “ARE THE VAMPIRES WATCHING ME?” I just couldn’t stand the thought of a bunch of vampire kids watching me throw up on a tree in front of the police station. “No,” said Jeff and the next thing I remember, I was laying on his couch with a barf bucket placed next to me.

Jeff and my friends all laughed off my apologies and told me they’d all been in that position many times. “And you still drink?!” I asked incredulously. My stomach would hurt at the mere thought of alcohol for months afterwards. I didn’t touch alcohol for at least two years after that (and then only because a friend of Jeff’s started pestering me about why we didn’t have children). Nowadays I might drink a weak sangria but that is it. And if anyone asks why I’m not drinking I explain to them that the vampires are always watching.


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