The Best Places I’ve Woken Up
Went to a party in my old college town. Woke up in my car next to a slice of pizza.
Grade: B+. Avoided drunk driving, was decently comfortable and ready to leave as soon as I woke up.
A Backyard, Somewhere
May have been at a stranger’s party, far away from home. Excessive intoxication led to tactical retreat from party, sought out a secluded and quiet place to lay down and vomit. Woke up in somebody’s flower garden thanking Christ it was still four in the morning and nobody had seen me.
Grade: D. Trespassed, ruined daffodils, incurred obscene taxi fare getting home.
Girl’s Bathroom, College Dorm
Conveniently located on my side of the dorm, across the hallway, the girl’s room was like a blacked-out temple of solitude. I can’t really count how many times mostly confused, startled, sometimes angry girls would knock on the door of the stall I had passed out in to ask if everything was all right.
Grade: C. Almost got written up by the R.A., but got to know the girls on my floor pretty well in my more vulnerable moments.
This kid I know really lives out in the sticks, hence his proximity to pumpkin cultivation and the subsequent patch of gnarled vines and mud that became an impromptu resting place for my weary self.
Grade: A-. I got a free pumpkin.
Sat down for end of the night smoke, never got back up.
Grade: A. Woke up, saw I was on my porch, promptly resumed a proud and satisfied sleep.
A Bus, Rutgers University
The endless loop across the river between campuses. The mobile drunk-tank. Woke up not knowing where I was going or how I got there.
Grade: B. Soothing, like falling asleep on long car rides as a kid. I didn’t even need to take the bus home; I was taking the bus home.
The Englischer Garten, Munich.
In what is basically Munich’s ‘Central Park,’ woke up alone, freezing cold, next to half-empty liter glass of beer, surrounded by a flock of sheep. Apparently they graze livestock on public land in Germany because there were sheep everywhere.
Grade: C-. There were sheep everywhere.
A small victory – waking up in my own bed, in my own warm room. No trek home, no hard questions. Well, just the usual hard questions.
Grade: A+. Always the most spectacular and mysterious thing of all, to end up so easily in the one place we’re actually looking for.
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She assumed it was jewelry. Every year he gets her a charm for her gold chain or a pair of dangly earrings.
Fall if you will, but rise you must.
You may lose what would have been the joy of the experience had you not been so focused on some fabricated idea or unrealistic expectation you had of how it was going to turn out.
This is Hugh Dancy. This is his face. That face alone is reason enough to watch TV.