As far as Mondays go, this one wasn't too bad. I made it to bed in record
time (12:45 a.m.) last night. (Or should I say this morning?) I believe that's
the earliest I've been to bed in a looooong time. I guess that's what all
those late college nights of booze, drugs and sex does to a person.
Well kids, it's story telling time again! That's right -- time for more lessons learned from my trips down to Georgia.
Lesson learned #2: If it means spending the rest of your life in jail, maybe getting drunk and laid is NOT such a good idea.
Unfortunately, learning this lesson wasn't as much fun as learning "Georgia Lesson #1." I mean, it started out fun. We had a keg and more liquor than a distillery. There were lots of women and lots of men. There was love in the air. And then that's when things got hairy. Because not only was their love, but tension... and then the police showed up... and then the lives of the people on that trip changed forever -- some more than others.
In March of this year, we strolled down to a community south of Atlanta for another journalism-type affair. I must say that almost all of the seven parties on the trip had more fun than work on their minds. The convention started on a Thursday. We were down there on Wednesday and we were drinking.
Thursday rolled around and we took in some of the sights and some of the convention activities. Then we drank some more. (Notice a pattern here?) With the convention in full swing, we did some networking and met a few folks from another part of the country. In a matter of hours, our group and their group became pretty good friends.
Our two groups spent some quality time together on Friday... and decided to host a little shindig later that night at their hotel room. It started innocently enough... and then other folks got wind of things and dropped by. Before we knew it, most of the convention goers were in or near the room. Our shindig had become the place to be... heck, someone we didn't know even showed up with a keg of Icehouse.
My staff photographer (we'll call him Photo Guy) was drinking way too much. But he was a bit older than the rest of us... and no one really tried to stop him. We didn't really worry, though, because almost everyone else at this party was wasted. Among those that drank way too much was a girl from Mississippi. As we all know, the more you drink, the quicker your inhibitions drop. I'm told that her inhibitions dropped really quickly. One of my staff writers discovered her kissing a female member of our group. "Okay... that was interesting," I said to myself, but I wasn't in the judging mood, so I didn't give it much more thought. Shortly after, someone noticed that Mississippi Girl and Photo Guy were missing from the party. This was the last time things would be "normal" on that trip.
The next thing I knew, Photo Guy was on the run. He was looking for a way to get the hell out of Georgia. His side of the story was that he & Mississippi Girl slipped up to his room (which was also my room, I might add) to get freaky. One of her girlfriends (whether this was a "girlfriend" or merely a friend that was a girl is unknown) went looking for her. She found her in our room... and that's when Mississippi Girl yelled rape.
Our party was over. The police had been called. Photo Guy was seeking refuge in the room where the party had been. Of course, I was in that room (no way in hell I was going to be hanging out in my room -- which was a crime scene). I was in charge of answering the door. As folks came up to the room looking for the party, I turned them away. Then the knock came. I looked through the peep hole. All I saw were flashlights. I knew then that things were about to get interesting.
The cops on the other side identified themselves and I opened the door. Photo Guy pulled a stupid stunt and rolled off between a bed and the wall. The cops entered, snatched up the first guy they saw (which wasn't me thank Goodness) and took him outside. I was a little worried that I would be next. About that time, Photo Guy jumps up and goes calmly into police custody. That will go down in my book as one of the freakiest moments of my life.
I don't know what happened in that room with Photo Guy and Mississippi Girl. I wasn't there. Only two people know what happened... and they both have different stories. One is moving on from the incident. The other is where he has been since that Friday night -- in jail. He faces spending the rest of his life in the Georgia prison system. Sure, I know some folks say that he deserves it. But, I'll have to disagree. Both parties involved were extremely intoxicated... they left the party together for the room (he didn't drag her there)... and people had witnessed her acting in a permiscuous manner.
All I really know is that I look at booze and sex a little different now... and I've learned that just maybe, you shouldn't mix the two... and that there is more than just STDs to worry about with your partner... because no one moment of pleasure is worth a life in jail. Of course, I can honestly say that I've never had sex on a whim. I'm lucky. It has always been with a person I cared about. And you can bet that with the events of that Georgia trip in mind, my attitude isn't likely to change easily. (2010)
copyright © 2000-02, Thomas Fletcher. all rights reserved.