Scenes from My Drunkalogue: Kiwi Bull Terrier

Late September, 2008

I woke up around 7 AM.  When I opened my eyes, I found myself looking directly into the egg-shaped face of a strange bull terrier.  He was laying about ten inches away from me and I felt his hot breath on my face.  His pink tongue was sticking out of his mouth.

“Howdy!  Welcome to your nightmare!”

  I started–“Whaaaa..?!”–and drew back.

   I was laying almost halfway off the bed.  My knees hung off the side.  And I was laying on top of the sheets, without any covers.  


    I was unclothed.  

    I was in a strange apartment.  I didn’t recognize it at all.  

    I looked around, blinking owlishly in the light of the dawn.  Except for the Spuds MacKenzie dog, I was all alone.


     I rolled out of bed and got on my feet.  An ice-pick pain of a headache was stabbing just behind one of my eyes.  I registered the hangover, and then immediately classified it as “the least of my problems right now.”  

      I turned my head and looked out the window into a strange patch of NYC skyline.  I didn’t recognize it at all.  

      I looked down at the bull terrier.  He just lay there on the bed, staring up at me.  At least one of us was mellow.  

      My looked down at myself, looked over my shoulder to see the backs of my legs, ran my hands over my torso and the cage of my ribs.  I was thin.  Not quite as thin as I was eventually going to get, but thin.  

      I looked for damage, ran an internal diagnostic assessment of the body I inhabit.  

     I didn’t see any signs of damage.  Besides the pain of the hangover, my insides felt okay, too.  I cautiously lowered my emergency stress level from a 10 down to a 9.  

      I peered around the room again, searching.

     There was my dress, a puddle of black sequins laying on the floor by the bedroom door.  

     My dress from the night before.

     Then I remembered: I’d gone to a party.  Met someone.  A youngish guy, around my age, wearing a hipster fedora.  Dark-haired.  He was from New Zealand.  He did some financial sector Wall Street bullshit.  

     I remembered leaving the bar with him in a taxi cab.  We were both trashed.  Or at least I was.  I think he was too, but I can’t recall for sure.  My impression is that he was.  My memory from around the time I met him gets foggy. From the time we left the bar, I remembered only snapshot images.  Only a few.  Not contextualized.  

    Something wrong with the elevator.  Walking loudly up the stairwell of his apartment.  Him messing around with his stereo system.  Him snorting cocaine and offering some to me, and I say (ironically enough): Sorry, I can’t.  I can’t get in trouble at school. Go ahead, though.

     I knew that I’d had sex with this person, but I remembered almost nothing about it.  

     I picked my dress up off the floor and shimmied into it.  Then I ran to the doorway and poked my head out.  There was a bathroom, with the door open, right across the hall.  

     I ran inside and shut the door.  Locked it.  The tile floor was cold underneath my feet.  I raised my dress and looked at my body in the mirror, front and back.  No signs of damage.  

     I’d slept in my contact lenses, and they felt dry and grainy in my eyes.  

      Then I heard the sound of the man’s voice, coming from another room.  Sounded like he was talking into a phone.

     Who is this person?  

      I opened his medicine cabinet, frantically rummaging for a prescription meds bottle that would have his name written on it. No luck.  There were a few magazines on top of his toilet.  I picked them up and searched the backs for subscription labels.  Nothing.  

     Then I bent to the little waste basket.  It was mostly empty, but I clawed through the tissues and cardboard soap-wrapper packaging, searching.

    I went to the toilet and lifted the lid, searching the water.

      Searching for evidence we’d used a condom.  

     From the time I’d become sexually active, I was always religious about my use of condoms and contraceptives.  I have been extremely responsible about my sexual and reproductive health.  Except for the times when I was in a monogamous relationship with a man (and we’d both been tested for STIs), I was consistent–militant, actually–in my use of  both latex barriers and birth control.    That is not an exaggeration.  I never had unprotected sex.

      Except, possibly, for the times I don’t remember.

      There were not many instances of don’t remember, blackout sex, thank God.  

       But there was more than one.  

     This time–waking up with Mr. Spuds MacKenzie dog panting in my face–was one of those times.  

“Did you contract HIV last night…?   WHO KNOWS!”  

     I got down on my hands and knees on the cold tile floor and peered around the toilet and sink basin, hoping for an empty condom wrapper.  Or anything, actually.  Any clue.  

     (For the record: this guy’s bathroom, and apartment, was very clean and tidy.  Even stylish.  He had a really nice spider plant hanging in the bathroom.  Spider plants are awesome.  So in the highly improbably event that you read this and recognize yourself, Mr. Kiwi Bull Terrier, I want to reiterate that I appreciate the calmness of your dog and the squeaky-clean bathroom.)


     I pulled myself up off the floor and washed my face and hands. Then I ran across the hallway again, back into the bedroom.  The dog was still there, panting happily.  I looked around for my underpants and my stockings.  And my shoes.  And my coat.  And my purse.  And a condom, or a condom wrapper.  I got on my hands and knees again and peeked underneath the bed, searching.  

    I found my underwear and my hosiery.  The hosiery had a run, so I rolled it into a ball in my hand.  Full of fear–but knowing that I had to do it–I padded out of the bedroom and into the living room, where I heard the man’s voice coming from.  

     He was up and partially dressed to go to work, wearing his suit pants and an unbuttoned shirt.  His cufflinks were in, though.  He was pacing to and fro, frantically, in his living room, screaming into his Blackberry:


     The bull terrier rubbed against my leg, snorted, and ran past me.  

     My eyes looked around the living room and I saw my fake-fur glamour coat and my purse draped over a chair at the bar.  

     I darted over and retrieved them.  I immediately covered myself in the coat.  My sparkly cocktail dress was decent, but not very modest.  Nudity doesn’t bother me at all, but I was self-conscious in front of this person.  

     The man saw me and lowered his Blackberry.  Frantic voices screamed out of it.  

   “Hi, how are you?  Do you need anything?  Want Coffee?” he asked. 

    “Uhh, no thanks.  Just don’t want to forget my bag!”

     Hey, I had a good time last night.  It was nice to meet you. Your dog is really cool.  We exchanged numbers.  I gave him a fake one.

     He did not speak my name, and I did not use his, until we were entering the data on our phones.

      I hustled out of there and down the (newly functional) elevator as quickly as possible.  When I emerged from the small building/apartment complex, I stood on the street and looked around at my surroundings.  I had absolutely no idea where I was.  

    I blinked in the bright autumn sunlight and tripped up and down the block, looking for street signs--any street signs!  

     When I found them, I couldn’t recognize them. Where was I? Manhattan?  Brooklyn?  Queens?  I could have been on planet Mars.

      Then, in the skyline, I saw a little slice of the Brooklyn Bridge.  That grounded me; gave me some perspective.  
     I approached a few Latino gentlemen who were hustling boxes of produce downstairs into the cellar of a deli.  In my high heels, I was taller than all of them.  I saw them giving me the up-and-down. I asked them where the nearest subway station was.  When they told me, I walked towards it. 

    When I got there, I opened my purse and looked for my MetroCard–the plastic/paper card used to pay the fee in order to ride the train.  

     Gone!  Where…?  No idea!  Maybe Kiwi Bull Terrier used it to chop his coke.  

       I opened my wallet to take out money to purchase a ticket.

      Wallet is devoid of cash.   NO MONEY FOR YOU!!!

      But I took $80 out of the ATM last night.  Where’d it go…?  No idea!

      I had plenty of change in my coin purse, so I used that buy the first ticket I needed to get back to my apartment. 

      I felt self-conscious while I was riding the train, and kept my eyes mostly on the floor.  I was clearly still dressed from the night before.  I was doing the proverbial “walk of shame” back home. 

      Except that I wasn’t 20 years old anymore, walking fast back to my room at the girls’ dorm.  I was a little older than that.  This behavior, this situation, was no longer “cute.”  I couldn’t chalk it up to some youthful learning experience.  

    My phone beeped.  A text message from my roommate, because I hadn’t come home last night: ARE YOU OKAY? 


     Except that I was not “okay.”  Nowhere near to being “okay.”  And things were going to get worse before they got better.  

    Then: going to the drug store to buy Plan-B, the emergency contraceptive. Just in case. $45 out-of-pocket I don’t really have, since I’d just shelled out $300 for Fall semester textbooks.  

     Then: making an appointment and going to my local Planned Parenthood at 3 weeks, and then again a little later, to get tested for everything.  All of this–while very reasonably priced–was paid out-of-pocket, too.  

    No pregnancy.  No disease.  All tests negative. Thank you, Jesus. 

    To be clear: I have no shame whatsoever about having sex with a  man, and I don’t think that there is anything necessarily wrong with “casual” sex.  I think sex is a natural biological function.  Not strictly necessary, but optimal for human functioning.  Since I quit drinking, I haven’t exactly been a nun.  

    But one should be cognizant of their behavior–especially sex!  It is a responsibility, and it holds one accountable to one’s actions.  Everyone.  

      I paid for that night with Kiwi Bull Terrier–in anxiety, humiliation, and money.  

       It could have been worse.  But what sort of shit platitude is that?  

One thought on “Scenes from My Drunkalogue: Kiwi Bull Terrier”

  1. I was relieved to realize this is not a new incident. After a few paragraphs, I figured I heard that story before. take care.

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