A Night Out

22 Dec

…or How To Impress Jeff Klein if You Are a Girl: A Story in Three Parts

Part III: Chasing with the Blue Stuff

*****

Now that I’d eaten my weight in pasta and correctly named the Bulls as being from Chicago, there was one last thing left to do.  It is somewhat anticlimactic to talk now about our boozing ways during and after the basketball game, considering that most of the best quotes from the night involved food and sports, but anyone who has spent any amount of time with Jeff knows that he placed a high priority on relaxing and hanging out with friends.  Of course, this would often involve imbibing copious amounts of alcohol.  In that sense, I guess that night was just another typical one.

Jeff was strong and big and tall. I, on the other hand, am short and female and Asian.  It’s not hard to guess which one of us could hold our alcohol better (I told him once that one day I’d drink him under the table. He just laughed at me).  Nevertheless, I tried my damnedest to keep up, and Jeff did more than his fair share to encourage me along.  Before dinner, during the basketball game, and afterwards, Jeff would ask me every once in a while, “Hey Thao, want to take a shot?”  Like I’ve said before, it’s pretty hard to say no to him, so my responses that night only ran the gamut from, “Yeah!” to “But I’m dru–okay.”  That night, thanks to Jeff, I discovered that I really didn’t need a chaser to down tequila.  Jeff somehow even convinced me to chase a shot of something vile with yet another shot of the more palatable Curacao.  This was peer pressure at its best: I like to consider myself a strong-willed woman and I’m still not sure how he managed it.  My memory is a bit hazy, but I’d like to think that I managed to impress him by still being conscious and coherent after all of the hard liquor.

After drinking probably twice the amount that I did, Jeff was also conscious, also coherent, and mostly reasonable.   Much later, after the basketball game had ended and we’d moved our shenanigans over from KDR to ADP, I found myself dancing with Jeff as he held his ever-present beer in hand.  At one point, after he’d accidentally splashed some beer on me, I told him accusingly, “You spilled beer on my dress.”  Jeff simply looked at me, paused, and then proceeded to pour half of the rest of his (very full) cup of beer on me, chuckling the entire time.  Right afterwards, I think he hugged me.  Somehow he got me to think that spilling beer on me was hilarious.

I recount these stories not because I think our drunken escapades from that night were anything especially remarkable–far from it.  I know for a fact that Jeff got up to much more interesting and memorable shenanigans at other times.  These anecdotes, I’m sure, will be fondly rehashed whenever any of us get together and reminisce.  My reason, then, is that this night exemplified how much fun he was and how much he loved life.  Jeff was always a huge proponent of taking the time to nourish the body and the soul, of appreciating the little things; that night I experienced firsthand how he always managed to spread that joie de vivre to those around him.  (It is partially because of all that, I suppose, that I could never say no to him or be really mad at him.)  I can’t think of a single moment that I spent with Jeff where I didn’t have fun, where I wasn’t wholly at ease, where he didn’t make me completely and utterly happy.

Thanks to Jeff, that night out–and my every other interaction with him–is a dear memory that I will always hold close to me.

 

sometime after Jeff convinced me that chasing one shot with another was a good idea

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