The piss off is the blow off which all other blow off in my life have to be compared too. There were lots of blow offs in my non-relationship with Peter but for my first Blow Off post I thought I’d go for the most epic. When my college roommate Paige fell for Frank and asked him to move in with us, Peter was the extra baggage that crashed on our couch from time to time. We tolerated him at best and at worst worked quietly to break up their bro-mance. Over the next year and a half he endeared himself enough to diffuse any sabotage plans and we forged a casual friendship.
The non-relationship with Peter started over one summer as a series of bad decisions at the end of binge drinking evenings. Somehow sleeping together didn’t make things awkward, they made things more comfortable. We never discussed the occasional nudity between us and slowly became better friends. The next summer, in the process of Frank and Paige getting married and moving across the country, Peter and I got to be very close. He and I ended up leaning on each other in the absence of our primary people… and that’s when things got complicated.
I couldn’t tell if we were falling madly in love or he just had nothing better to do (Note to self: if you’re trying to discern between those two emotions emitting from another person, assume the latter). We would talk all night long about intensely personal things. It seemed like we couldn’t get closer then out of nowhere: blow off, rinse and repeat. The fact that he had sunk into full fledge alcoholism by this point, made it all the harder to classify what was happening. Was it just the booze? Was he just emotionally handicapped? Was I completely deluded? Three or four really confusing months passed where I was on a rollercoaster totally unsure of what was going on, totally terrified to ask, and increasingly invested in the answer. By the time the holidays rolled around, the piss off happened.
Frank and Paige were home and we were celebrating… too hard as it turns out. The next morning I awoke, damp, to the shutting of the bedroom door. He was gone but had left me the contents of his bladder… all ten gallons of them. We’re talking through the bedding, the mattress, all the way to the box springs. When a child wets the bed, you’re dealing with a manageable volume; when you’re dealing with a grown man who wets the bed after drinking all night, its mattress ruining and this mattress didn’t belong to either one of us. The party the night before had been at a friend’s house. There had been a mass sleepover so all my closest friends were still on the premise. No way possible could I conceal his mess. The only thing I could do was hope he would return before they woke up so I didn’t have to face them alone.
He didn’t. By the time the others started stirring, I had taken a shower and stripped the bed leaving the humiliating stain exposed. There were snickers and jokes at first, then they realized he was gone and the consoling began. Radio silence persisted until Frank finally called him late that afternoon, partly because he was mad on my behalf and partly because I think he wanted to discover some valid excuse for Peter’s reprehensible behavior. There wasn’t one. He acted as if nothing had happened and chatted it up nonchalantly. Frank finally asked about it point blank. Peter laughed it off, ‘Yeah, man I’ll stop by later and take care of that. Sorry dude, I woke up naked and the chick next to me was completely dressed. I figured it must’ve been a bad night.”
His explanation was far worse than the deed. I could understand him being too embarrassed to stick around but to refer to me as “the chick next to him” was uncomprehendable. For all my hoping and questioning, I only thought I knew two things for sure about Peter: he cared about me and respected me as a friend, at very least. Turns out I was dead wrong… or wet wrong rather.