I just realized how great it was that the internet was invented because now I don’t have to wait until I’m dead to share my high school diaries with the world. My future biographers can start their biographing NOW.
In today’s installment of Erik Patterson Thought He Was Really Profound When He Was Sixteen, I share my thoughts on capital punishment, the movie Heart and Souls, and the first time I ever got drunk.
July 16, 1994
“You kill a few men and you’re a murderer. You kill a million and you’re a conquerer. Go figure.” – John Lithgow in the movie Cliffhanger.
This is an interesting summation of how our society views killing. In my mind, either way you are a murderer. (Wow, Erik, you were brilliant. Way to go with the hard-hitting analysis. Oh, but wait, you continue.)
Capital punishment? I am against it. I feel that if we feel the need to murder someone to punish them for murder, we are only stooping down to their level. The “eye for an eye” belief is bullshit. Besides, what kind of a punishment is death. A lifeliess life that is forever spent in jail is a much better punishment. Also, I don’t believe in Hell. (Hello, topic shift. I really just went from one random topic to the next in my diary, didn’t I? I think I was just trying to log as much data as possible, to help those future biographers.) Wherever souls go when someone dies – they all go to the same place. If someone killed a loved one of mine, I sure as hell wouldn’t want them to join my loved one in Heaven, or wherever souls go. (Okay, but Erik, if you don’t believe in Hell, then being as “sure as hell” isn’t really very sure, is it?)
“Heart and Souls” was a really great movie. (I’m trying to understand the logic of this particular topic shift, and I think it’s a stream-of-conscious thing; like, I was just talking about souls and so now I’ll talk about the movie “Heart and Souls.” I was a weird kid.) It just touched me where I needed to be touched (no comment) and I guess I saw it numerous times. The idea of walking down a public street singing “Walk Like A Man” is so freeing and fulfilling. Since seeing the movie, Lindsay and I break into this song often. It is always a great release. (I kind of find this “Heart and Souls” paragraph more embarrassing and humiliating than any of the other diary bits and pieces so far. I don’t know why I find this paragraph so particularly embarrassing, but I do.)
I suppose that I should tell my New York story while it is still sort of fresh in my head. (And also because I apparently have ADD in my diary and can’t seem to focus on any one topic for more than a paragraph.)
Over Christmas vacation, I went to New York with Drama--Jesse, Lindsay, Justin, Nicky, Keri, Jamie, Lolita, Julia, etc. It was a thrilling experience to finally experience Broadway plays. The first night, I saw Blood Brothers with Gwen. The theatre was small, comfortable. Before the curtain rose, my stomach was turning, I was so excited. Anyway, I saw eleven shows in one week. One highlight was New Years Even Night. I went to see Les Miserables and after the show, the whole cast came out and sang “Auld Lang Sine.” It was neat. One major 1st that happened in New York, though, was the first time I ever got drunk. It was the first--and to this day, the last--time I ever drank, also. Tuesday night, a few days before New Years Eve, we were all going to see a show, I can’t remember which one—no, wait. It was Laughter on the 23rd Floor, by Neil Simon. After the show, we waited at the stage door and met Nathan Lane and John Slattery. Anyway, before the show, I saw Paul. He came with us too, he was my director for our production Noises Off. Well, Paul and I were waiting to go to the show and he was going to the hotel bar—I went with him. Since I was in there, I thought I’d try to order a drink—I got a Gin and Tonic. We were sitting at the bar drinking and eating pretzels and the bartender didn’t say anything! Mind you—I’m 16-years-old, but I guess I look old for my age. Everyone always tells me that and it was proving to be true. Well, I had never drank before and it gave me a little bit of a headache that I had throughout the entire show. After the show, the whole group of us went to this Piano Bar called “Don’t Tell Mama’s.” It is a great place where the waitresses sing to you during the evening and anyone who wants to can go and sing too. That’s why we went there, for the singing. Most of the kids were getting things like Coke to drink and the chaperones didn’t notice what some of us others were getting. Since it worked at the hotel bar, I thought that I would try getting drinks here, too. I don’t remember what I was ordering, but by around 2:00 a.m. I had had about 5 different drinks and the only people left in the bar from our group was me, Nicky, Keri, and Paul. I had about 2 more drinks with them until the waitress told us it was closing time at a little bit past 3:00 a.m. It was time to pay and I paid with a travellors (sic) check! Well, she needed to see I.D. to use a travellors (sic) check so I got out the $20 fake I.D. card that I had bought that afternoon and everything was fine. Either she didn’t notice or she didn’t care that there was a differant (sic) name on the I.D. than the check! Anyway, even though I had had quite a few drinks, I only felt a buzz. I thought that if I had gone this far, then I wanted to get completely drunk—this wasn’t enough. So we asked where the nearest bar was that might still be open. The bartender said that there was another one around the corner, so we walked over there. Well, we got there and outside the door, Keri and Nicky said that they wanted to go back to the hotel and they left. Paul and I went into the bar and sat at the bar. We ordered drinks and not until I was on my second one--there--did I realize that it was a gay bar! There were only two other people in there. Luckily, when one of them tried to come on to me, Paul started talking to him and saved me. (!!!) Well, the bar was closing. It was now about 4:30 a.m. and we were told we had to go. I paid and when I got up, it all hit me, I could barely stand up straight (maybe it’s because you were in a gay bar! Thank god Paul saved you!) and I wobbled out of the bar. I was drunk. Paul and I were about 8 blocks away from the hotel and we are very lucky that we made it back alive. I can’t believe how stupid we were. Two drunks, walking 8 blocks to a hotel, alone, at 4:30 a.m. in New York City. Outside the hotel lobby, Paul almost got into a fight with a bum. Once I got to my room, I could not stop giggling. I noticed that someone was sleeping in my bed—rules weren’t strict and we could sleep in any room we wanted to, so I went next door and Jamie let me sleep in her room. After I stopped giggling, I passed out. The next day, I was thoroughly embarrassed. I had a headache, and I haven’t had a drink since. Well, that’s my drinking story. New York was a great learning experience. Maybe I’ll write more about it later.