There I was, shaking the metal gate and screaming at the security guard. He must’ve recognized me; he’d just broken up the ruckus I’d gotten myself into a few minutes earlier. Yes, I had probably made a very, very bad first impression, and, considering that I was shaking the gate as hard as I could and yelling, I was apparently hell bent on making a terrible second impression also.
“It’s 6:11!” I shouted. “The subway is open! Why is the fucking gate down?”
It seemed to me that he looked a little amused. He said something in Korean and pointed off into the distance with his baton.
“This is bullshit!” I hollered. “Open the fucking gate, motherfucker!”
Why, oh why, had I drunk so much? The whole night was a blur. I’d gone out to say goodbye to a friend who was leaving Korea the next day. Lots of beer was had. I was happy and having a good old time. Then I stumbled to another bar and started drinking whisky. I bought a friend a drink and when she sat down on the barstool I started spinning her around and around and she dropped her glass and it broke on the floor. So I downed my drink and quickly got us another round. This is when things started getting foggy. I met up with DL and Kent outside a convenient store and drank more beer, and then we went to another bar. I don’t remember much after that. I know that I passed out in the bar and then Kent said something to me about having to leave and so I bolted out of there.
My plan was to go down into the subway and sleep on a bench until the trains started running. The problem was, once I walked down the staircase leading into the subway, the gate was closed, not letting me enter. My memory is really bad and I’m not sure what exactly happened next. I think I went to sleep on the staircase and was woken up by an angry Korean man. All I can say for sure is that I was suddenly in a shouting match with the guy, and I felt he was getting aggressive with me so I hit him in the face. I didn’t punch him – it was more of an open palmed slap. It’s difficult to recount this with much accuracy. Then the security guard was there standing between us and I turned and walked back up the steps, out of the subway, leaving the angry guy and the guard behind me. The sun was up at this point and I checked the time and saw that it was past 5:30, which meant the trains were running. I walked around a bit until I found another subway entrance and went down into that, only to find the gate closed there too.
I tried my best to lift it. When I couldn’t, I began shaking it. The same security guard showed back up and I yelled at him about the time. (Really, though, why were the gates closed?) He, of course, was not persuaded by my argument or my eloquence and, knowing he wasn’t going to let me in, I walked back out of the subway yet again and to the station itself, where I was finally able to go through the turnstiles and catch a train back home.
It was 7:30 when I finally got home and went to sleep, eventually getting out of bed at 5:00 pm. I felt ashamed of myself. Where did all that hostility come from, that rage I had felt? My sock had a big red spot on it and my toe was covered in dry blood. How had it happened? This is exactly why I’m not supposed to drink. True, 95% of the time, I have drinks and things are fine. But then, even though I feel good and happy and there seems to be no way anything could go wrong, I drink too much and crazy shit happens and I wake up hating myself and feeling like I need to apologize to every person I’ve ever met.
What a bummer. I drank too much beer and whisky and experienced a Mel Gibson moment, minus all the anti-Semitic stuff. After 17 years of research, I have arrived at the conclusion that alcohol does not bring out the best in me. I will very likely continue to research this topic, and will certainly let you know if anything changes although, if I were you, I wouldn’t hold my breath.