The Legend of Elizabeth Reid, Part II

If you need to catch up, read Part I here.


Summer, 2001

Elizabeth called me the next day.  We met up on campus a day or two later and I took her around to find her advisor, get her school ID, that kind of stuff.  I hooked her up with an interview to be a marketing intern for our athletic department.  Then we did lunch and I blew off the rest of the day to show her around San Diego while she completed some errands and chores for her moving process.

One of Elizabeth’s best qualities is that anything that takes more than a couple hours has to involve drinks.  So around 3:00pm we headed to a pizza joint by campus for a beer.  One 32oz beer turned into several, which then turned into about 6, and next thing I knew it was pushing 8 o’clock and we were both wasted, talking shit to a couple guys watching soccer on the TV.  (“Hey, aren’t there any real sports on?  Like synchronized swimming or pro wrestling or something?”)

It was a great night.  I was so into her that I didn’t even realize I had reverted back to my old loser ways, pining over a single girl and being happy just to be in her presence, even if I wasn’t getting any closer to landing her in the sack.  In short, I had rolled right back onto “Friends Boulevard,” with little chance of getting onto “Lovers’ Lane.”

But I still felt like I was making progress.  Thanks to my connections she scored her internship with the athletic department, so she was definitely in my debt.  And over that next week we started spending more and more time together.  We made plans to go out the next weekend, where I would introduce her to one of my favorite bars, the Beachcomber.

So Saturday I was sitting at home around 8:00, having dinner and watching TV.  I was supposed to be meeting up with Elizabeth around 9:30 at the ‘Comber, but she called me early, utterly wasted.  “Hey!  We got a head start!  I’m at a bar with my new roommates, we’ve been drinking since 4:00!  We rode our bikes and we’re heading over to the Beachcomber right now, why don’t you meet us there?”

I decided to play it cool.  I wanted her to wait a little while, let her know I’m not just at her beck and call.  Plus, I wanted her to get even more drunk and hopefully drop her defenses.

Tripod had already bailed on me for some reason, so I decided to roll solo rather than try to call in backups.  I hit the Beachcomber about 10:30. Elizabeth was absolutely smashed, as were her new roommates.  The three roommates were all guys, which should have been a red flag I guess, but they seemed cool enough and none of them seemed a particular threat to my target.

At the end of the night two of the roommates were trying to hook up with some girls, so they threw their bikes in someone’s car and left Elizabeth with just one other roommate to ride home.  Mind you, it was a good five miles from the bar to her place, and she was obliterated.  I spent ten minutes trying to talk her out of it, saying this had disaster written all over it.  I begged, pleaded, scolded, cursed, everything I could think of, but she was hell-bent on riding home.  I got a big hug and a disappointing little kiss and she was off.

Defeated and annoyed, I started walking off towards my car.  Another night, another failure to close the deal.  I was just beginning to question what the hell I was doing in virtually the same position I’d been in twice before over the last seven years, when Elizabeth rode by me on the street, wobbling uncontrollably on her bike.  She got less than a block in front of me before crashing into a curb.  Her front tire popped on impact and she very nearly went ass over teakettle before awkwardly plopping down on the curb with her bike sprawled out beside her; how she didn’t kill herself I’ll never know.

Seizing the moment, I came to her rescue and we threw her bike in my trunk and I gave her ride home.  Which got me in the door, where we plopped down on the couch in the living room and had another drink.  Her couch was the most comfortable I’ve ever seen; it was massive, big enough for two people to sleep side by side.  It was a blessing and a curse.  On the one hand it was a great spot to make my move, not nearly as cramped as trying to make out on most couches; but on the other hand, it was so damn comfortable that Elizabeth, in her drunken state, was fading fast.

One of the roommates had apparently been successful in his quest, because we could hear him just fucking the living shit out of some girl in his bedroom.  It was very amusing and just a little bit of a turn on.  I was just starting to move in for the kill when Elizabeth drunkenly mumbled, “Good night,” and passed right the fuck out on my shoulder.

Are you fucking kidding me?  Here I am, laying on this couch with the girl of my dreams passed out next to me.  I’m drunk but not drunk enough to just pass out.  She absolutely reeks of alcohol.  My arm starts falling asleep; my shoulder (already sore from working out) feels like it’s going to pop out of its socket.  I’ve got to take a piss.  And in the next room I can hear “Oh shit!  Oh shit Eddie!  Oh God oh shit oh god oh shit oh oh oh!!!”

And that’s how I spent the next four hours.  (Not the sex part, that only lasted 15 minutes or so.)

Sometime around 5:30am I finally managed to free myself to take a piss and shake out my arm.  I should have gone home right then, but I foolishly thought I still might be able to get some action, so I went back to the couch.  In her sleep she immediately crawled back into my arms and mumbled, “Marco, you’re awesome.”


“I’m not Marco.”

She stirred a little and looked drunkenly up at me, smiled, and said, “Oh, sorry honey, I’m on crack.”  Then she wrapped me up a little tighter and passed out again for a good two hours.  It was near 8 in the morning before I finally got home to my own bed.  I slept all day.

Well that’s just great.  Apparently she’s dreaming I’m someone else.

I don’t know how I get myself into this shit.


Fall/Winter, 2001

The next four months were a whirlwind of drinking and futile attempts to hook up with Elizabeth.  The girl had the uncanny ability to make me feel like I had a chance, like life was great and we’re having a spectacular time and we might just have been meant to be.  And yet, when the night ended I always wound up just retarded drunk with nothing to show for it but an occasional half-assed kiss.  My frustration had reached near-epic levels.

We spent the night together one more time during that stretch.  It was a Thursday night and we were out until 4am just getting plastered (gin and tonics and shots of Yukon Jack, a truly awful combination) when we stumbled back to her place.  I went straight to the bathroom to take a piss and by the time I was done she was already crawling into bed.  I stood there drunkenly debating my next move –going home was at the top of my list of choices– when she called me to join her.

I crawled into bed alongside her but she already appeared to be passed out.  So once again I laid there, awkwardly contemplating my next move, when she drunkenly mumbled, “Can I ask you a question?”

As most of you guys know, after “We need to talk,” and “Is that as big as it gets?” this is probably the most terrifying thing you can hear from a woman.  So I warily answered, “Ummm, sure.”

“Why don’t you put your arm around me when we sleep together?”

Now, there are a million different ways I could have responded to this.  “Because I’m trying not to poke you with my boner,” would be one way.  “Because I’m a sad lovesick little puppy dog,” would have been the most truthful, I suppose.  But in the end I decided to call her bluff with, “Do you really want to have this conversation right now?”

She mumbled something incoherent, then reached behind her and literally pulled my arm around her before immediately passing out with me spooning her.

Things were not working out the way I had planned them.

Thank God for Kurt Kittner

An entire football season came and went in pretty much the same manner.  I partied hard, drank harder, and tried like hell to break through to Elizabeth.  All I got for my struggles was a lot of hangovers, some disapproving looks from superiors when I showed up to work disheveled and smelling of booze, and the occasional fully clothed spoon session with her.  I tell ya, were it not for the dual miracles of my alma mater’s run to the Sugar Bowl and Da Bears’ NFC North crown I probably would have been damn near suicidal.

We had made plans months earlier to roadtrip to Phoenix to watch our alma mater play Arizona in basketball.  ‘Zona had knocked us out in the Elite 8 the year before in one of the nastiest, roughest, worst officiated basketball games I’ve ever seen.  (That game came awfully close to making my list of the most Devastating Losses in my life.)   We had lost a lot of talent from that team, and any logical look at reality would have said this year’s team wasn’t going to beat Arizona, but I was still boiling with hatred from that heartbreaking loss, and so I had deluded myself into believing that passion and bitterness alone would make it a contest.

I should have just stayed home.

I had decided that this would be it with Elizabeth.  The final straw.  The last gasp.  The hail mary.  Given my passion for military history, I gave the pursuit a military-style operational name.  Operation: Custer’s Last Stand.  Kinda fitting, right?  I planned everything to a T.  While most of the older alums were staying in downtown Phoenix, near the arena, I got us a room right by Arizona State’s campus –long regarded as the top party school in America– figuring we’d go out after the game, just the two of us, get blitzed and see what happened.  It seemed like the perfect plan at the time.

Well, I knew I was in trouble when I talked to Elizabeth the night before the trip and she was starting to feel ill.  When I picked her up the next morning she was feeling worse, so I could already see my plan falling apart.  We stopped at a Walgreen’s to get some drugs, both of us futilely hoping to head off the inevitable, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

By the time we hit Phoenix five hours later she was starting to feel pretty miserable, but to her credit she was still fighting the good fight.  She insisted we hit a drive-thru liquor store before we even found our hotel room so we could have a case of beer for the room.  We would have a couple hours before the game and she wanted to get liquored up.  This, of course, played right into my plan, so I assented.

But when we got to the hotel things started to head south.  Her throat hurt so bad she could barely drink her beer, stopping after two.  We both showered and changed and headed for the game, far less buzzed than I had hoped for.

I could write an entire novel about how badly the game went, but I’ll do my best to refrain.  Bad shooting, no hustle, no toughness, a demoralizing loss in front of a crowd predominantly cheering for those obnoxious cocksuckers from Arizona.  We all left the arena in a pretty somber mood. Elizabeth’s health was like a barometer of our team; as the game went on she felt worse and worse.  By the end of it I knew my mission was a total abort.

We stopped for a quick dinner and went back to the hotel, where she promptly crawled into one of the beds and went to sleep.  I seriously contemplated leaving her there while I went exploring the ASU bar scene.  (I still kick myself for not going.  It almost makes me cry to think how close I was to The Library, one of the most infamous college bars in all of America.  The bartenders and waitresses there are supposed to be legendary.)

It was one of the worst nights of my life.  Her fever was giving her chills so she had the heat cranked up to near hellish levels.  I laid in the other bed stripped down as much as I dared, sweating and stone sober, trying to figure out how I could possibly have so little luck with this girl and, more importantly, how the fuck our basketball team could be so goddamned soft.

The next morning I had to roust her from bed at 10:30 to make our check out.  She looked like absolute shit but of course said she was feeling better.  Just in time for us to head home.  For my part, I had slept maybe two hours all night because it was so fucking hot in there.  I swear I sweated out 5 pounds, and I made sure to grab some water for the drive back since I was pretty sure I was dangerously dehydrated.

Once again, I wondered how I could possibly keep getting myself into this shit.  Clearly, something had to give.  With a heavy heart, I decided to give up the chase.

For Part III of the story, please go back to my early post The Girl With the Glasses.

And like all great stories, this one will drag on longer than it should.  Part IV coming soon…


1 Comment

  1. Fabulous! I forgot all about the spoon and trip to AZ. Amazing

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