It only took us about 2 weeks to finally stumble across our first genuinely concerning situation involving drunk people.
I was probably the only one who found it as frightening and off-putting, but then I also hadn’t had much to drink and was thinking of all the possible ways the situation could have gone south.
After having only one class and a confusing but generally interesting Interdisciplinary Seminar and micro-history about the Great Famine, my friends and I decided tonight would be a good night to go out, just for a few drinks. We wanted to try something new, but all the other pubs were either crowded or more restaurant style. We ended up at our usual go-to spot, The Quays down by the Coiribe River. I had one drink, and that was definitely more than enough for me. We listened to a particularly exciting live band who kept the place dancing the whole time we were there. It felt like I was at a rock concert with how loud and exciting the musicians were.
We decided to bail after a little while and go to one more pub. This time, we wanted to try the King’s Head. It’s a historical pub, significant because it was supposedly given as a gift to the man who literally beheaded a king (Charles, I think). It’s known for traditional music and was established in the 1600s. A trad session was just ending when we went in there, and it looked like they were close to closing for the night. We wanted to leave as soon as that happened and move on to the nightclub, The Front Door. That place always has something going on, and this was supposed to be College Night in town.
Before we could leave, however, my friends walked past this group of about six or seven grown men, about my father’s age, boisterous and all very obviously drunk. I, of course, was the one to get stopped by them because of course I was. One started asking me where I was from while another tried to get me to do some weird handshake with him and another came up and touched my shoulders. I was (obviously) on guard, and my friends came over to tell me they were leaving and I could catch up with them later. I have never been more horrified in all my life. I don’t know if they couldn’t tell what was happening or just weren’t fazed by it, but I was not about to be stuck there alone.
I kept trying to get away with sad excuses. The one guy, who had touched my shoulders and was in my face, so drunk I couldn’t understand his slurring speech, grabbed me by the wrist. That was the turning point for me. I stiffened, trying and failing to pull away. Thankfully, he only was trying to get me to “mind my manners” and shake hands with all the men present. One of them harassed Casey for a bit about Boston (all in fun, it seemed), and the really drunk creepy one that was touching me tried to propose to her using a different name and his wristwatch. They asked us where we were going next, and I very much did not want to tell them. Of course, my friends once again didn’t see the little red flag and immediately told them we were off to The Front Door.
At one point, they asked who we thought were friendlier, the English or the Irish. And when we all unanimously said “Irish,” thinking of course that they were Irish and also speaking from experience, they got a bit rowdy and belligerent–turns out, they were Englishmen on holiday.
I don’t really know how we got out of there, I don’t remember anything besides the door being closed and not having a handle, and the four of us struggling like mad to get the hell out of that pub. Hallie was fairly convinced they meant no harm, but I was on high alert.
As a final nail in the coffin of my night out, we went to The Front Door instead of going home after that. I was hanging out by the bar when a crowd of people began swarming.
Full disclosure, I do suffer from high anxiety, often involving panic attacks. To illustrate, about a year ago I had a panic attack at Disneyland. Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth. There were a few factors. For one, I was sick, and couldn’t breathe very well. For another, we were stumbling through a crowd so thick I could hardly see in front of me because we wanted to watch fireworks. I hate crowds, mostly when I’m surrounded and packed like a sardine and have no discernible escape route.
The same thing happened here. As the crowds closed in and blocked all the exits, I about lost my breath. Thankfully, Casey took notice and helped guide me out of the crowd and to the much cooler air outside.
Of course, guess who found us on our way out? None other than Drunk Englishmen on Holiday who decided now was the appropriate time to follow us around town.
That was kind of it for me. Casey and I got a taxi home and I went right to bed once I calmed down a little.
Honestly, it wasn’t one of the most stellar moments for me. But, I got through it fairly well and I’m proud of that. I think maybe it’s time to stay out of the clubs though. It’s not exactly my scene. That’s fine by me; I’d much rather be out watching the river and writing.