Not everyone had as wholesome Thanksgiving experience as our freshman columnist. Bwog nightlife correspondent Will Snider narrates the amalgamated stories of his visits home.

mapPicture it.  You’re back home on break and enjoying some leftover turkey when the telephone on the kitchen counter rings.  Your mother picks it up and hands it to you, a forgotten landline with a nearly forgotten voice on the other end: it’s Andy speaking in rapid fire, “Dude, my dad’s out of the country for the weekend.  Let’s get some beer and call some people.  I have some great weed.  It’s so good.  It’ll be so great.  We’re home.”   

You can’t believe it.  You’re sixteen years old again and back in high school.  You know what this night will be about: driving up and down Wisconsin Avenue, stopping at several hookah bars and an all-night McDonalds searching for friends.  And you’ll find them, but you might regret having made the effort.  Endless nights of Marlborough Reds, Natty Lite, and poorly rolled joints would make anyone miss 1020.   

Nightlife in Washington, D.C. is awful.  It’s depressingly awful.  For adults it’s all about the after work happy hour.  For the underage it’s the quest for an open house, which isn’t hard to find when most of your friends’ parents work for the IMF, so usually you’re set.  

This particular party boasts a desperate mix of high school kids and young college students, all pretending to not care about how warm the beer is.  You spot a few girls you used to like, and after the freshman fifteen you might actually have a chance.  But you’ve got a good buzz by now, and it doesn’t seem worth the effort.  They might start to ask you about college and life and how great things used to be.  Fuck that.     

Suddenly out of nowhere Valentino is on top of you, speaking in his incomprehensible, non-specific, and probably fake accent.  He is wearing sunglasses and a scarf and looks a bit too much like Audrey Hepburn for his own good.  

“Hello.  Hello.  Hello.  So good to see you.” 

He clearly doesn’t remember your name.   

“You are looking so good.” 

He used to get a lot of girls in high school by claiming to be the son of the Italian ambassador.  In reality his father is the head driver at the Romanian Embassy, and he’s on full scholarship to some fancy D.C. prep school.  He reeks of cigarettes and bad cologne.   

You politely shove him away and go for another warm beer.   

In the corner of the room is an old friend, a guy you don’t talk to very often anymore.  You approach him and offer a cigarette.  You sit outside and smoke and listen to him talk for the first time in a long time.    

“I’m done with ROTC, so what’s the fucking point?  What if I didn’t go back?  I have a plane flight tomorrow.  What if I purposely missed it?  No one would care.  No one at that school would bat an eye.” 

You tune out his complaints and start to think about Benny, a friend who recently dropped out of Vanderbilt to support his coke habit.  At least he actually did something about his predicament.  Construction pays well when you remember to show up for work.  

Once your buzz subsides you drive home along the empty Beltway.  At home you devour two slices of pumpkin pie, read a few pages of Franny and Zooey to make yourself feel intelligent again, and fall quickly asleep.  You can’t wait to return to the redeeming glamour of New York City, where even Natty Lite carries a hint of cool.