In the afternoon heat of a Las Vegas summer day, I woke up to the discomfort of a hard floor and to the smell of rancid bar garbage. I suspect it was the smell of rotting lemon garnish and syrupy liquor stagnating in the summer warmth. Perhaps I was also smelling a mixture of sawdust and vomit from last night’s festivities. I looked around in the blindingly bright sunlight and saw that I was behind a dumpster. I was sweaty and filthy and not entirely sober. Then I had to retrace my steps, both figuratively and literally, to find out how I had gotten to that point.
I vaguely remember the flawed logic that got me into the situation. I accepted too many drinks, certainly. We drink at work. But after the point of intoxication, I have a fuzzy memory of thinking “I am about to pass out. I better hide.” Then I crawled behind the dumpster and lost consciousness.
I’m not proud of that moment though it makes a funny story. It’s mostly only funny to tell people involved in shallow friendly relationships with me. This would include just about anyone I met through work. I can laugh when I think about it by myself only because it didn’t result in anything worse than deep shame and very dirty clothes.
Perhaps I simply have too much time and not enough responsibilities. Either that or I am mismanaging my time and neglecting my responsibilities. Or maybe I just have a drinking problem. At what point must I cease to justify my behavior by telling myself it is something young people just do?
Perhaps my behavior became dangerously normal for me because I am too easily influenced by my environment. Regardless of age, excessively risky behavior is far more common in my industry. The line between work and lifestyle is becoming increasingly blurry. While many strippers are very good about compartmentalizing work and real world life, some, like me, have a hard time.