The quintessential party  is played out weekly for a host of onlookers who take pride in knowing the age-old traditions of college.  Rarely seen are the nights when these characters, with their admiration for booze, go searching for an answer to life’s question at the bottom of a bottle.

It was late afternoon. My associate and I were sitting on the patio of a local dive bar drinking rum and cracking peanuts, intermittently ordering wine spritzers to keep the buzz running strong. The bar seemed a safe distance from the burdens and monotony of education that plagues those who have neither left youth nor entered adulthood.

Our journey began when two middle-aged women, who had been knocking back tequila shots with gusto, approached us.  A conversation began, but was abruptly interrupted when one of them leaned over and asked if we knew where the party was. On a Tuesday night?  I gave her the number to the local Party City.

I felt it was time we kick it into fourth gear as we ordered another round.  Within an hour, we were no longer adhering to social norms. I began spreading gibberish throughout the bar about two female undercover cops who were trying to infiltrate college parties. Once the rumor reached the owner of the bar, he went looking for the dirty weasel who was uttering blasphemies about his niece. We were found and asked to leave at once. There was no room for swine like us.  If the cut rate joints wouldn’t have us, what refuge was there for persons who’d learn to party like animals but failed to adhere to proper adult etiquette?

We set off across town. We were in search of answers now, but the brute reality of it was that no amount of booze could fill the chasm.

We were met with the gracious smiles of barmaids at the next joint. They had no knowledge of the commotion we’d left behind.  “Two beers for me and two beers for my friend,” I said hastily. “And keep them coming until we’re no longer standing.” She smiled with fear, but begrudgingly forked over four bottles.

Our troubles began when my associate began cat-calling the waitress. His lewd mannerisms were not that of your average bar junky. However, the situation was exacerbated when I slid a glass across the counter. It fell over the edge and shattered at the barmaid’s feet.  A bouncer grabbed us and we were once again on the street.

Luckily for us, all we had to do was stroll down the street to the next place. Once inside, we ordered spirits. The manager approached us and we were over-joyed to be greeted with complimentary vodka. Much to our dismay, it was merely water.  He then informed us we couldn’t be served.  He’d received a call from the drinking establishment up the road. Apparently two werewolves were on the prowl and they were looking for trouble.

The water would not do, so we beckoned a bar guest to do our bidding and buy us shots. The manager quickly caught on, and with that we were banished.

As we walked, I began to wonder about the meaning of this wretched night. It was not a holiday, celebration time, or even a sporting event.  We had stooped to the level of dogs and all in the name of what?  Perhaps the rotten feeling that we’d yet to find our place in this world had crept up on us long before our eighth drink.

With no place left to go and the goons waiting around the corner to lock us up, we resorted to the only place we had left: bed.

With despondent feelings in the air and fractured notions of what we hope to become, we are a generation of hopeful partiers.  But we fail to reason that even some answers cannot be bought for $12 a case.