I bought these Doc Martens the first time I was in London, March 2002. They’re wickedly uncomfortable, but I love them. There’s a blue and red stripe up at the top of the boot, some extra flair that my jeans cover up. And thanks to a night of heavy drinking in November 2012, the toes are scuffed all to hell.
Perhaps it makes them look a bit more weathered, but the scuffed toes tend to piss me off. I’m pissed that I fucked up my Docs, even more pissed that it’s because I was well (as the Brits say), pissed.
I was out celebrating the birthday of one of my best buddies that night. It began innocently, with sushi and a beer. I can’t remember where we all ended up or what happened. I just remember thinking once again that it was going to be a laid back night. Seems like those laid back nights always caused me the most grief! They often ended up being a catastrophe.
I have hazy memories of walking stumbling back to J’s house from a bar. It was her birthday, and while she was also a heavy drinker (and the birthday girl!), she was in charge of getting Drunky Drunkerton back to her house. Apparently throwing me into a cab wasn’t an option. Only a couple months earlier that happened at another birthday celebration and I ended up passed out in a park. Clearly I wasn’t to be trusted to get home safely on my own anymore once I reached the point of no return.
On the walk to J’s house, I was so drunk I kept falling down. It was freezing and I was done. I wanted only to sprawl out on the sidewalk and pass out. J kept dragging me back up, and I would stumble and fall on my face again. I woke up with some incredible bruises and some banged up Docs. I kept hearing J coax me back up: “Come on KC, we’re almost at my house. You can do this!” She was and still is so sweet to me.
It felt like I was attempting to cross the Appalachian Trail instead of a sidewalk. Our journey back took what seemed forever, but we finally made it. I crashed in bed with her, and never gave one thought to letting my ex know where I was. Probably because at that point, I didn’t know where I was and didn’t care.
That night reminds me of a party I was at before I turned 18. I ran around my friend’s house double fisting beer and wine the entire time. The night ended badly of course. At one point I was in the bathroom and two of my buddies were trying get me to stand up, coaxing me just like J had. I could see our reflection in the mirror, see them struggling to hold up my dead weight. 17 year old me and 32 year old me were exactly the same. It took until I was 33 to end the madness.
I wore my Docs yesterday for the first time since the spring, and tying those laces, seeing the scuffs brought all those memories back. At first it was shame and embarrassment, but the longer I wore them yesterday, the better I felt. I’m never going to be that falling down drunken disaster ever again. And that feels amazing.