A quick recap to catch everyone up.
My drunk friends have now gotten themselves arrested, except for the two sober enough to flee the scene, one is now at the hospital, all are facing legal and school disciplinary ramifications, now the the two on the run are at a school run dance retelling their story like some sort of Paladins back from defending the realm, the night has gone to hell, and I have yet to find the one person I really wanted to see tonight.
Mr. Fegely had contained anonymous vomiting girl’s stomach spill and had now turned his attention to finding the rest of the drunk kids at this dance(which as it happened, happened to be a boat load of kids). Before Officer Krupke(aka Mr. Fegely minus the song and dance routines) could snatch my friends, the back doors of the gymnasium flung open and sprinting away from the school zone were Ben and Hao attempting to get lost in the night again.
By the time this night was over, we had finally caught up with Ben and Hao again only to finally exhaust our supply of endorphins and adrenaline. We all made our way to our own homes that night. We would sleep off the remains of the night. The next morning was sure to bring about the impact and reality of what had happened March 6th. (The night was not a complete loss. I had finally met up with Erin at the dance for a few scant minutes. Enough to enjoy a Journey song and a dance with her. She knew what was going on and knew I had to go. We sealed our 10 minutes together with a kiss that my lips felt for a week afterwards. We would pick up where that dance left off soon after that)
Saturday the 7th might as well been called Confession Saturday. Beans were spilled. Social lives were suspended. Headaches lingered. My libido had spared me a night in the Lower Alsace drunk tank and a punishment from my parents that would have made Joseph Stalin seem like a pushover. Matt recovered and was sent home from the hospital. Those that made their way to the school that Friday, wound up suspended. Most of us did our stint being grounded or walking a very thin rope with our parents for a few weeks. Even Monday at school we came face to face with the repercussions of our actions. The nurse called all those involved into her office while most of us were in geometry class, ironically taught by Mr. Fegely. What we found in the nurse’s office was Antietam’s first attempt at an intervention. Our health teacher, the nurse, I even think the superintendent stopped in to stoically remind us the dangers of alcohol on our young bodies. We had even been tapped to host a counselor from the Caron Foundation(the same foundation that brought sobriety to Aerosmith and has been a second home to Courtney Love). April, our counselor, would spend the next weeks with us in a group therapy type setting. She expounded on if we were unwilling to learn from our history we would be doomed to repeat it(her way of prodding us towards sobriety). By the end of it, we had gone from remorseful to resentful. We had had enough of April and her call to sober arms. Her allusions to our inevitable heroin use due to gateway drugs like Miller Light and Mad dog 20/20 pushed us away. Her insistence Hao spend 21 days in a treatment program finally broke us.
March 6th had taught us a lesson. It may not have been the lesson our counselor, parents, or teachers had hoped for, but we took something from ‘that night’. The ten of us had been forged together with an even stronger bond than ever before. If we had been close prior to all of this happening, March 6th only served to seal our loyalty to one another. We also came to understand the importance of staying out of the public eye(and police custody) while drinking. March 6th had not eradicated our adolescent feeling of invincibility, it merely had weakened it for a time.
March 6th was monumental for us. Even though we continued our streak of debauchery, I think subconsciously ‘that night’ stayed with us. It was all around us. It was after March 6th that Antietam adopted a ‘Head Start’ Program. We were the first students to have a licensed counselor to come to our school for group sessions during school. Our school dances(and the chaperones) were never the same again after that night. We were the warning teachers gave to underclassmen about drinking. Our class, after that night, was labeled. It was a scarlet letter we wore with pride. It was our badge of credibility to shine in the eyes of our fellow students.
This year, March 6th fell on a Friday and this March 6th, it so happened for the first time in a long time, I had consciously recalled that night that had changed so much. While our youth prevented permanent changes in regards to our behavior in 1992, March 6th impact was still felt. In fact, it’s impact, for me, is felt now more than it ever was 17 years ago. Now, most of us are either married or parents or both. Now it’s time I begin thinking about that night again if only I can prepare myself for my kid’s ‘night’ I’m sure will come. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it? I’m doing my best to remember what I should have learned 17 years ago, fuzzy or not.