The first of the Adriana Chronicles

"Walnut Creek Barbie: This princess Barbie is sold only at the Broadway Plaza Mall. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey and a cookie-cutter house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the augmented version."

Sometimes, I feel that girls can be even worse than boys when it comes to relationships. Or friendships, that is.

In my day, I’ve had the misfortune of a number of so-called close friends who showed their selfish, bitch natures in no significant length of time. Without fail, one girl always comes to mind, and that’s Adriana.

Adriana was a regular diva. She was Daddy’s Little Girl, she had the token Pomeranian as a pet, and of course she was a contrived Gucci/Dior nut. With her makeup plastered on inches deep and baubles the size of elephants constantly adorning her ears, neck, arms, or all, Adriana fancied herself to be the center of all male attention, flashing her Jersey Shore-esque ghetto fab personality every chance she got.

At first, I didn’t mind. After all, Adriana was one of those people who, when you met her, acted like you were the center of the her universe, showering you in her smiles and her easy praises, busting out the “I love you, bitch!” not two steps into the relationship. And, like all divas, she was fun: She was down to drink, she was down to flirt, and she was down to party.

The dynamic seemed to work, and well. We both lived in Walnut Creek. We both had cars. We both had good educational degrees and a DTP (for “down to party”) ‘tude to go with it. And so every weekend, we would decide on an outfit, a rockin’ venue in San Francisco and a designated driver for the night. Then we would race over to the City together and tear the place apart.

But despite her constant self-lauding—Adriana’s most common sell points, often declared in a misleading plural first-person pronoun so as not to seem outright vain, included, “We’re HOT girls, you know” and “I’m extremely smart and educated: you know, because I went to Berkeley”—Adriana revealed in one go just how dumb she really was.

That occasion was none of other than the night she got absolutely shitfaced at Blue Cube, a club planted square in the heart of SF’s Tenderloin District, and nearly got us killed. Twice.

Before I go on with this story, I feel that I need to make some disclaimers:
1) I feel that in the vast majority of my stories, I have tried to keep my disdain for the unfortunate subjects of my tales to somewhat of a minimum, even liberally sprinkling in self-deprecation to show I admit my own role in some of these incidents. I think it’s quite clear: No, I don’t hold back when I talk about Adriana. Am I bitter much? Sure. At least I’m still using an alias.
2) I understand that people get drunk and do stupid things sometimes. Hell, I’ve been guilty of this crime more than my fair share. However, I think there are still things that even people who are drunk should have control of. One is the common sense not to attack things that can hurt you a lot more than you can hurt them, such as mailboxes or policemen or drugged up homeless men. The other is having the propriety to hold your vomit until you can reach an appropriate receptacle in which to dispose of said regurgitation.

Back to my story. As I was saying, Adriana was utterly trashed, a task she had accomplished while fawning over a bouncer who clearly possessed no interest in returning her affections. This I was okay with. Thanks to college, I had had sufficient experience taking care of drunk kids, and as such traveled well supplied in the way of post-drinking remedies. As soon as I had carried Adriana back to my car and settled her into my passenger seat, I pulled out a water bottle and two plastic bags placed one inside the other and handed them to Adriana for the ride back.

To my consternation, only half of Adriana was to be seen. The other half of Adriana was thrust out the now open passenger side window. I saw her body heave as she took a deep breath, and then I heard her yelling at the top of her lungs.

“HEY BITCHES!” she screamed at the streetside residents of the Tenderloin, arguably one of SF’s most dangerous neighborhoods. “GET THE FUCK OUT!” A few very unpleasant looking folk turned their heads our way, much like the undead of The Walking Dead when they’ve heard the crack of gunshot indicating the presence of warm-blooded prey.

“Oh my god—” I immediately locked all the doors of the car. Then I grabbed Adriana by the shirt and tugged her back inside. “What the fuck are you doing?” I exclaimed.

Adriana giggled. I shook my head as I rolled up her window, then turned the ignition on. As I glanced toward the back of the car to maneuver it out of our streetside parking spot, I missed Adriana’s hand moving back over toward the power window switch. I had just pulled the front of the car out of our spot when in no time at all, Adriana was back out through the window.


I yanked Adriana back inside and rolled her window up again. “What the fuck? Are you trying to get us killed?!” I yelled. “Don’t do that again.”

I quickly sped out from the area before anyone could come and try to attack two tiny Asian chicks. I relaxed only when I had long departed Turk Street, crossed Market and entered into SoMa.

By this time, Adriana was passed out. But she was passed out in no way I had ever seen someone in a car passed out before. You’d expect someone to fall asleep perhaps leaning their head against the window, or perhaps drooping over with their chin resting against their chest, or perhaps with head thrown all the way back.

Not Adriana, no. Adriana was special. Adriana was completely slumped over her knees, as if trying to keep herself from fainting. Her arms she held straight out above her head, which was nearly touching the passenger side floor. Every time the car turned, her entire torso swung to and fro beneath the glove compartment.

I rolled my eyes and resisted the urge to help her sit back up. Instead, I concentrated on driving. I was about halfway across the Bay Bridge when I noticed a black car behind us rapidly catching up to us in speed. It appeared as if he was trying to speed up so he could overtake the car in the adjacent lane and to perform a sharp lane change from mine to the next. I decided it would be safest for me to speed up myself to give him wider berth and lessen the probability he would come hurdling into my vehicle.

Imagine my consternation when I stepped on the gas, only to realize that all that did was make my car groan, then slow down. I broke out in a sweat. I tried the accelerator again. No dice. My speed was still dropping rapidly.

I dared a look down at the gear shift and howled. Adriana, still slumped over, was leaning toward the left. Her shoulder was leaning against the gear shift. The gear shift which had been popped into neutral.

Angrily, I shoved Adriana off the gear shift. Grabbing the gear shift, I pulled it back into drive and stepped on the gas just in time for the car behind to pass us safely.

When we had gotten to about Orinda, Adriana suddenly started to heave and retch. For a moment, I grew worried, wondering whether she was letting fly onto my precious car. But then I heard plastic bag and breathed a sigh of relief, patting myself on the back for being such a forward-thinking drinker.

We got back to Walnut Creek in one piece. Once at Adriana’s place, I parked the car and helped Adriana out, holding her up and walking her back into the house. I fumbled with her keys and opened the front door as silently as I could. To my horror, Adriana’s mother was standing at the top of the stairs, waiting up for her daughter.

I managed a quick bow, trying not to drop Adriana, then sat the girl down on her bottom stair.

“Adriana, are you drunk?” her mother demanded, descending down the stairs. I retreated a few steps back, not wanting to be in the range of Adriana’s mother’s wrath.

Adriana couldn’t answer. She only shrugged.

“You’ve lost your mind, haven’t you?” her mother went on, tone icy and dangerous. “You party all the time and get drunk like this. Are you some two-bit hussy?”

Adriana turned and stumbled up the stairs on all fours.

I decided now might be a good time to politely excuse myself. “I’m so sorry it’s so late and that Adriana got this inebriated tonight. I’ll check on her tomorrow,” I said, then turned to leave.

You haven’t been drinking, have you?” Adriana’s mother suddenly demanded, pouncing on me, a more lucid target.

I kept a straight face. Of course I had. So I immediately answered, “Not at all.”

She eyed me suspiciously for a moment, then, to my relief, her expression relaxed. “Good. You shouldn’t be driving drunk.”

I drove home as quickly as I could. I parked, then walked over to the passenger side so I could dispose of Adriana’s puking bag. I smiled blissfully as I thought of the hours of sleep soon to come.

My face fell when I saw what Adriana had left behind for me. Disbelief, then awe, then rage washed over me in droves as I observed the scene.

Adriana had not thrown up in the bag. She had thrown up on the bag.

I thought of something. Both mats in the front of my car had an extra layer of protection in the form of a second plastic mat to cover the carpet. I secretly rejoiced…

…until I saw that Adriana was amazingly thorough when it came to vomiting. Because not only had she thrown up on the plastic bag and on my plastic mat, she had also managed to get vomit underneath the plastic mat, onto the carpet mat, and even onto the carpet underneath.

I grabbed tissues from the storage compartment in the arm rest, and cursed her as I frantically picked vomit chunks out of the multiple carpets of my poor car, nearly throwing up myself in the process. But even my quick work couldn’t remove the smell from my car. Wrinkling my nose in disgust and swallowing hard to discourage my stomach from heaving too violently, I turned the car back on, threw the sunroof wide open, then finally went home and to sleep.

Fairly early the next morning, Adriana called me.

“I’m soooooo sorry, girl!” she cooed as soon as I picked up. “What happened last night?”

I gave her the basic plot of the events that had transpired following our departure from the club.

“Oh my god, I’m soooooo sorry,” she crooned again. “Let me come over and clean your car for you.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine,” I said, making my obligatory initial objection to the offer. “I’ve already done most of it.”

“No, no, I insist. I’ll totally clean it up! It’s the least I can do.”

“Well, okay, if you’re offering.”

After we hung up, I went outside and finished cleaning up the vomit and airing out the car as much as I could. Then, just for the hell of it, I waited to see if Adriana would show up. She never did, of course.


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