June 26th, 1981
I am reading a book about a man’s experience at the baths and it made me remember my last visit to the baths in Washington. Last Labor Day weekend I met Raymond and his lover at the Rogue for the drag show and announced that I was going to get tattooed that night. To prepare myself, I went at the process of getting drunk with great deliberation. I drank unknown numbers of double shooters of Southern Comfort, chasing them with beer, all night long. Somewhere around midnight I managed to stagger out of the Rogue by myself. I remember finding the tattoo parlor closed for the holiday. And my next memory is being at the Astoria Baths, a few blocks away. I remember rolling over the edge of the foam rubber mattress and vomiting on the floor. Then I passed out. I woke around dawn not at all sure where I was or how I had gotten there.
I told Allan this story and he told me of one night when he had called me from San Fransisco. He spoke with Wendy and she told him that I was in pretty bad shape. I did speak with him briefly, but when he called the next morning, I had no memory of his calling.
I like to think that I only blacked out one or two times in all my years of drinking, but I think that is simply not true. There were many mornings when I would only have a dim memory of what had happened the night before, and usually even after a day of pondering, could never remember the end of the night. What a terrible desperate life. Amazing grace.