Only snippets of memory remain regarding the rest of the night.
I remember watching fire dancers and dancing hippies adorning dreadlocks and music everywhere.
I remember laying on the beach with Clare and Lee watching the weirdos.
I remember all three of us sucking down the inviting contents of the booze bucket to see how fast we could finish it.
Those dreadful, awful, unsanitary port-a-potties of roofies!
And I remember not feeling as naive as I now realize I was.
Then I blacked out.
When I came to, I was standing in the middle of the street.
About ten feet in front of me was Clare, looking around. She appeared lost and was crying.
She had also blacked out and we had both come to at the same time.
“Where’s Lee?!” she sobbed. I had no clue.
I had no clue what time it was. But it was super late.
The streets were packed with people desperately trying to find some food.
There were shops selling hot chickens everywhere.
And restaurants advertising which popular movie they’d be showing to their patrons that evening.
Clare and I were zombies.
God knows how we found Mr. Handsome for our ride back to the other side of the island, but we did.
When we reached our hotel, Lee was incensed. He and Clare began fighting and cursing. “Where did you go? Why did you leave us??”
All three of us were crying and I went to bed trying to drown out their yelling.
The next morning, I noticed my passport was drenched. The entry stamp I had received in Bangkok was barely legible. Uh oh. This could be a problem when I was ready to leave.
“You and Lee were wrestling and throwing each other in the ocean” Clare later explained at breakfast.
Breakfast was served in this circular, wooden building perched on the edge of the ocean. The view was breathtaking. The food was really good. Whatever it was.
Our hotel was really a sanctuary from all the madness on the other side of the island.
After a cigarette, we all took a taxi to the other side of the island and walked along the beach to survey the carnage of the party the night before.
We had all been through a trauma.
But it was about to get worse for me that night.
It was New Years Day. 100,000 people dead across the water. And it was the Half Moon Party.
Was I really ready to drink again. Ever again?
Apparently, Clare and Lee were not as scarred as I was.
We prepaid Mr. Handsome again for our ride back home and headed to Haad Rin beach again for another night of debauchery.
The scene was exactly the same.
People throwing fire pointlessly in the air. Why are intoxicated people messing around with fire? Especially when they have flammable, revolting smelling dreadlocks.
I secretly hoped one of them would catch their stinking hair vines on fire. And then wash off in the ocean, safe from harm of course.
We avoided the buckets of death that night.
We had a few whiskey and cokes and some Red Bulls and vodka. They make a special more pungent version of Red Bull in thailand. I think it perhaps contains a fun, coma-inducing ingredient.
We went and danced our butts off at some reggae bar.
And then I blacked out again.