This post was not in my original list of drafts, but this tale would not be complete without mentioning a night that will live on in infamy: the night Sly was roofied.
We had dinner in the Richmond and then met up with some friends in one of our old Mission haunts: El Rio. The night began normally enough. We ordered Coronas with lime, stood outside in the bar’s outdoor patio, had strange conversations with random people, smoked, spotted a guy wearing a money jacket, fended off some chick who tried to run her fingers through my friend’s hair — you know, typical Mission bar stuff.At one point Sly left to get some drinks and go to the bathroom.. When he came back he looked like this.
In a matter of minutes – literally minutes — Sly transformed from his normal self into a rag doll. It was as if Sly had fallen asleep standing up. After we all laughed at him I realized something was not right. I asked Sly if he was ok, Sly said “no.” He never says no — not even in Vegas does Sly say no. Then he said he needed to go home. Sly is a champion drinker — I have seen him wasted before but never like this. And never on a few Coronas.
We said our good byes and then I half-carried, half-dragged Sly out of the bar and to our rental car that was thankfully parked just across the street. As we made our way home I coaxed Sly, who was now swaying back and forth in his seat with no control over his motor skills, to drink a bottle of water.
The next thing I knew Sly lurched forward, pursed his lips, and puked. All. Over. The. Car. It was like a fountain of puke and the weirdest thing was how completely oblivious Sly was to everything that was happening. I have done my fair share of holding other peoples’ hair back why they slumped over a toilet, and this was nothing like that. It was as if Sly was not even conscious.
I pulled up to our friend’s house where we were staying and instructed Sly to get out of the car and take off all his clothes — outside. There was no way he was coming in my friends’ house trailing puke all over the place. Then I tried to open the door as quietly as possible so as not to wake my friends. While Sly stripped down to his skivvies I tip toed downstairs and turned on the shower, then I went back upstairs, grabbed Sly, told him to be very quiet, and led him to the bathroom and into the shower.
“Stay here until I come get you, ok?”
Sly sort of nodded.
“Did you hear me?”
“You are staying here until I come back for you, understand?”
“Repeat back to me — what are you going to do?”
“How long are you going to stay?”
“Until you come get me,” Sly slurred
Back upstairs I searched the kitchen in the dark for some cleaning fluid and paper towels, then I went back to the car and cleaned up all the puke. I picked up the heap of puke clothing left on the front stoop, took them down to the garage and did a load of laundry. Finally I collected Sly from the shower, dried him off, helped him into some pjs, gave him some more water and put him to bed. I found a plastic trash can, lined it with a garbage bag and put it, along with some towels, on the side of Sly’s bed. Once again I had him repeat back to me:”Where are you going to puke?” I asked. “In the bucket,” Sly replied.
Around 3am I finally went to bed.
At 5am I awoke to a frantic Sly who was sitting straight up in bed clutching my arm. “OH MY GOD WHERE AM I?”WHAT HAPPENED?”
Sly didn’t remember a thing.
Together we pieced together the evening, trying to figure out what happened. At this point I was still under the assumption that he had been mysteriously doing shots all night but after describing what happened it seemed a little more dubious. “It’s as if I was drugged,” Sly said, “I have never ever felt that way before.” From what we deduced someone must have slipped something into his drink while he was in the bathroom. But why?
A few days later we were relaying this story to another SF friend and she seemed completely nonplussed. “Oh, yeah, that happens a lot here.” She then proceeded to tell us that it had happened to her! She had been out with friends at a concert and the next thing she knew she woke up in SF General Hospital. Apparently someone spiked her drink and she unknowingly passed out on the street where she lay until someone called 911. What. The. Hell. As women we’re always told to be cautious of this kind of thing but until that moment I never actually knew anyone that had been roofied. Now I knew two: my good friend and my hubs.
Weren’t we too old for this sort of thing?
And why Sly? What would be the payoff? I suppose we were in a ‘gay friendly’ bar but that’s like all of SF. Our friend replied, “people are f’ed up. Sometimes they just like to see what happens, especially when it comes to guys.”
How many countless drunken nights have I been out over the years in SF doing stupid things without any consequence? And then on a return trip to SF it was SLY who was unwillingly drugged? It was absolutely bizarre. Years later, it still sounds bizarre. Of course now we laugh about it because everything turned out okay.
Well, except for the car. We gave the pukemobile another cleaning the next day, doused it with Febreeze, left the windows open and hid dryer sheets everywhere but nothing really got rid of the smell. Poor white rental car Mustang. It will never be the same.
MORE FROM THIS TRIP TO SF
Back to SF // Part 1: In-n-Out + Union Square
Back to SF // Part 2: Glen Park + Our Old Home
Back to SF // Part 3: Tin Types + Sushi Sams
Back to SF // Part 4: Glen Canyon Park + Japantown
Back to SF // Part 5: Land’s End Trail + Sutro Baths
Souvenirs from SF