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I Found God In My Nightlife

“9:08, LA Time,” Midnight in NYC. *shrugs* 'Same thing.'

Photo by Kiru Smith ©2016
Original photograph for "Nothing Is Free" artwork. ©2016-18

If you know me, then you know I’m totally down to party all day, all night, all summer long (and I still work in retail, so…). My typical party weekend probably looks like something only a crazy person would pursue- and I still do my best to make it to church every Sunday! [see below]

KIRU's typical party weekend c.2018 A.D.
My typical party weekend c. 2018 A.D.

What does my party life really look like? Well, I try to live my life as best as I can, so I prefer party drinks, party people, and party music anywhere between 100-1000%. Sometimes it’s a few light drinks- something simple like champagne, or a jack & coke. Other nights it’s some wild variation of tequila, and maybe a few glasses of straight vodka. What can I say? The stronger the turnup, the stronger the beverage. Sidenote: Would you believe me if I told you I was raised in a dry house?

Celebrating my friend Nick's birthday in Harlem!

Okay, so I honestly have so many stories I could share about drunken nights out on the town -and the one I’m going to share with you now certainly stands out among the rest- but before I go any further I just know that one of my old store managers would stop right here to lecture me on the proper way to drink if she were reading this, so in her honour, I feel that it’s only right for me to do the same for you - because, you know, How To Drink Alcohol knowledge is power! Read that article if you're new or struggling with alcohol as it is important to know your limits, be safe, and be responsible. Remember; drinking is fun, but living is better! I learned this valuable lesson on the bathroom floor during a small NYE Party coming into this year (aka the hard way). Allow me to explain...

It was New Year’s Eve and the night had just started. I met a couple of friends in lower Manhattan after work to pregame before we all headed to Williamsburg to ring in the New Year. When we had arrived in Brooklyn, we got out of our uber and approached the apartment, where we were greeted by a small group of friends who had opened up their cozy space for a casual get together. We climbed a tight flight of stairs that led to the living room, where we had set out to celebrate the end of one year and the start of another, and the party was on. We played stacks (and I never drink beer, but this was my one exception), exchanged laughs, and enjoyed ourselves over an array of drinks and light snacks. Everything was great!… until it wasn’t.

^^^ You see this girl mixing all the drinks into one night? Yeah, that was me late night, December 31, 2017. *lololol* (except it's not funny when it's real)

Have you ever felt that swirling sensation in your stomach that makes you think “Oh no, something’s not right!”? If I were to guess, I would say it was probably a quarter past 11 or so when I was sitting on the couch and had that exact feeling. I realized I had had too many different drinks, and then the very next memory I have was at the toilet, where my body helped me give it all up until nearly 12:30 the next morning. When I look back on this moment, I notice that I learned some valuable lessons about my nightlife that night. Shit got very real, and if it had not been for the company of good friends, I can’t exactly say things would have turned out fine from there. Joining me now for a brief illustration of the events that took place is my incredible friend Kristen, who played a key role in saving my life.

iMessages from Thursday, June 21, 2018

KIRU: Hey Kristen! Thanks for being so generous as to share your point of view! What do you remember from that night?

Kristen: Of course! So what I remember is that we started to pregame at my apartment in the LES so we started at the party a little tipsy. We headed to Williamsburg to a party at my friends place. We were having a great time drinking and taking shots with the group. Next thing I know, you’re puking in the bathroom. I remember checking on you and you were kind of coherent but your pulse was low. So I decided to call the ambulance. Once the EMTs got there, they examined you and asked if you wanted to go to the hospital but you said no. So Abby & I took you home so you could sleep it off. The next morning you were magically barely hungover.

KIRU: Yeah, it was definitely a wild scene to say the least- I actually remember locking myself in the bathroom and telling you I would be out when I was finished, lol. How long were you knocking at the door?

Kristen: Yea I think it was about 15-20 min

KIRU: Woah

KIRU: Far too long

KIRU: Well, I’ve told you this before, but I could honestly never thank you enough for being there for me that night. Seriously. I mean, not being able sit or stand on my own will is easily the scariest experience I’ve ever endured to date.

Kristen: Hey that’s what friends are for! We have all been in that situation one time in our lives.

KIRU: Yeah, I remember a bunch of people being in the room eventually. Actually, at one point I specifically remember weeping in someone’s arms and repeatedly saying how sorry I was- who tf was holding me?

Kristen: I believe it was Abby or Carly I’m not sure

KIRU: And -if I remember correctly- someone tried to call my sister, so I reached out to see if she still had the voicemail, but she said she couldn’t find it?

Kristen: Hmm I’m not sure if we left a voicemail

KIRU: Maybe not

KIRU: At any rate, being surrounded by the right people definitely played a key role in me living into the new year. Thanks for being an amazing friend. Love you, and can’t wait to see you in NYC again!!!

Kristen: I love you and hope to be back soon!

KIRU + Kristen Kaps. Lower East Side, NYC c.2017 A.D.
*Free Tip: Tell your friends you love them. If you don’t love them, then you’re not their friend.

By now you might be wondering how I found God in all of this. Well my dear readers, that’s the simplest part! Have you ever heard that God is love? Have you ever noticed a common thread between every good relationship in life? IT’S LOVE!! Think about it. Sometimes we make mistakes, or we find ourselves in situations where we feel held down and maybe even trapped, but it is the power of love that helps us, lifts us, and sets us free. Being with friends who loved me is what kept me alive that night, and I feel privileged to have experienced firsthand the life-saving power of love, which was at work for my own good.

These days you’ll find that I am still committed to the party, but my priorities have become more developed in love, friendship and life. In other words, there will be no more blackouts, but I’m still finna have myself a good ass time. I hope you will too. Celebrate the good in your life with the people you know and love.

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