decide "never" averages out to "for six more days."
reiterate i'm never drinking again, for the sake of consistency.
recreate events of last evening: a pleasant dinner. falafel platter and tiramisu at lake avenue cafe. an entire night to do whatever the hell we want, and we want to go out. stand on corner in frigid weather, one of us has rabbit fur covering his ears. run to the middle of street to look for tall vehicle, thenvery responsibly board inbound bus, dropping sixty cents each into coin slot. sixty cents equals the price of waking up with a car parked in front of the house instead of abandoned in a parking ramp within smelling distance of the scene of the previous night's crime.
i hate seeing the bar i was at in the light of the next day. it's embarrassing. like still wearing a toga at 10 a.m. it makes my innards seize up.
pizza luce is a little too bright, a lot too empty. every time the juke box runs out of songs, it feels like last call. three of my friends are at a table in the corner, post-sweeney todd, miming throat slitting. we hadn't planned on a party, but this will do. we play music, deconstruct the song "hey ya" and dane cook's ability or inability to coax a chuckle from the depths of your diaphragm. chuck diagrams an art project on the back of this week's transistor.
i drink our combined weight in whiskey.
early in the night i wander into the coed bathroom. ladies veer right, gents to the left. and there is chuck, on the right, studying a photograph at the mouth of the women's stalls. he jumps when the door opens, like he has been busted -- i don't know -- loitering on the wrong side of the unofficial gender line? seems relieved that it's just me doing the busting and that i already know this about him.
more friends arrive, some leave. we create a bar tab that looks like it should include dinner and a pretty cute pair of shoes. the bartender calls us a cab. we are whisked to the ghetto spur, where we purchase pizza and gatorade. chuck intercepts my computer five times right before i am about to click on the "post comment" button. we fall asleep just as we become fluent in gooey gibberish.
i feign fine health when we wake. i can't hide that my right eye is crusted shut from falling asleep in my contacts. i sit with chuck while he eats an emergency burrito before work, knowing that when he leaves i am going to destroy his bathroom then do a face plant into those four pillows. i only half-sleep, weird dreams about bloggers i've never met. this is my new recurring dream. i no longer spew teeth into my palms, now i hang out with bloggers.
i don't drink much anymore, but still drink like a person who drinks often when i do drink. drinking, i think, is a commitment. if i'm going to do it, i should do it big and often or not at all. once a week or less means that when i do drink, the next day looks like this:
seering head pain, followed by crumpled stomach, followed by a deep thirst, followed by urinary tract pain pills -- taken preventively. skipping the ymca, feeling like i'm going to barf when i smoke, yet needing to smoke to feel better. i want food, but it may bungee back out of my body. around 10 p.m., the symptoms dull. my organs stop rejecting moisture. but i'm still craving a happy meal.
i'm never drinking again.
when chuck got home from work, he had picked up refried beans. it was like he had read my soul. helpful hint from pista: if you want a hangover helper big mac, refried beans should trick your body into feeling like you ate one, without then subjecting your health conscience to visions of a home triple bypass kit.