Drunk myself unconscious Friday night. This came as something of a surprise, given that as far as I was aware of it, I had no plans for such foolishness. Heading out to a wedding that I had no real stake or interest in, slightly confused by the invite itself and a little out of sorts to be clad in a suit and a crisp pink shirt and tie, I figured a couple of beers, a few conversations, then slink off back into the night to concentrate on resting up from a tough week.
I woke Saturday feeling fresh, but something was clearly wrong. For one thing I wasn’t in bed I was on the sofa downstairs. Oh well, nothing too strange about that, stairs can be a challenge if you stay up late at night, but why was I wearing swimming trunks and a bright yellow tshirt?
Rompost’s head peered around the door. ‘Oh you’re alive then?’
I nodded, still feeling cheerful, but slightly bemused and I shut my eyes. One of those maybe if I don’t get up to face this, it will go away feelings, but no, when I opened them again I was still wearing the swimming trunks and rolling over I could clearly make out the distinctive patterning of drops of stomach contents on the floor.
I jumped up, the room spinning, legged it upstairs to the bathroom to find my suit trousers soaking in the sink, my jacket in the kitchen sink, my pink shirt in a crumpled and brown heap outside the door. What was the meaning of these harbingers of doom?
Hmm the meaning was clear. Something was awry, but what had happened. I cast my mind back, remembered the early part of the evening, sipping of pints and spouting of small talk. No food and drink hitting the empty stomach. I remembered witnessing the shared embarassment of the first dance, remembered a bit more shouting with old acquaintances about this and that, remembered having some trouble with my words, but where had that come from?
A sudden memory, Rompost returning from the bar, maniacal glee on his face proferring out the first small glass of fine single malt. A name: Glenfiddich. More memories, in the bar demanding more of this stuff from our new best friend: A chinese barman of impeccable decorum and drinks bringing ability.
Memories of chatting to a sprightly 94 year old, Lurcho’s Grandad about the joys of caravaning, the difficulties of sailing, the cruise life. Monaco, travel the wonders of a beautiful women. Were there women there? Certainly some swimming in Pink Linen, but too far past that now, barmen bring me another Glenfiddich, drinks for Crimpino and Rompost harranguing someone with a beard at the bar. “What you up to Terry Waite?” Amazingly the man likes his new moniker, we begin drinking with Terry. Lets have a drinking contest you bearded weirdo, and Waitester buys up a round of Amarettos….. Back at the bar fumbling with my pin number, struggling with 3 syllable names of drinks and paying careful attention on the stairs outside. After that nothing….
Ah, now it makes sense, spirits rinseout. The drinks I pretty much banned since Uni because of their unique ability to take away my rhyme and reason. I am a strong drinker, but not in any useful sense: I get pissed as fast as the next man, but where they fall off, somewhere around the six pint mark (if we’re being honest), I can keep going. I can drink till I don’t know who I am. Till I’m mad dog drunk, incapable of speech, incapable of movement beyond drink spilling, shouting. I can really drink. I can drink till the cows come home, but I can’t drink like Rompost, it leads to disaster.
Anyway, in the event, I think I was lucky Friday. Preliminary reports to fill my memory blanks suggest limited debris causing. No fighting with the groom or setting the curtains on fire. Instead, I slurred my way to incompetence before falling unconscious on a table a little before our cab was due to arrive. Sleeping the journey home I could not be awakened at the other end, stacking out of the taxi to bang my head on the floor and then fireman’s lifted by Rompost, by this time lost in his own world of cleavage obsession and antagonising friends. “No, no leave me on the floor out here”. This concrete drive is my new home. These snails and the cracks in the pavements are my friends and the reassuring feel of cool stone on my forehead.
Inside and Prov’s attempts to rouse me with a sustained burst of loud drum and bass were effective. At least enough to reactivate organs, which in all sense finally declared fuck this for a game of soldiers. Lets get rid of this poison. Lets deposit these finely aged spirits on our finely tailored clothes. Death or victory!
Right, so that explained things and all things considered I didn’t feel too bad. Still drunk for much of yesterday and out to buy carpet cleaner. The self service machine rattling that ‘there is an incorrect item in the bagging area’. God that hurts my brain, only answer to hit it with my right fist, throw coins at the next machine in line and storm out clutching my carpet cleaner under the arm.
Well, what conclusions can we draw from this sordid tale? Spent parts of yesterday trying to work out if there was an underlying reason for me wanting to drink myself stupid, but coming up short. Maybe there are no reasons. Maybe as Rompost suggested ‘you think too much, you drink too much, you are just a fiend!’. Hmm maybe, a lesson once again that I am not indestructible. That too much drink makes a beast of us and that self-restraint where it comes to chemicals and inebriants has never been one of my hallmarks.
But weird though, walking down to the station, the hangover kicking in and the ipod up loud enough to drown out the brain hum, I am hit with a wave of euphoria. I am still alive and what a thing that is. My hands and legs move as they are supposed to, the road moves under my feet and my plans take shape dimly upon the horizon. Things in my life are great, I have luck on my side and if I can just hold that thought for long enough, maybe I can get down to Balham rest this damn aching, bruised up head and emerge like Lazarus, a man reborn, half drunk, half-sober, who wouldn’t have it any other way, but still, my suit is most probably ruined.