Monday, June 26, 2006

Ugh, Too Much Wine and Not Enough Good Sense

You know you’ve had too much to drink when you’re taking extremely close-up pictures of bugs on a stucco wall because you think the contrast looks too cool to merely make a mental note of it. It must be documented, repeatedly, but you think you’re taking nothing but out-of-focus pictures and that your camera might need repair until you realize you’re the one out of focus. The remedy is another glass of wine.

You know you’ve had too much to drink when it is two in the morning, you’re by yourself on the couch and you are overjoyed to discover that you’ve stumbled upon a “Three’s Company” marathon on Nick at Nite.

You know you’ve had too much to drink when the very thought of opening your eyes the next morning sends the chill—only a cold sweat could bring—wafting across your brow, and you begin the ritual of swearing off the liquor if only you would suddenly feel better, just 10 percent better, you bargain. No avail, the piper wants his money and you’ve got to pay.

You know you’ve had too much to drink when your mouth tastes and feels like you stuffed it with that cotton plug you find in a medicine bottle, a taste no glass of warm water on your nightstand can eradicate. Your tongue is a thick, dry, dead piece of meat awkwardly filling your mouth, and each one of your teeth have their own frequency of vibration, sending shock waves to the base of your brain, the part that condemns you, geometrically, for each glass of wine you had the night before.

The bed whirled. Black spots, big ones, swirled with the ceiling fan, and the very thought of thinking hurt my head, like a stake through my eyes. Closing them didn’t help, it was still there, and oily feeling on your face from sweat, alcohol, meat and dirt gave my whole body a slick feel, slimy like grease. Morning belches with remnants of steak and spicy sausages adds to the nausea; throwing up would always improve things, you always feel better after you throw up, but I could never allow myself to go through with it. Even though I know I’d feel better by removing, at least, some of the toxins, I fight down the stomach convulsions, as my esophagus burns. A shower would be a good idea, a great way to re-hydrate via osmosis, but the weight of my giant head was too much to hold up, so I bee-lined back to bed to try to sleep it off. I left the shower on even. I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to make it standing up much long, and it was the floor or the bed.

It didn’t take Natalie long to find me and begin to play her favorite morning “wake-up” game: Jump on daddy’s tummy. Ugh.

It always seems like a good idea, at the time, to open another bottle of wine, even though you have to clear away a forest of empty ones to make room for the fresh bottle. What is it? Who cares, it’s red and I can pour it without spilling it. Where’s it from? Who knows? Everybody have some. Here, here, here, here. Everybody got some? Great. To your health.

To your health. What an ironic statement, especially since I could feel my brain tearing away from the inside of my skull, undoubtedly shrinking from dehydration and stupidity.

Whose health was I drinking to? Certainly not mine.

I ate two steaks, large ones, about the size of my outstretched hand, more meat than any one person should eat in a single sitting I’m sure. Added to that, I devoured a sausage link; I’d say a good eight inches worth, and let’s not forget some tuna and chicken, all barbequed to perfection on the grill by yours truly. There was a pile of rice doused in thousand island dressing (don’t wrinkle your nose, it’s good), and I actually had some leafy greens in the form of a salad; funny thing, when I did, I actually diluted myself into thinking I was having a halfway healthy meal for once, instead of my usual processed horse-hooves and chicken-beaks cylinders of “meat” and mustard.

Accompanying all of that was the wine, of course, and I think there might have been five bottles involved, maybe more, and there was only three of us doing most of the imbibing, Julie, Joe and me. Carol and Kara had some, but I’m sure I took full responsibility to make sure my glass was never empty for long… and that happened about seven or eight times, maybe more. Who counts? I wasn’t driving. I had no plans later. Who keeps track when there’s always another open bottle somewhere in the house? I was over served. My own impeccable hospitality came back to bite me.

All I know, is that it has been years since I felt that poorly in the morning after a party, and the guilt of being a responsible person who can’t seem to lift his head from the pillow is a harsh thing to endure, especially since Kara had no compassion for my plight. Can’t blame her; it’s not like I was genuinely ill. I had, as she so sweetly put it several times throughout the morning, done this to myself. I was useless. The house could have burned down around me, and I’m sure there was still so much alcohol in my system that I would have gone up like a torch (as I had only stopped drinking six hours before I woke up). And I wouldn’t have cared enough to lift a finger to save my own sweaty skin.

I broke my own rules. I drank wine and wine only and a lot of wine. I didn’t offset each glass of wine with a glass of water. I didn’t take two aspirin and a big glass of orange juice right before I went to bed. I didn’t even eat a lot of bread. As a result, it was hangover goodness for breakfast, as the very thought of cold flaccid pancakes smothered in syrup sent my gag reflex reeling.

Am I the kind of person to promise “Never again!” as I’m resting my cheek on the side of the toilet praying to God to smite me from the planet, or at least sever my head from the rest of my body for detox purposes? Of course not. That’s just silly. I’m a realist, always have been. I see it like it is and I think I tell it like it is. I like a cold beer upon occasion. I enjoy wine on any occasion, and no matter how sick something makes you, you’ll be back for more if it is something you enjoy. Fettucini alfredo from Spaghetti Eddies use to make me bowel-bustingly ill each and every time I ate it, but I still ordered it every time we dined there. Glutton for punishment? No, but I felt that each time I ate it, that would be the time it wouldn’t affect me, but after 10 or 12 times of spending too much time in the bathroom in the wee hours in the morning, I decided that my GI track is allergic to something in the dish. How about the In-N-Out headaches I get from eating Double-Doubles? Certainly won’t stop me from eating them. You see what I mean.

Is there a lesson here? Nah, not a good one anyway. I guess, if abstinence is the best form of safe sex than the best way to avoid a hangover is to not drink in the first place. Well, in both cases, what’s the fun in that?

No comments:


web site tracking
Sierra Trading Post