Sunlight can be so evil. And birds. For the love of God, stop chirping. I open my eyes and immediately that familiar dull thud kicks in. My head feels like it’s going to explode and, to be honest, I would welcome that relief. I fumble for my phone – 9.43am. I wish I could swallow but my throat is so dry it feels like I have been gargling sand. Did I smoke a cigarette last night? I smell my shirt, it stinks of garlic but not cigarette smoke. I must have been snoring like a wild beast. I really need to pee. I muster up the strength to get out of bed and struggle my way to the toilet. The experience is less than pleasant – I think I’m a little less hydrated than Burke and Wills.
I go back to bed. Two hours later I’m awoken abruptly by the sound of my phone vibrating on the bedside table. It’s my wife. Uh oh. “How are you feeling this morning?” she asks sarcastically, knowing full well that I’m going to be feeling absolutely horrible. I give her the answer she was probably expecting – “like I’m recovering from my own autopsy”.
The play-by-play isn’t pretty. She tells me it was 4:30am when I arrived home and the only reason I stopped singing “Run to Paradise” at the top of my lungs was to vomit heartily in the driveway. Apparently I wasn’t happy with that effort because I was only halfway through my kebab, by ‘halfway’ what I mean is that half was in the kebab, the other half was on my shirt. My only comment before passing out in the bed next to her was “you should see the ‘pavement pizza’ out the front, looks delicious”.
She tells me I’m a silly boy and that I’ll “learn one day”. She hangs up the phone and I’m hit with a wave of guilt. Her alarm went off at 6am and I didn’t even flinch. She could have paraded up the hallway with a marching band and I wouldn’t have woken up. On the other hand, I turn up at 4:30am serenading the neighbourhood with The Choirboys, I spewed all over the driveway before I jumped into bed fully-clothed with a half-eaten kebab and proceeded to snore the house down. I’m a selfish jerk.
I text my mate John who was out with me – “How’d you pull up mate?” There’s two reasons I send this text: I secretly hope he’s in as much pain as I am and I’m hoping he doesn’t tell me any more stories about my performance last night. Ding! I’m in the clear – I didn’t offend anyone. The fact that I can’t really remember worries me.
I gingerly open my wallet to assess the damage. A single moth flies out and flutters away clutching the last $5 note I had left. This doesn’t happen in reality – but it might as well have. I had $300 in my wallet when I went out for a “few quiet beers” and all I have left is $20 in assorted coins of silver denominations. If my wife asks, I spent $100. I know she’d be disappointed if she knew how much I’d really wasted. We could have had a nice dinner, seen a show and had a coffee – actually grown our relationship. She’d have looked at me as if I was the best husband in the world. I certainly don’t feel like it at the moment.
My stomach churns. I contemplate another visit to the bathroom. Nothing cures a hangover like three or four good poos and I’m only up to number two. I sit down and wonder why I do it. The whole weekend is completely ruined, I’m feeling too sick and sorry to move off the couch. As Lloyd Christmas from Dumb & Dumber would say “Man, you are one pathetic loser”. I’d have to agree.
A few days pass, its Wednesday evening. I get a text from an old friend who wants a catch up on Friday night, for ‘one or two quiet’ ones. I think we know how this ends. If this story wasn’t so depressing, I’d laugh.
Challenge participant Matt has signed up for the Weekender Challenge in an attempt to apologise to his wife and neighbours for his awful rendition of ‘Run to Paradise’.