Posted by jdg | Thursday, January 03, 2008

I am still trying to figure out what is wrong with me this year. Apparently I thought my body was in the kind of shape that a mere three hours of sleep on the floor of my friend's house could be remedied by chugging a warm can of Trader Joe's triple espresso mocha and then handwashing all three-thousand dishes left over from the NYE party that lasted until five in the morning. I should have known something was wrong with me when I started doing dishes. Such benevolence is not at all in my character.

The sound of rattling glassware roused several of my friends who'd also been sleeping on the floor, and when they came sleepyeyed to the kitchen they viewed my dishwashing with warranted suspicion, asking me point blank if I was gathering the empties just to lay claim to their return value. "I think something was wrong with that champagne," one guy said and then disappeared. He'd spent the morning sleeping on the staircase, vomiting in the upstairs bathroom. An hour later, after someone's girlfriend started cooking collard greens in a giant stewpot, and the viridian fog started to crawl out of the pot and rub its muzzle on the window-panes, lingering in sour condensation on the window-panes, I finally fled out the back door and heaved rat-colored vomit into fresh snowfall, the kind of morningsnow you dream about as a kid, all wet and clinging effortlessly to the branches. Who cooks collard greens at ten in the morning? Why do they smell like Oscar the Grouch's armpits? What the hell is wrong with my brain?

I'd like to pretend that soliloquy continued for some time, but I think I then shoved my head into a snowbank and spent the next two hours trying really hard to string more than three words together. I've had bad hangovers before, but they were always when I was in decent drinking shape. I have hardly had a beer since Wood got pregnant. Suddenly my entire body was rising up in an effort to secede from my head. My skull was filled with collard greens stewing in sulphuric acid.

On the way home that afternoon, I puked again in a rest stop parking lot right in front of a grandma wearing a Christmas sweater. Thinking I could bring some dignity to a situation where it was markedly absent, I told her the truth, "I don't know what's wrong with me. I only had five beers the whole night."

"Wuss," she said, and stepped over my puke to climb back into her Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight.