Bring Your Hangover To Work Day (A Prelude)
Contemplate happy hour. You could stand to save money, having just paid rent and all, but then again… YOLO. Right? Like, whenever there’s a choice between curling up on your couch with Season 1 of LOST, cooking a balanced meal, and getting eight hours of sleep or spending money you don’t have on drinks you don’t need, all you have to do is be like YOLO! And that justifies pretty much any bad decision you feel like making. Also, a bartender friend mentioned that business would be slow all week because of The First, because everyone has just paid their rent, and you need to support your bartender friends; they are perhaps the most important friends you have. Also also, just because everyone else is laying low this week doesn’t mean you have to do the same. You’re not a f-cking sheep. And anyway, the idea that everyone you know — everyone in the neighborhood — is disabled after paying rent, living paycheck-to-paycheck, well, that’s pretty depressing. It’s depressing enough to make you drink your goddamn face off on a Thursday night. You’re going to happy hour, goddammit.
Meet a friend at a bar where not everyone knows your name, but maybe like… 66% of the people know your name. Including the bartender, say hi. After an hour, your friend becomes interested in talking food options, and you’re a little disappointed that he’s not in it for the long haul. This is problematic. This is a problem. You might have just wasted eight dollars and 240 calories. Feel a shameful amount of relief when people begin to affix themselves to your twosome. Your friend eventually strays to find nourishment, but you’re okay with it. The night is young. You are young, you think. Maybe. That’s relative and right now, insignificant. Carry on.
Stand in a circle of girls talking about Girls. Remove yourself just enough to think “I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM” in a menacing tone, one that is sort of sexy you think, decide to use this tone later on an unsuspecting sexual prospect. Tune back in just in time to hear, “How about the time I was on coke and text messaged the guy I was hooking up with literally 50 times,” and think “Yes, that is good, that is a realistic plotline, I am going to use that somehow.” Laugh too loudly.
When the group decides to move to another bar, don’t think twice. You’ve already come this far. Who cares if you have work tomorrow? What has work done for you lately? Exactly. Exactly. Work ain’t done sh-t. Work hasn’t fixed its hair or put on makeup in months, work just expects you to S its D and it never returns the favor, NEVER, even when you asked nicely and got a fresh bikini wax and all, work is a selfish and greedy lover who thinks it can buy your loyalty but guess what? It can’t. You’re over it. You’re so over it you’re accidentally under it again. F-cking work.
Become overwhelmingly hungry the second you step foot in the next bar. There are tacos here, you think, sweet sweet tacos and burritos, even. Think about the phallic nature of a burrito and if you’re in the right state of mind to sexualize one, to unwrap the tin foil with your teeth and let the guacamole stain your blushing cheeks. I am going to meet my husband this way, you think, the man I marry will appreciate me sexualizing this burrito in the back of a bar, of course he would. You’re not ready for marriage though, so you decide against the burrito. Instead, you begin to pick at an acquaintance’s taco dish, even though you just met, even though you don’t know her name, even though you’re not even sure if this is an acquaintance or a total stranger. You eat a radish. You eat a strand of lettuce. You eat a piece of chicken that got separated from the taco. This will do. This will do just fine.
Run into a friend you haven’t seen in months and when he offers to buy you a shot, accept. “I’m just having the best day ever,” he says. Ah. Paying it forward. Paying it forward like Kevin Spacey. Paying it forward like Haley Joel Osment. Exclaim how much you have to catch up on but then spend most of the conversation talking about your respective love lives. Decide to get food together before realizing it’s now, quite suddenly, 3 AM. Part ways and head to a 24-hour deli, where there are Jamaican beef patties. Order two Jamaican beef patties. “Oooh, those are spicy!” some strange lady says. Strange lady, don’t you know better than to comment on a drunk person’s 3 AM shamefood? You are spicy, strange lady. You are the spiciest.
Walk to the counter to pay for the Jamaican beef patties and get distracted by Gushers. You have to buy the Gushers now, you can’t acknowledge them and then not buy them; they are like pound puppies, these Gushers are. And wait, are those powdered donuts? You haven’t ate a pack of those since like, well… maybe since the last time you were drunk in a deli. Buy them. And the Gushers. And the Jamaican beef patties. “Don’t you want to give me something for free?” ask the man behind the counter. “Why would I want to do that?” the man says. “I don’t know… I don’t know.” That was a stupid question. You are a stupid person with stupid work tomorrow asking stupid questions. It’s time to call it a night.
Make your way home wishing something were happening, that you were walking with someone you like or that the sun were coming up or that you weren’t about to crawl into bed with a twinset of Jamaican beef patties. Wish it were Saturday.
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I’ll rest there for as long as you’ll let me, for as long as I can.
Ask yourself, “What am I doing TODAY?”
I screw up with relationships and I mess up at work. I get angry and say things I don’t mean to my friends or people I love.
Understand that it’s not easy to hear how someone you love very much is dissatisfied with you.