Hangover # 1: Trick or Treat!
The first time I ever vomited from drinking also happens to be my most traumatizing experience with booze ever. It took place on Halloween night in 2006 when I was a sophomore in college. I had gone to a costume party dressed as Andy Warhol (I had already lost my wig in the above pic) where I proceeded to get completely college-wasted off of a magnum sized bottle of wine and six jello shots. Things initially felt fine and after awhile my friends and I had decided to get a ride with someone to another party. To this day, I can’t remember the name of the girl who drove us, which is unfortunate because after ten minutes of us driving, I began to vomit all over the interior of her car. Being a near stranger, she started to get really pissed and scream, “OMFG, MY CAR! MY CAR IS RUINED!” She quickly pulled over to let me vomit on the side of the road like a respectable drunk person but when I tried to get out of her car, I face planted myself on the sidewalk, curling up to the asphalt like it was a pillow stuffed with goose feathers. Two of my friends were with me at the time but they were positively useless. Also wasted, they were getting anxious because they were late to meet their coke dealer at the second party. My getting sick really put a crimp in their plans for the rest of night, which presumably involved doing tons of yay at a house party and having pointless conversations about social constructs. Since I physically couldn’t move, everyone just stood around me and talked in circles: “So like what do we do? I told EZ Jeff that we would meet him in ten and he has the coke! Like we can’t have him wait. He’ll leave!” Luckily for them and totally unfortunate for me, a police officer happened to be walking by and asked if I needed help. Seeing lines of blow and coke breath in their future, my friends were quick to be like, “Um, yes! He’s really sick. Maybe he has alcohol poisoning? Take him away!” Within minutes, an ambulance arrived to take me to the nearest hospital. Confused and still puking, I remember trying to make out the words, “Stop. Just drive me home and feed me water! Don’t take me to the hospital! That’s so expensive!” Alas, my pleas fell on a desperate cokehead’s ears. They needed drugs and this was the perfect way to get rid of me. The rest of the night was really hazy but when I woke up the next morning, I was stunned to actually find myself in the hospital with an IV in my arm. Since I had never puked from drinking before, I assumed that I had alcohol poisoning and actually thanked my friends at first for getting me medical attention. It was only years later after a handful of puking experiences that I realized I was just wasted that night and needed to sleep in a pool of my own vomit on my bedroom floor like everyone else.
It pains me to say that my saga didn’t end there. After the hospital sent me home in a pair of size 38 pants (I had vomited through my jeans and underwear) and a safari shirt, I found myself still wasted and wandering around my apartment complex aimlessly. When I finally reached my door, I was too drunk to put the keys in my door so I started banging to get my roommate to open up. She didn’t hear me though so I decided to just pass out in front of my door with my size 38 pants down around my ankles. Naked from the waist down in the hallway, my roommate finally woke up and found me. I spent the rest of the day puking and calling everyone I knew to tell them that I had had alcohol poisoning and spent the night in the hospital, which actually sounded pretty cool to most 19-year-olds. Looking back though, I feel major rage towards my coke-y friends for pawning me off to the hospital so they could get high. Oh, and it took five years but I finally received a bill for the ambulance ride. It was $700. By my estimate, that’s about five eight balls of blow.
Hangover # 2: Taxicab Confessions
I moved to New York City when I was 21 years old, which basically meant that I spent most of my first year here completely wasted. The first group of friends I had made were heavy drinkers and I would try desperately to keep up with their alcohol intake. I never could though. My body would just give up and end up passing out at two thirty in the morning while they’d be raging literally around my body until six. It had been two years since my Halloween hospital experience and I hadn’t puked since, which made me foolishly believe that I would never vomit again. One night I really pushed things to the limit though by drinking a bottle of wine and four margaritas at El Sombrero—a Mexican dive restaurant in the Lower East Side that serves hallucinatory drinks. Sensing that I was heading down a dark path, I decided to leave my friends and take a cab home. With visions of baked ziti and drunk Facebooking dancing in my head, I got into a cab headed towards my place, which by the way, was only a fifteen minute walk away. The motion of being in a car, however, immediately made me feel nauseous and I ended up vomiting inside the cab. The driver immediately freaked out and pulled over, making me give him all the cash I had for “repairs.” I then ran home to my bed, where I ended up spending the next 36 hours of my life in. I literally couldn’t move the next day. I vomited until 7 pm and didn’t eat until a few hours later. I remember calling my friend with tears in my eyes being like, “Does it ever get better?!” To this day, that is the worst hangover I’ve ever had. I didn’t exactly learn my lesson though. I spent the majority of that year vomiting from alcohol. It was only when I turned 22 that I realized how much I could actually drink. Now, like a real adult, I only vomit once a year and it’s usually on my birthday.
Hangover # 3: Midtown Meltdown
This last one was caused by a drug hangover. No alcohol was actually consumed, which makes it super #dark. My best friend from California was in town and staying in a hotel in Midtown. Since I was living in the dorms at the time, I was stoked to get away from the smell of Kraft macaroni and cheese and fluorescent lighting for a few days and get fancy things like room service and watch movies. The whole weekend managed to be relatively PG until the last night in which we raged with a capital R. Being 21 at the time, I was really into trying new things and being generally insane. After a hard night of partying, however, I woke up the next morning crippled with the most intense nausea I’ve ever had in my life. I spent the whole morning on the bathroom floor until my friend suggested that I eat something so we ordered room service and I crawled back into bed. A few minutes later, the room service dude arrived and placed the trays on the bed. Immediately after seeing my meal of scrambled eggs, I threw up all over it Exorcist-style. The guy looked horrified, asked if I was okay and ran out of the room. I spent the rest of the day vomiting, sleeping, vomiting, watching Real World and vomiting. I stopped trying new things after that.
Retelling these stories, I feel super embarrassed about my behavior but it also makes me aware of the progress I’ve made as a human being. All of my worst alcohol and drug experiences occurred between the ages of 18 to 21, which is when they should happen. Looking back, I can’t believe some of the things I did but that’s okay because these incidents should horrify me. If I didn’t feel far removed from it, I think I would be having a serious problem. Growing up doesn’t happen overnight and I’m sure I’ll vomit again at some point but at least I won’t end up in a hospital and think of it as a cool experience. Wow. Progress!