I did everything I set out to do last night. No more. No less. I laughed with my girlfriends, danced, talked to strangers, flirted. I did what I was built to do, unobstructed.
This morning, perched somewhere between asleep and awake, my thoughts were pressured. It was my own voice in my head, talking loud and fast, explaining, making frantic excuses, trying to smooth things out. A wave of heat and nausea washed over me. My eyes still closed, I threw back the covers and peeled off my t-shirt. I breathed in through my nose and out through my mouth.
The dialogue involuntarily resumed. It had to be slowed, like breathing into a paper bag. The room spun with unearned regret and I did the only thing I could do. I took it on. I focused all of my energy on clearing the clutter. I talked myself down.
"The only price you need to pay," I told myself, "is the hangover. Let's face it, you drank enough to know you're going to feel it in the morning. That's all. Ignore all of the rest."
I tried to get up at 8:30 AM but I was hit by another wave of nausea. The sound of the dripping faucet in the kitchen was torture. It took all I had to get off the couch to tighten the tap. I made it, but instead of returning to the couch I went straight for my bed. I drifted from dream to dream. I dreamt of a long ordinary telephone conversation with my brothers, I drove on a highway through treacherous snow drifts and ice, trying to stay alive.
I meandered between extremes. I didn't pay the quick $50. I stayed in bed until I awoke to a quiet Sunday afternoon.