This entry initially started as an experiment, I was going to write it only while in the throes of a hangover but that quickly came to halt, mostly because this would have been limited to constant repetitions of “Oh Christ”, “GodohGodohGod”, “Kill me”, “Shite”, and the occasional mashing of the keyboard “AKSHDZLKVHWEOLKSZXLXL.;XV”.
Coffee is a way of stealing time from your future self. Alcohol then, allows you to steal happiness and joy from the future you. The laws of the universe state that for every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction. It’s a double-edged sword.
I shouldn’t hesitate to add that I am not an expert on the subject, merely a gifted amateur. I’ve experienced hangovers on three continents, in more than a dozen countries. They’re vile aren’t they? Nothing bates the wakeup the next morning. You wake up, eyes flutter as you slowly come to, the brain fires up and then THUMP. It hits you with the subtlety of a hammer.
Of course they come in all shapes and sizes. Your stomach can churn incessantly, meaning you’re under constant threat of legging it to the jacks to grab onto the toilet. Your head will generally appear to have a pulse of its own and throb painfully with every breath.
The world appears to be a darker one while you’re hungover. Part of me wonders if it actually represents an advanced stage of sobriety, that it shows the world for what it really is, stripped of all those pleasant clouds of optimism that murk our vision. It’s a dystopian vision like They Live or Equilibrium. Almost like being taken out of the Matrix. Everyone and everything seems out to get you.
Simple tasks are magnified into Herculean feats, stumbling to the shop or cooking requires immense willpower. And God help you if you’re expected to function in normal society. You’re out of sync with normal society, the more you try to conceal yourself, the more obvious you are. Paranoia has you eyeing passing cars with suspicion, just in case they’re getting ready to mow you down. You stare back at the cashier and your stomach will clench She knows. Just walking on the street or going to work can make you feel like you’re living in an Orwellian nightmare, expecting at any moment to be snatched by secret police.
That’s what really gets me with a hangover. I can handle the nausea, the headaches, the fatigue, but the sheer sense of existential dread and terror of the outside. Those who say alcohol isn’t a depressant, I recommend this weekend you start off with a couple of shots, follow it with some pints and maybe a glass of wine or two. Repeat for another 2-3 days, I guarantee you’ll feel shook for the week. The older I get, the more I dread going out. They do get worse as they get older.
Not that I’m saying a pint with your friends is bad, this post is just about the hell of a hangover, which if you drink sensibly, won’t be an issue!
Perhaps the most interesting part of the depths of a hangover is the religious fervour it can instill. I’ve seen committed atheists, agnostics, and pagans, all declare aloud their faith and like a suffering penitent, beg for salvation. Kneeling before the toilet is generally accompanied by heartfelt pleas and desperate prayer.You’ll renounce all association with the demon drink if only solace is granted now.
If there is one saving grace about the hangover, it’s that there is no cure. I’ve tried numerous concoctions, remedies, prayers, and methods. The only one that works is time. Which is just as well, the deterrent is there. I know for me it’s meant less “Grab one before the bar shuts!” and more “Feck it, I’m going home”.
P.S. I had initially considered adding pictorial evidence of the effects of a hangover but in the end decided not to, this is meant to be a light-hearted post, not a horror story!