Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hangovers

Status Update: No worries here on the bean front. Story is...fully outlined and ready to go...but I haven't actually started writing it yet. It's only 1000 words, being another Wendig flash fiction thing, but the spare time during a period in which I am actually awake and capable of imbibing coffee and not at work has been limited. Such is life.

I'm running late on it this week (the challenge's deadline is tomorrow, noon, so yes, that is late) because of Memorial Day weekend, two 450 mile drives and a couple of poorly-timed hangovers. Definitely one of those weekends you need a weekend afterwards to recover from.

I have a love-hate relationship with hangovers.

Wait, what?

How in the hell can anybody like hangovers? They're terrible! You wake up, you feel like the carpeting of a 70's back alley porno shop, you mope around all day, no energy, sick, exhausted, headaches, nauseated and generally lacking any of the sort of zim and zest for life you normally display. You feel low.

But I like it because it is all. Your. Fault.

Every single bad hangover I've ever had comes with an extra layer of shame and guilt. It's not like getting the flu, which you can always blame on the toilet seat at the last Wendy's you visited or the fountain at the gym, or your coworker Carl who insists on coming in even when he's barely coherent and able to stand (damn you, Carl!). No, hangovers are entirely your fault. And the entire time you wake up with one, at one level or another you know it.

Stay with me here.

Normally, I lack a certain amount of objectivity in my life. Basically, I'm an egomaniac. I think everything I'm doing is awesome, all the time. When I sharpen a pencil, that damn pencil is the best damn pencil in the world. I go for a walk, I take ALL THE WALKS. It's great being me.

A well-timed hangover pops that bubble.

It's like having a Jewish grandmother installed in the back of your head who disapproves of your life. Instant perspective. You wake up feeling like hell, knowing it's all your fault and some of the shame and guilt carries over into everything you do that day. The little old lady in the back of your head looks over your shoulder with everything you do and Judges.

"What are you doing this for? Do you enjoy pointless work? You're getting fat. You drink too much. Why do you hang out with THESE losers? You just watched an entire hour of television, you could be writing or out walking!"

She's a pain in the ass, basically, but she's objective. And a change in perspective is one of the most useful tools you can have. I've never had any positive life changes or Great Ideas happen as a result of being drunk, but I've had a ton of positive hangover-related ideas. It's like going through your normal day with crap-colored glasses. The things in life that could be better are immediately apparent.

My new writing habit is hangover-related, for example.

Having said that, I avoid them whenever possible and put a lot of thought into moderate drinking. Hangovers kinda suck and I tend to get them out of all proportion to any drinking I do. Booze really isn't my friend these days. Except when it is.

Probably the last week of the flash fiction for awhile. I'm spoiling to get back to some actual writing.

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