Sunday, December 28, 2008


Something just wasn't right. But not in the 'walked on the clean floor with muddy boots, forgot to feed the dog, reused a theatre ticket, misplaced my truck keys' kind of way. No. Worse than any of that. This was more of a 'surfed porn on my boss's computer, hit a parked car and left the scene, stole from the tip jar, slept with my best friend's wife' kind of wrongness. A strange overwhelming desire to apologise. To someone. Anyone. Just as soon as I could figure out who it was I had wronged – and what it was that I had done exactly.

To say my head hurt would have been a gross understatement of the facts. Due to the tens of thousands of years that mankind has been treating his taste buds to all manner of fermented bevvies, all of the good comparisons have been used and reused. Head in a vice. Hammer to the head. Hit by a car. A bus. A Tractor trailer. Throbbing, pulsating, pain. If I were a cartoon character, the artist would depict me with saggy, baggy, bloodshot eyes, tousled hair, and little bubbles floating around my head. 


Looking in the mirror in my en-suite, I'd be damned if the cartoonists didn't have it right.

I took some acetaminophen with a gulp of cold water, hoping I'd have to the strength of stomach to keep the pills down. Next, I rattled some ibuprofen out of the plastic container and down my raw throat just in case the first pills didn't work. Tried to drink as much of the water as I could. Emptied my bladder, my bowels, and tried to do the same with my mind before heading back to bed with plans of staying there until the late afternoon.


Something wasn't right. Something. Sweating beneath the covers, head pounding, stomach churning, I could not shake the feeling that I had somehow screwed something up. I fumbled around in the dark, searching for my mobile on the night stand, and scrolled through my address book, squinting at the too-bright screen.

“Seth, dude, how're things?” I croaked.

“You sound like shit, man.”

“I feel worse. How're you feeling?”

“My mouth tastes like I've been chewing on decaying dog rectums.”

“That's bad,” I said, swallowing back some bile. “Hey, so, some night last night, hey?”

“Meh,” Seth sighed. “It was all right. You were pretty loaded, though, eh?”

My stomach was knotting up so bad. Chest tightening. What did he know?

“Oh yeah? I didn't feel too bad,” I lied. “Felt pretty sober most of the night, actually.”


“Yeah, me too. Taking it kind of easy, I guess.”

I was breathing a little easier. Surely if I had done something horribly stupid, he'd have brought it up straight away. But, I had to go for it.

“Hey, Seth, was I being an asshole last night or anything? Did I do anything stupid that you know of?”


“Uh, nope, I don't think so.”

I sighed. Sweet relief.

“Man,” he said, “even after Cara showed up, you were fine. Shit, you two were even getting along for once.”

Cara. Oh my god.

“Not sure what happened to her, though,” Seth continued. “Kind of disappeared a little before we took off.”

Oh. My. God. Cara.

Down the hall, in the main bathroom, someone turned the shower on, as memories trickled back to my alcohol riddled brain. Wandering hands and sly smiles. Compliments and reminiscences. Cara. My ex. Oh man. I could smell her, then. In my room. In my bed. I leant over, almost cautiously, and pressed my nose into the pillow beside me. Sandalwood. Patchouli. Cara. I smelt a big, big mistake.

And I owed myself one major apology.

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