There are not many physical activities that I am good at or would ever care to be. I grew up poor to a busy single mother, so extracurricular sports were quickly replaced with browsing Godless sites on the Internet; I applied makeup well enough to trick my way into the beds of many men and out of ever having to learn a trade for a manual labor job; I can change a flat tire and occasionally, fill up a decent page of words. Unemployed and left with all the time in the world to pick up a new, potentially salubrious hobby, I chose to spend my days perfecting my already favorite past-times: smoking, reading, writing, and drinking. I can blow through two books and one pack a day, and I’m a fuckin’ fantastic drinker, in all catagories: neatness, personality, tolerance, style, poise, and taste!
(“Taste” does not imply that I have the flavor palette of a beverage virtuoso, but that there is nothing I will not chug; no alcohol is beneath me. Put me in wherever you need me, coach — I am here for the team!)
That is not to say that the past year of vigorously training my guts to withstand even the greatest of floods has been an easy task. Not every man is cut out for this, and I have seen many fall, physically and metaphorically, as they doggedly try to prove that they can outdrink any motherfucker…. that motherfucker even occasionally being me. Beer and wine now bore me like basic college courses to an adolescent genius; I have abrogated mixers or chasers as an unnecessary step encouraged for amateurs only to familiarize themselves with the rules and rigor of a game that I’ve been playing for years; I am no longer a cheap date when it comes to quantity, just quality, which rarely balance eachother out; I often feel like my insides are on fire, like a dragon if you removed its folklore whimsy and vital defense for survival and replaced them with whiskey breath and the worst personality traits you can find in a human.
My point is: I can drink a lot, so it is rare that I drink too much. If you have read my first book about how many vaginal infections I have had and spread around my beautiful state of Virginia, then you know I am no stranger to humility, so allow me to humbly admit that I finally drank enough to strike fear of mortality in my heart!
One famous male author (that probably did not deserve to be deified as he was) had once said, “Write drunk, edit sober.” I don’t do that, but if I am ever abandoned by my responsible supervision and free to devolve into the barbarian that’s been lurking inside of me since the day I arrived on this earth, my schedule may switch. For now, I write during the day and I read at night, while drinking steadily, but casually. If I get wasted too quickly, I’ll close my book, too distracted by the idea of scrubbing my refridgetaror, finger fucking myself, or finally responding to an ex that I had succeeded in ignoring for three days. (There are occasional happy accidents where the drink gets me riled up about a topic enough to spew out an animated rant until I end up wondering if I am doing my career a great disservice by not treating my readers to a paragraph per shot, but I hate to break my routine — it’s all I have left.)
This fateful night, a friend came over. Free of any personal obligations, I put on my best court jester outfit, took far too many shots of rum, and entertained, baby! I outdid myself, truly: My esophagus was so swollen, chafed and inflamed that I felt like I was born backwards, consuming food through my pussy, and finally lost my virginity to a shockingly well-endowed high-school boy through my mouth. I barfed in that aggressive and pitiful style where you’re coughing, choking, swaying, unable to catch your breath, and feel like you should grab a flashlight to check that you didn’t lose a vital organ or two in the heaving, but don’t because you’ll know you see streaks of blood and there’s little relief to garner from that.
I woke up feeling like I gave a show-stopping performance for an audience of one, threw up in that way as my special encore, and forgot to pick up my check before stumbling out of the venue. Assuming I just needed to eat something to cut the blood, bile, and remaining rum cocktail sloshing around in my stomach, I started making breakfast.
As I stirred my eggs, I watched a video of four toddlers, brainwashed by their demented parents into chanting “TRUMP 2020!” because they were not cute enough to exploit on the Internet for any better cause. Suddenly, there were trails and blips in my vision, like damaged film shown through a projector. I wondered if I had looked at a bright light for too long, but these were not black spots; the disruptions were sinewy and flickered as if I were staring dreamily into a ceiling fan as it cut through a ray of light; they were shaped like the mucusy traces of blood in my vomit. My food was done and I glided to the couch, dizzy and numb while also uncomfortably aware of how heavy my skull was.
“You simply stared at the delusional robot children for too long, Rose. That video was psychological warfare. It was programmed to give Trump’s enemies this exact negative reaction. You must overcome it. That is the only way to defeat them,” I said to myself, and looked down at the blurred flash that was my bowl of food and felt as if my head was going to roll off my shoulders. “…Or at least, you need to eat your eggs.”
I shoved a bite in my mouth, realized immediately that chewing was out of the question, and swallowed it whole. Thinking, “Just get it down and you’ll feel better,” I mistakenly forked a huge chunk that stayed in my cheek like a chipmunk for the next thirty minutes.
My heart started racing as my vision continued to flicker, still a marbled swirl of a mess, and I grabbed my phone, panicking. My home screen like when you try to check your phone while on halucinogens: an alien telecommunication device that they use to control the direction of anal probes, extirpate entire galaxies of enemies with the press of a single button, and keep in touch with their homies and distant relatives on social media. Assuming I was having a stroke instead of an acid flashback, I managed to type, “Am I having a stroke?” into Google.
Out of all the idiotic blunders I had made that led me to this very moment, that was the worst: It was unlikely that I was having a stroke, but now, I was definitely having a panic attack. I breathed deeply as I tried to calm down, going back and forth on whether I should disturb my mother, who was out grocery shopping, and after around half an hour of this, my vision settled and I was finally able to spit out the soggy clump of eggs that I had ground down to near dust. I stood up and took a step towards my cigarettes without fainting.
(If I was having a stroke, then I would be spending the next week in a smoke-free hospital and the rest of my life lopsided and slurring and drowning in medical bills, and that’s if I was lucky, so I was absolutely going to enjoy a cigarette on my back porch before my life went to shit.)
After making it outside and downing about three puffs, I had a feeling that I was probably going to be okay.
….It was just a migraine, of course! My very first, so I did not recognize the signs, of course. It was brought on by severe dehydration, of course. Drinking heavily has pernicious side effects that surprise your body, whose overall health and vitality I have blissfully taken advantage of for 26 years, with unfamiliar ailments that mimic symptoms of catastrophic medical emergencies, of course. I laid in bed after dinner, stared at the ceiling where I thankfully do not have a fan, and said, “Well, Rose. Look! All that fuss and you’re not even dead!” but probably haven’t seen the light, of course. I had an entirely sober day to convalesce and celebrated my accomplishment by taking one shot before bed, of course. The migraine was brought on by my own detrimental folly and not that of those demonic republican children and their abominable parents, of course, so it would be unnecessarily acrimonious for me to put a curse on their bloodline under the full moon this Halloween, though it would keep me sober for the night; you can’t drink and do witchcraft at the same time, of course…