An Argument for Staying Drunk

"The Hangover" (Portrait of Suzanne ...

“The Hangover” (Portrait of Suzanne Valadon) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Which joy-killing bastard invented hangovers?

Drinking is one of my favourite pastimes, one of life’s great pleasures, yet for some reason I am punished for it, horribly, the morning after.

Actually, I rarely suffer from them anymore (presumably my body has acclimatised to its post-spousal-death increased alcoholic intake), but today I genuinely considered asking the emergency services to come and administer something to make it all stop.

The usual alcohol-induced physiological atrocities were present, but I found that in addition to the sweating, the loose bowel and the retching, I was gripped with terror about the fate of my husband. In my paranoid, palpitating state, the fact that He was no longer alive seemed even more absurd, more obscene, more unbearable. I had to repeat the mantra, ‘M is dead’ in my head in order to believe that it had really happened.

I lay on the sofa while Saint Dick van Dyke entertained my daughter (by virtue of appearing in one of the longest, most convoluted children’s films of all time, he provided me with an extra three hours in which to get my shit together), but I could neither close my eyes nor keep them open, so I held them at a squint whilst I contemplated the fact that He had really gone.

M was the type of person you wanted around on a hangover. He took no pleasure in making smug jibes if I’d over-imbibed. Instead, He’d make me a bacon butty, give me a paracetamol and rub my feet.

Alcohol anesthetises against the sharper jags of grief, but lack of it the next morning brings reality into starker relief.

Abstention is not currently an option. Perhaps the answer is to stay drunk…