Today’s Drinking Story:
Here we find Matthew Revert destroying VHSs with his hands and destroying perfectly good trousers with his drunkenness.
Sometimes we lose control of everything. Sometimes we’re not even aware that it’s happened – we’re just left to rot in the aftermath. How is it possible that, during the course of one fitful, inebriated sleep, I could lose control of every bodily function in my arsenal? At what point did the vomit escape? What about the piss, and the shit? How could the alcohol overwhelm my body to such an extent that my most primal safeguards were usurped?
I wish I remembered the night before in detail, but all I have are snapshots, exaggerated with the passage of time. My friend and I were dining with his family in the city, eating cuisine from a country I hadn’t even heard of. I remember navigating a menu, trying to avoid the spicier items, knowing my weak English body would be unable to handle it. A waitress, with an accent so thick it ceased resembling any language, was trying to help me steer clear of the more dangerous items on the menu. This is where the intake of beer began. That snapshot ends and is immediately replaced with another.
My friend’s parents are staying in a hotel in the city. My friend and I are in their room watching ‘Inspector Rex’, a show about a crime fighting dog. We have access to cheap white wine which, thanks to the spicy nature of my dinner, I can’t taste. Outwardly I mock the crime fighting dog, but inwardly I’m impressed. </snapshot>
My friend and I are intent on making our way to my house, which resides in the suburbs. We find an open bottle shop and buy spirits. I remember I choose vodka and eye the bottle like it’s a girl willing to let me touch her breasts. The tram bumps and rattles us to the suburbs where, without the scrutiny of my friend’s parents, we can indulge in as much drinking as we see fit. </snapshot>
A short walk from the tram station to my home feels like a long walk. People in the distance look like dangerous shadows that we attempt to avoid. The alcohol we’ve already consumed has started to wear off and the vodka in my hand feels warm. One of us, I can’t remember who, farts and we smell a befouled version of our exotic dinner. We speed our walk to escape our heinous creation. </snapshot>
I’m mixing half a glass of vodka with half a glass of raspberry soft drink. I’ve just purchased a new Casio keyboard, which sits majestically upon a stand I got for a measly $5 with purchase. My friend and I take turns serenading the other with cacophonous sound performed over inbuilt beats. We force ourselves to enjoy each other’s performance. Our respective bottles of alcohol decrease in volume at a healthy rate. </snapshot>
The DVD revolution has just hit and, in my drunkenness, my collection of VHS tapes embarrasses me. I stand before them, ready to condemn their inferiority. My friend listens as I berate them and then joins in as I start to break them. I crack into my copy of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, flexing it over my knee until the case begins to break – my friend performs a similar task with a copy of ‘Desperate Living’. We extract the spools of worthless magnetic tape and hurl them around the room, and then at each other. Each time I’m struck with a spool it stings, but it manifests as laughter. </snapshot>
My friend is beginning to fade. He sits slumped in an armchair next to mine, drifting in and out of consciousness. I feel triumphant, as though I’ve won some nameless competition between the two of us. Darkthrone’s ‘Plagueweilder’ plays on repeat and I pour myself another wobbly glass, mostly vodka with just a hint of red soft drink to give it colour. </snapshot>
My friend has passed out and I cling to the very edge of consciousness. ‘Plagueweilder’ sounds like an indistinct Norwegian buzz. My bottle of vodka sits on the coffee table before me, nearly empty, taunting me. I begin to taunt it back. The argument intensifies until we’re screaming at each other. I’m not sure who won. </snapshot>
It’s the vomit I notice first. The soft drink has dyed it red and it sits on my pillow in a chunky, fetid mountain of acidic stench. When I comprehend what it is, I begin to wretch. My head is hosting a grudge match, the participants of which fall against my skull. As I writhe, I feel the muck down below. I creep my hand downward and feel warm slime that makes my body shudder. I slowly bring my hand back and, upon seeing the filth it is now caked in, cannot escape the fact that I’ve shit myself. My heart sinks. I feel for my crotch, which is so wet that I’ve most likely pissed myself too. I ball up fetal and tremble in shock. My desire to fade away fights with my desire to escape my own filth. I peel my sodden clothes of and dry heave my way naked to the bathroom where I lay in a ball beneath the shower, trying not to cry.