April 13th, 2005

my idol

A case of the morning afters, the night before.

I've been forced to confront something about myself.

I love hang over stories. I love hang over stories so much that I will read them in virtually any fandom I know anything about, and several I don't, really. I love hang over stories so much that I am predisposed to forgive poor writing, in order to read about the hang over.

There's something about the sheepish, irritated, mildly amused hilarity of your basic run of the mill 'I've been having a good time, and now must pay' hang over that I find basically irresistable.

It may be because when I'm hung over, it's as though my world starts out tiny, and I have to make very conscious efforts to enlarge it as my day goes on. Like, okay. I wake up, and I'll wake up with one semi-coherent thought such as, "There is something sticky on my hand." or "Why am I lying half on and half off my bed?" or "There's a bra on my face. Is it mine?" That thought will be what pulls my eye-lids open, as though they had been welded together and the thought is some kind of -- I don't know. Industrial sized tweezer.

That metaphor got away from me.

But the point is, when you're hung over, you wake up, and with every breath, you have to re-assimilate yourself back into the world. And the funny thing is that you can remember a time when the world wasn't a strange and harsh place filled with loud noises and bright colors and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, like the five steps to the bathroom, and squeezing toothpaste out of a tube.

Hang overs are about getting back to basics. Like, you know, lying on your back in a darkned room and drinking water until you start to feel less and less like a reptile birthed in a pool of Everclear and more like somebody who can manage at least to stand underneath the shower and think vaguely in the direction of shampoo even if not apply it to your hair.

I'm not saying that I like to have hang overs or anything. Dear GOD no. I will be the first to admit that I am not one to suffer silently for the most part. And when I'm hung over, it's as though I've become the bottom of a taxi cab in New Orleans after Mardi Gras. But, there's always a certain Hunter S. Thompson quality to the world when I'm hung over, as though I've gotten caught on a mary-go-round at the Circus Circus as penance for my sins against the color mauve or something. Not that I have any mind you, but these are the things I find myself thinking when hung over.

There are the Bad Hang Overs, too, of course. The ones where you were drinking the night before specifically because you were in a place of misery akin to dental surgery without anasthesia just of the emotional type. When you wake up with one of those hang overs, the pounding in your head has nothing on the continued anger/whatever it was that drove you to get your drink on.

I like to read about both. Naturally, the first kind -- the Hunter S. Thompson sheepish insanity kind -- is the more entertaining, but the other can be fun, too. Somehow, I like to read about hang overs more than I do being drunk (though the drunk scene in David Copperfield is awesome).

But I don't know -- being drunk is harder to write. It's really difficult to put drunk logic to the page, to somehow duplicate the clearly bizarro brain patterns that lead people to say, climb in through windows and steal large tile dragons made of fake jade that other people are using as door stops because you've decided (with the help of some boxed wine) that you're declaring a fatwah on the next door dorm, and their door stop is now forfeit to that fatwah.

I mean, there's really no logical way to explain that happening. As musesfool says, trying to reconstruct the events of a night where you've had drunken antics is a lot like reading a Faulkner story: "You kind of figure out everything that happened, but you never know what order it happened in, and you can't explain what anyone's motives were." (Which is an analogy so good I covet it, I'll have all of you know. Also, on a vaguely related topic, I totally want a Faulkner icon of this picture, saying "DIS POSSE" behind it. Oh, Faulkner, you and your dispossesing.)

And I'm not saying that every story has to be logical - take for instance any story written from River's POV ever (I've found that when writing River the best thing to do is this: you know that voice that says 'In order for this to make any kind of sense, the following progression of events must occur'? Yeah, do whatever that voice is telling you not to do).

Hang overs, though. Those are easier to write, or at least easier for me to buy, because it's all about the meeting of the fuzzy crazy drunken logic and the re-establishment of actual coherent thought processes.

Besides, people who are highly hung over are usually deep within the kind of desperation that one can't help but be entertained by. Maybe it's kind of a schadenfreude thing, but I think it's also sort of the reason all Cohen brothers movies are funny; desperation drives people to do wacky, hilarious things when it's not a (in reality) a life or death situation.
  • Current Music
    Ain't Wastin Time No More - Allman Bros. Band
scarlett! - graysong, please

Confessions of a Desperately Messy Fiend

The thing about laundry is that it is laughably easy to do. Laundry uses basic skills that we honed in pre-kindergarten, even in kindergarten. Honestly, if we were still five years old? We would love doing laundry, we wouldn't be able to get enough of doing laundry. We'd bother people until they let us do it, tugging at their sleeves and saying "Please, please, please!"

In order to do laundry? You do the following things: Sort your clothes into piles. The piles are sometimes "dark" and "white" and sometimes "really dirty" and "could wait another couple of days." Then you take those clothes, and you carry them to a laundramat, where you then put the clothes into a box. You pour an amount of sticky liquid on top of them, choose a setting, put in quarters and then you have approximately forty eight minutes to do whatever the hell you want.

You could play tennis. You could read a book. You could commit highway robbery, as long as you're back in a little under an hour.

So then, you take your clothes and then put them into another box, and wait a full hour. The hardest work involved in doing laundry? Is carrying them and dropping them. Doing laundry is a lot like being a human claw-game.

You don't have to scrub it over a washboard, or stir it in a vat of boiling lye, or even really touch it that much. You pick it up, you carry it, you dump it, you wait. Then you pick it up, you take two steps, you dump it, you wait.

This is not a high impact sport.

But honestly, the level of dread that laundry inspires in me would make you think that I had to carry fifty pounds of it through enemy territory while linebackers on PCP tackled me from trees and screamed like pumas in my ear.

I hate laundry maybe even more than I hate meatloaf. This is to say, quite a goddamned lot.

But I've reached That Point. You know the one? Where your room is suddenly a hilly place, with mounds of clothes ranging from 'burn me now, I carry pestilence' to 'hey! look! it can stand on it's own!' and you find yourself squinting at a pair of ill-fitting jeans with a mustard stain on the knee, and a shirt that's two sizes too small and missing a button, and wondering if you wear a tank top underneath it, and ratty sneakers with the jeans, maybe you'll look punk instead of just unkempt.

In my mind, I've swept my room, vacuumed my carpet, cleaned my surfaces, and changed the light bulbs all over. In reality, I've sort of -- waved my hands in the general direction of all of these things and said "Room, heal thyself" and "Clothing, launder thyself."

Shockingly? This is not working.

It's at moments like these I realize my grandparents had several kids a piece at my age, and then I shudder to think of anyone entrusting a human being to someone anything like me. Seriously, if I had children right now? I wouldn't even know it, they'd be lost in the slew of despond that is my overflowing closet.
  • Current Music
    Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin