The Hangover

It’s coming to the end of new years day and I’m lying in my bed staring at the ceiling. I have spent the entire day rolling around on the couch like some sort of beached whale, moaning occasionally as the random waves of pain wash over me.

The hangovers started getting worse around the middle of the year. I quit drinking for 3 months last year and when I rejoined my fellow drinkers, boy, was I in for a shock! What used to be a mildly dehydrated day of lying on the couch watching movies has become a lucky dip of pain. It’s rarely the same. Sometimes it’s chronic headaches where it feels like my head is in some sort of vice and while it pinches tighter and tighter there there is some sort of tube connected to my body sucking out any sort of hydration. Sometimes it’s the gargling gut, where all smells become extremely heightened and at any random moment the contents of my stomach can come rushing out of my mouth and won’t stop until I’m a sweaty, crying mess on the bathroom floor. Then today I had the internal damage hangover, where every organ in my body feels sore and at any moment feels like they could all melt and fall out of my body.

I could probably manage some of these things but the killer is the second hit that always follows the first, the second hit is an overwhelming wave of depression. As I sit and struggle with the physical pain I feel as though all of my inner demons sense the weakness and declare war.

Every negative comment about my drinking habits come flooding into my mind. “Your an alcoholic” “Your wasting your life away on being drunk and hungover all the time” “How much money have you wasted on drinking?” “Imagine where you would be now if you put all that time and money from drinking into something positive”. I like to think of myself as a fairly motivated and driven person and I can’t help but think to myself that these comments (except the one about me being an alcoholic) are true. Imagine if all that energy was focused on something positive? I would be a fitter, happier, richer and all round better person. So why do I keep doing this to myself?

I look around at my friends and see them all settling down and popping out kids. I also notice as the kids come the drinking and partying dies down. I guess when you have someone else to be responsible for getting shit faced is pretty insignificant or at least no longer a priority. So where does this leave me or any other gay man. Kids aren’t on the cards any time soon, if at all. So what is the defining moment that makes me decide to transition to the sober side? Is just wanting to no longer feel like this enough of a reason? Does anyone else out there have this inner battle every time they drink? Is it just me?

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The Worst First Date

So after my failed date with Pluck I was more determined then ever to find me a husband. Somehow in my mind it had twisted from a simple search for someone to date into a soul consuming search for a husband. I guess it was a combination of one of my best friends getting engaged and me turning 27. In my mind I had always imagined I’d be married by 27, or at least engaged, or at least in a relationship, or at least have a glimmer of hope that I wasn’t going to die alone surrounded by 16 cats. So I became hell bent on my mission to find someone.

I jumped back on grindr the day after my birthday celebrations. Straight away I got a message from a new guy, Tradie. He was cute, smart, funny and nice. We liked all the same things and since I was a tradie for 8 years before my current role we had a lot in common. We started talking every day, all day. Txts from when I woke up in the morning til I went to sleep at night. I had never met a guy that I could talk to that much without getting bored. For the first time in a long time I really started to open up to someone. Things were looking brighter and maybe I wasn’t going to have to take that trip to the pet store to buy my first of many cats.

We were both sickeningly keen on each other and decided we would meet that weekend for drinks. The next day he informed me that his cousins girlfriend had a party on that night and that he wanted to bring me rather than cancel our date. I agreed but said we should meet beforehand just to make sure we liked each other and so it would be less awkward.

We decided to meet at 6 at a pub just outside the city. The same pub where the party would be later that night. As I was getting ready and going through my first date rituals I started to feel violently sick, like something was really wrong but I assured myself it was just the nerves because I hadn’t liked someone this much in a very long time. But I still couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was going to happen.

On my way into the city I got a txt saying that he had been in a car accident and he was going to be late. I told him we could reschedule but he told me to just go to the pub and he would be there as soon as he could. I went and grabbed a beer and waited. He arrived shortly after. He was very cute and very fit. I was kind of shocked because I had said how unfit I was and he said he was unfit too. This wasn’t the case at all and I became very self conscious. A few beers fixed that though. We started talking and things didn’t really flow as well as when we texted. It was quite strained and he also brought up his ex a bit which is a massive red flag for me.

It came time to go to the party and I told him that it was fine for him to go to the party without me and that I didn’t want to impose. He reassured me it wouldn’t be that bad and that only a couple of his friends would be there. I figured I shouldn’t bail so early anyway.

We met the birthday girl and were told there was a bar tab and to go make use of it. We had already had far too many beers but went to the bar for more. While waiting to be served, his friends arrived. As they approached my heart sank. One of his friends was a midget drag queen that used to work in a nightclub that I worked in years ago when I was 21. A lot of crazy crazy things happened in that night club. Most of which, I’m not exactly proud of. I knew there were so many stories that the midget could tell Tradie, I was horrified! At our first chance I took him away and quickly explained the situation. He was sweet about it and kept asking if I was alright. I wasn’t but I tried to put on a brave face. I ducked off to the toilets and when I returned Tradie informed me that the midget had told him that we used to date! I was furious. I remembered that the midget had also spread that rumour back when we used to work together and that was why I hated him!

I tried to play it cool but I was full of beer and getting angrier by the second. I jumped straight onto Facebook and twitter and sent out an SOS! I got a few replies but a girl I went to school with was actually down stairs in the pub so I went down and met her. I had a drink with her but the entire time I couldn’t stop thinking about the awkward situation upstairs. After a drink I decided to head back up stairs and talk to Tradie. I don’t know if I had given the fat midget drag queen time to tell more stories or if Tradie was pissed that I had left for a bit or if something else happened but I got back to an icy reception. I didn’t know what was going on but it was pissing me off. I took Tradie outside and asked what was up? He told me that it was just all the stuff that midget had said and that he wanted to go home and sober up and think about it all.

I saw red! I told him if he had to think about that lying sack of shits lies then not to bother and stormed out of the pub. I was so furious! As I walked back to the train station I could feel myself getting angrier and angrier. I fired off a few abusive texts but it didn’t help at all. I was tired of living in this small town with a gay community so small that your past always catches up with you, and to make things worse I was being crucified for something I had never even done!

I woke up the next morning full of regret and confusion. How did things turn so bad so fast? Why would I be so childish as to send abusive texts. Why do I keep putting myself through this bullshit? Do I even want a boyfriend if this is the kind of shit I have to go through? I had a lot to think about.