I woke up this morning, more than once, a sad caricature of a human being. Walking home from school yesterday, I happened upon Dee, a delightful and talented friend of mine. Both eager to visit with me, and pitying my sad financial state (while I realize I only get better at them, it would be nice to finally win one of those damned essay contests) she offered to buy me a drink and some snacks at Striper's. We went to the 3rd floor, where spirits are served, and I reacquainted myself with my old demon, vodka.
When one is in the early stages of inebriation, one doesn't wish the evening, or the feeling to end, as you well know. We retired to Dee's apartment for a delightfully stimulating evening of conversation, fueled by liberal amounts of yet more vodka. Over an 8 hour period, I easily consumed nearly a fifth of Stoli and Smirnoff.
I awoke in the callous embrace of suffering, holding me as tightly as any lover invited to one's bed would, and such a generous lover suffering is, selflessly giving and giving. This hangover was arguably a work of art in its magnificence, and like many dedicated artists, I was consumed by that which I had created. The rolling waves of nausea were actually enjoyable for their complete integration with my being, and as well for their sheer perfection. I actually staved off the inevitable as long as I could to remain immersed in such meticulous misery. When at last I could no longer hold back that which demanded to be brought forth, I assumed the position of pious submission in front of that cool, white, impersonal diety, that was stoically eager to receive my offering unto it. It is often said there are no atheists in foxholes. As well there are none is this position either.
Akin to surrendering one's will to the will of deity, I was sundered from willful control of my body, and as I made offerings of not just my abandoned digestion, but my dignity as well, an orgasmic, if not religious, feeling washed over me. My muscles locked in waves of spasm that purged my sould as well as my stomach, and from deep within swelled yet more suffering, glorifying in its monstrous elegance, its distilled purity. All pain that went before was mere prologue: this was transcendant pain, that split my skull, and all conceptions I had previously had of suffering, with Truth.
With at last the sacrament fulfilled, I was drained, admittedly on many levels, including literally. I, trembling, made my way to a chair, allowing the daylight streaming through the open windows to slice through my eyes like spears of a spiteful god, and rattle like hammers against the back of my skull, shattering all conceptions I possessed of identity into a haze of misery of delicate power, and utter completeness. Like a symphony, each moment would bring notes of exquisite agony from a new point within my body, and I could only admire the intricate balance of subtle suffering, and monumental agony that played counterpoint to each other, a coherent cacophany of pain, with a broad palette of intenisties that shaped my enduring consciousness with deftly overlapped emotional and physical textures: sharp, dull, smooth, silky, plunging, cutting.
This was indeed the "Starry Night" of hangovers, an enduring masterpiece that scarred my soul with its magnificence, as all great works in history pierce and scar us. As even the mighty Pyramids shall one day blow away into the desert, so too did this wonder of the world ebb, as all things must to relentless time. Even so, I will enshrine this morning in the museum of my memory, where it will hold a place of honor, that I may again and again revisit, and cherish its power, its beauty, its mystery. Prints are available in the giftshop.