Friday, 22 June 2012

The Morning After the Shite Before

'The Morning After the Shite Before'
Christopher Smith
Auckland, NZ

A hangover, that moment right before my mind had woken up, and all that existed were sensations. There was a sense of dread. A dull ache somewhere in my consciousness telling me that I’d been drinking far too heavily the night before, that I'd put some bad things into my body. This wasn’t an actual, concrete “I feel rough this morning!” thought. My soul just knew it. I didn’t need full consciousness to recognise it.
A beating headache started to gain focus and settled down behind my eyes. I detected a horrible pulsing sensation somewhere in the middle. Somewhere in the middle of what, I couldn’t put my finger on (with hindsight being a glorious thing, a finger probably would’ve been a spectacular solution to the forthcoming disaster). But the pulsing was there, and it was terrible. With each passing second it became heavier and thicker. Each successive wave steeper and sicker than the last. Everything became blood red. My eyes were waking up, despite being welded shut by my unconscious self begging me not to surface just yet. There was a slim but impossibly bright beam of sunlight scorching through a tiny gap in the curtains, landing right across my face. With a herculean effort, I managed to wrench a forearm from under the duvet through the thick air, landing it clumsily across my eyes. The red dimmed, but there was scant relief.  Every part of me was soaking. Wet. Slimy. The sudden movement has made the throbbing wave break, crashing down on top of me in a maelstrom of nausea. The spinning started. Oh my god.

What had I gotten up to the night before? Standard Saturday night out really, but dredging backwards through the fug I managed to pinpoint a number of factors contributing to this hell.
Bad Move #5 - I’d eaten a comical pile of cheese on toast when I got home, about 6 rounds. The entire dish swam in industrial-grade chilli sauce. I finished off the lager from the fridge. This recollection kicked off the gag reflex, as I became fully aware of the dry, rotten taste in my mouth.
Bad move #4 - I could see a packet of "Death Rain" Habanero Chilli Crisps. If you’ve not tried these before, I implore you to give them a bash. They’re mental. If you can make it more than half way through the pack without the urge to chop your own head off just to relieve the pain, you’re a stronger person than I. I had eaten an entire packet in one sitting. I peeled my tongue off the roof of my mouth in disgust, lolling it about, desperately searching for sweet moisture to irrigate the desert it now rested in.
Bad move #3 - Spilling endless, flat, piss-warm pints down my throat. Too many to count. Lago pints. Bottom-quality refreshment served up in streaky pint glasses in everybody’s favourite Seel St dive. You cannot argue at those prices though, even if my now grieving body was putting forward a strong counter-case.
Bad move #2. Pre-Lago. Lau's Chippy on Smithdown Rd. Chilli Beef with Salt and Pepper Chips. A glorious meal at the time. A death sentence now. Why, why, why had I eaten so much chilli in one evening? It hit me. I was ill yesterday! All bunged up with a severe case of the MAN FLU. I hoped all the chilli would blast open my constricted airways and allow me an uninterrupted night on the ale. It kind of worked, though just for good measure I necked two 500mg Codiene and Paracetamol Tablets before I went out, to take the edge off.
That was Bad move #1. It sent me slightly mental. I drank like a superhuman, danced like a prick and felt pretty fucking superb for the next few hours, but there was an undercurrent of menace resting in my bowels. Something just... not right. There was no doubt I'd created a monster last night, and it was beginning to stir in the midriff.
I rolled over in bed hoping a shift in position might ease some of the ache. It's a bit of a lottery, but you know how it is. Sometimes pure chance will land you in a comfortable position and you can drift back off into blissful oblivion, hopefully resurfacing when your body is less angry with you. Unfortunately however, this was not the case. Something down there moved. It didn't seem overly urgent, but it certainly warranted concern. I just couldn't deal with it right then. I noticed that the other half of the bed was empty. Presumably my girlfriend had escaped and sought refuge in the shower from the noxious environment I had unwittingly been creating in the bedroom. It was about to get a whole lot more toxic.
I spent the next few eternal moments drifting in and out of semi-sleep, seeing all kinds of surreal images in my minds eye, hearing strange noises, shivering despite feeling like I was burning up. I distinctly remember hearing 'Life is a Rollercoaster' by Ronan Keating in orbit around my head. Things were going from bad to worse. Then the rumbling monster shifted, suddenly, and moved down from my stomach right to the very bottom of my torso behind the pubes where it swelled and sat, pushing out in all directions. It was intense. It had moved down far too quickly for it to be anything other than an innocuous fart, though, I convinced myself. "Solids won't travel through the guts that quick" I honestly beleived, "it must be a pocket of brown gas."
Now, I always paid attention in science class at school. I got A's in my GCSE's and I consider myself a pretty smart chap. Why, then, in my assessment of the situation I decided to omit knowledge of that all important 2nd state of matter, the phase between a solid and a gas, I shall never know. This was a crucial piece of information which, had it occurred to me at that point, would have avoid the choas which followed.
I pushed the duvet back and tried to get some fresh air onto my sweat-glazed body, to cool the furnace. The pressure continued to build, starting to tug and stab at the lower intestine. It began to feel as though somebody was pulling out a sizeable handful of my pubic hair. From the inside. I ragged off my t-shirt and boxer shorts, lying naked and helpless, and readying myself for what would surely count as one of the most corrosive farts mankind would ever know. It might be a hot one, it might 'grease the cheeks', but it's going to be fine. I can just breathe really shallow through the pillow for 5 minutes whilst the air clears. I can get through this.
So, executing an exquisite and precise piece of ring-control, I allowed the first waft of evil to escape. I literally could not have opened my nipsy wider than a millimetre. It was silent. I felt the heat spread out across my lower cheek. "Fuck! That is a hot one!" i thought. I was pleased with myself, and the relief brought on by the easing pressure spurred me on. Wave number 2, ready to go. I unclenched my cheeks again. And there was a squelch.
No no.  
No no no.
It's just a fart.
It's got to be a fart.
In my panic, I'd lost all control.
The heat was spreading further across my cheeks.
"Good god, that's got to be a fart. It's just a warm one, that's all. A big, warm one. I'm fine. Everything is fine."
It wasn't.
It kept coming.
Seconds passed. Second which felt like hours. I couldn't stop it. The warmth was spreading down my arse, up my lower back, down the insides of my thighs. One particularly adventurous trickle had almost made it down to the knee-pit. My instincts drew my legs to a close, spreading the unholy custard further about my lower half and creating a pretty 'shit-angel' shape across the bedsheet. My hand raced down my back to check, one last hope beyond hope that it was my mind playing tricks and I really had just done a nuclear air biscuit. I brought my hand up and held it an inch from my bloodshot eye. There it was. Naughty Nutella spread across three digits.
I shot out of bed at light speed and surveyed ground-zero. It was devastating. I had full-on shat the bed. I caught a glimpse of myself in the full-length wardrobe mirror which a mere 12 hours earlier had been used by my superhuman self to preen and strut in front of, getting ready for a night out. I was unrecognisable. Post-apocalyptic. Guant and covered in shite, I made a strange whimpering noise. I think I might have laughed.
I managed to find a used towel in the laundry basket and held it loosely around myself, taking care not to let it graze my filthy arse or legs. I traipsed across the landing and rested my forehead on the locked bathroom door, moaning softly to my showering girlfriend, pleading for help. It was a low point. She opened the door and peered out.
"I'm not well" I whimpered. "I've had an accident". She smiled and ushered me into the bathroom.
"What happened?" She asked. 
"I... uh.... I thought it was a fart..." was the only explanation I could manage, and to be fair was the only explanation that was needed.
She smiled pitifully but sympathetically at me and left the bathroom, kindly allowing the last fibre of dignity from which I hung to remain intact. I showered, scrubbed and sorted myself as best I could, feeling marginally better but steeling myself for the mammoth clean-up task ahead of me. I'd just managed to get rid of the god-awful stench and now I had to go and face it again.
I walked back to the bedroom formulating a plan of action. Just quickly grab each corner of the sheets. Bundle the whole thing up into a ball. Contain the rusty cream in the middle of it. Bung it in the washing machine. Done. I barged purposefully through the bedroom door to find the girlfriend smoothing the creases out of a crisp, clean white bedsheet she had snugly fitted over the mattress. Astonishing.
"Where's all the shit??" I gasped.
"In the washing machine, my love. Don't worry. I've sorted it."
We were married within 18 months.

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