Unfortunately I was unable to attend work on Tuesday. I awoke to find myself in a most deplorable condition. I was exhausted; my body ached from tip to toe; my eyes were swollen and sore; my stomach turning over in open rebellion; my head felt as if it might well cave in at any moment under the pressure of the vice like pain which was only partly assuaged by remaining perfectly still. There could be no doubt about it: I had the mother of all hangovers - but how?
As I slowly reached over to silence the clearly rather ambitiously programmed alarm clock, I began to piece together the preceding evening in fleeting images. Yes, dinner, The Pink Psychiatrist saying we should go out, just a couple naturally, me nodding my acquiescence as I pour the Hoegaarden. Then Retro Bar, pint, pint, two love birds writhing around on the couch opposite, time to go. Next the disconcertingly lit cave of The Friendly Society, jug of beer, cheaper that way, the life coach sidles on up, watching The Pink Psychiatrist bite on his tongue each time he gets called a psychologist, bored of this weirdo, move on. Trashy GAY Bar, packed as usual, all manner of creatures, some so nice, where's the Australian, pint, ah there he is, pint, pint, talk of Heaven, pint, yeah Heaven yeah, the evening is suddenly so young, a taxi to Heaven, let's go!...
It all dissolves into a whirls of coloured lights, staccatos of heady beats and waves of hideous nuasea. I call one of the SHOs, crawl on my belly (literally - as well as metaphorically - to minimise the pain) and beg him to cover my job for the day. The guilt is overpowering, but probably not as overpowering as the smell of stale booze would be were I to go in. He agrees and I crawl back to bed to finish off dying. My back-up radio alarm fades up to an painful volume. It's too far away to turn off. Guy Garvey's melancholic voice fills the room and my mind as he sings through the tumbling chords of Elbow's 'Red':
'You burn,too bright.You live,too fast.This can't go on too long!You're a tragedy starting to happen.'
Hmmm. I know then that I'll never, ever drink again...well, at least not until I feel better.