My second wordy post comes from work again. I’m on my break and saddled with a crippling hangover after a quiet dinner-and-drinks session with a friend ended up in us being “politely” asked to leave at 1am after four bottles of wine. On a Wednesday night. When we both had work at 9am the next day. I woke up at 7am in blinding sunshine and 25 degree heat to the sound of two cats fighting and my mother shouting at a bee. I took two paracetamol and went to work. The day started as it meant to go on.
It never ceases to amaze me the capabilities of the human body. The things I’ve subjected to my own one could probably be considered a breach of the Human Rights Act, primarily due to my errant habit of inadvertently consuming my own weight in alcohol. From cocktails to Cava, I’ll pretty much drink it all. Except for gin, because as the great man Dylan Moran said, “It’s more of a mascara thinner” and I inevitably end up sobbing my eyes out on a vomit-stained pavement. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not how I would really choose to spend my Friday night.
I’ll hold my hands up sheepishly (and with some difficulty after a few bevs) and admit it. I love alcohol. I love the taste of alcohol. I love getting drunk. I don’t really love passing out in a bathtub and waking up feeling like badgers have created a set in my skull, but everything else makes up for it. Hangovers are your body’s way of going, “You had a fantastic night! You fucking idiot. Now check your phone and get ready to apologise for being a mess of a human being.”
I’ve had my fair share of disasters on a night out as well though, and my track record of good nights vs bad is very, very close – for every glorious night where I’ve danced until dawn or kissed an attractive stranger there have been the same number of ones that have ended in me throwing up, crying, injuring myself, or an amalgamation of all three. Though probably not as bad as my flatmate who famously, after a few litres of Tennents, got into a fight with an enormous man in the queue to the famous, classy, not-a-dive-at-all Edinburgh nightclub known as The Hive by waving a plastic axe around and shouting, “DO YOU WANT A BIG AXE IN YOUR FACE?!” Quite where he acquired the axe on the walk down The Royal Mile remains a mystery. Or the time my second flatmate renounced his veganism for a large pepperoni pizza with cheese and garnished it with his own tears. It is a queer sight to see a grown man sob while eating a pizza.
But despite this arsey homage to the flavoured depressant that is alcohol, I wouldn’t say I drink too much or am particularly an alcoholic. Sure, after a nightmarish day of work or studying I crave a drink and some TLC as much as the next person, but I don’t need it to get up in the morning. In fact, if I’ve drank the night before, usually I find it very hard to get up in the morning, because the room tends to tilt and I have to run to the bathroom to throw up the kebab I ate five hours earlier. I think there’s a pretty big difference between the student lifestyle and the disease that is alcoholism. I may drink heavily every night from Monday to Monday during Freshers Week, but once that period is over, I’ll return to life as normal. I’ve never drank alone, I’ve never been filled with anxiety at the thought of never drinking again (as much as that would suck for a 21 year old who loves a good glass of Chardonnay) and I drink as a means to be social. If anything, I have a form of social alcoholism. I can tell some great stories from nights out that have happened after too much drinking. Few good stories or adventures start with, “So I was just drinking this Diet Coke…”
So no, I’m not an alcoholic. But there’s a bottle of Absolut raspberry vodka at home that may contradict that assertion.