Hungover: A Love Story

Sun shone through the window angrily at my face. It was scolding me for the way I acted last night.

I awoke next to Marla, her eyes were still glued shut and she slept peacefully. I believed this to be unfair as she had yet to feel the pain from last night’s gluttony. I stared at her.

‘I hope you’re having a nightmare right now,’ I thought.

I tried to open my mouth and wake her up. This was harder than I expected. It felt like Spiderman had tied it shut during the night. The web-like saliva between my lips was the only moisture in my entire mouth.

I thought about wiping the sweat off my brow and licking it.

“What happened last night?” I nudged Marla.

Marla grumbled and rolled over.

“You decided we had to finish all the leftover drinks from the party,” Marla spoke through her pillow.

“Did we at least fuck?” I always feel better about being a drunk if I had sex.

“Ha! I was ready, you were dead to the world,” Marla shot back aggressively.

“I thought about kicking it to make it swell,” She continued needlessly.

The room smelled like farmers country. I thought about how impressive the human body is to create and expel such large portions of gas, even when–for all intents and purposes–the brain attached to that body is dead.

“Maybe if my sperm was made of wine you would have figured out a better way to make it grow,” I shot back. Sometimes in the morning, when the alcohol is still coursing through my veins, I can be quite smart tongued.

Marla seemed to not give a shit about my wit.

I decided for my tongue’s benefit, to keep it sharp and hydrated, to locate a beer.

There has to be at least one cold beer left. I hoped. I wished. I prayed. It was a similar feeling to being a child on Christmas Eve. If I get the present I want, I swear I will be good next year Santa.

As I got up, the blanket pulled off of Marla exposing her naked body. Naked! She had been ready. She looked good. For a moment I thought I might want something more than a beer.

Women always confuse your goals. Stay sharp Harvey. I stared directly at that angry incoming sun to blur my vision so Marla’s skin wouldn’t look so tantalizing.

As I stumbled out of the bedroom seeing splotches I realized I could of have covered her with the blanket. Where’s that beer?

I arrived at the fridge and opened the door. PLEASE SANTA!

I could not get my mind organized to control my eyes. They darted all over; hurling themselves from the top shelf, to the door panel, back to the top shelf, then the bottom shelf. There was no way I was going to find anything this way.

Be disciplined Harvey. Be thorough.

I started at the top shelf. There were a lot of bottles but none seemed to contain what I wanted. Damn, when did we get so many condiments? The international sauces for international meals I am sure we have yet to eat created a lot of traffic in the back of the shelf. They looked like prisoners who knew there was no release for them, no escape.

My eyes moved slowly down to the second shelf. This is where all short stubby items are kept; various pastes that I’m unsure of, cream cheeses and sour creams that have gone to die, fancy mustards that have only been used once. I’m hoping for a laid-down bottle. Nothing.

The bottom shelf.

I already knew it was empty. That is where all the beer was put for last night. That bitch was bare. My hopes were fading fast along with the remaining saliva in my mouth.

I started at the top of the door panel, and went down. So many expired salad dressings, too many. All from that second week in January when we made a promise to eat salad every day. I wanted to hurt that salad dressing, especially the vinaigrette.

I fell to my knees in desperation and opened up the crisper. This movement made my brain rattle.

My head was a bingo ball holder.

It didn’t matter.

There it was, tucked in with rotten vegetables, a gleaming bottle of suds. Some bastard had put his beer in there to hide it last night. Prick. The rotten smell from the vegetables did not bother me in the slightest. The vision of brown spoiled lettuce and indecipherable round objects just made the beer look that much more beautiful. For a moment I thought of how in the future I will choose a healthier diet, vegetables and international sauces will get consumed not just bought, but not today. I pulled out the beer and closed the crisper, I’m sure it winked at me, and the cold moisture on the side of the bottle told me it was ready.

As much as my head pounded, I knew it wasn’t going to last. I felt happy. I thought of Marla, and poured her a giant glass of cold water and headed back to bed. With optimism in my life I have the ability for selfless acts.

I crawled into bed to try and not disrupt Marla and pulled up the blankets around the both of us. I gave her a gentle tap and handed her the water. She sat up, chugged the water, handed me the glass, and fell back down without opening her eyes.

I cracked my beer and took a swig. It was the most refreshing drink I ever had. I felt Marla rub her leg against mine. My dick swelled. This was going to be a great day. Even the sun was shining.

Sometimes hangovers are exactly what the doctor ordered.

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About Brett Butler

if my dick were a gun is a collection of short stories by Brett Butler. He is also an award-winning filmmaker/screenwriter and co-creator of the Toronto based entertainment production company SubProd. View all posts by Brett Butler

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