by Jason Casséus
What is that banging? Are they jackhammering the street again?
Light floods slowly into one eye. There’s an odd smell in the air. As I sit up in bed, digging at my crusty left eyelid with my nails, it all starts coming back to me. The banging is all in my head and I have one hell of a hangover. I finally free my eye from it’s mucus grip and look at the clock. 7:15, I can still make it to work.
I’m still wearing my shirt and tie from last night and my pants are draped over my TV. I look down at my boxer shorts, I’ve pissed myself again. That’s it, I’m never drinking again! As I stand up, the room starts spinning. Careful not to trip over my vomit-covered loafers, I dig through my pant pockets. Phone? The screen is cracked, but it still works. Wallet? Check. OK, I can do this. Get yourself together, David.
Looking at my reflection in the mirror is a revelation. My tie is more of a hangman’s noose than a Half-Windsor, my eyes are puffy and bloodshot. A quick cold shower is what I need. Just enough to wake me up and get rid of the stench of whiskey, urine and puke. I’ll be fine. The shower does little to help, but at least I don’t smell like a vagrant now. My living room is a mess, half-full wine glasses, beer bottles and there’s a pile of clothes on my couch that I don’t recognize. I take a few bites of cold pizza from the fridge and almost wretch.
On the elevator down I realize that it’s Thursday and my housekeeper will be coming over. She’s going to know exactly what I’ve been up to. Why didn’t I hide the shoes and the sheets? It’s too late now. I’ll give her a nice tip at the end of the month.
“Good morning sir.” The doorman has a shit-eating grin on his face as I walk by, feigning a smile. I must have made a complete ass out of myself coming home last night. The cold air wakes me up slightly, I turn onto Lexington Avenue and head for the subway. The dizziness is coming back, if I can find a seat maybe the world will stop spinning.
There’s not much of a wait on the platform and I do away with all subway etiquette as I push an old lady out of the way to take the last seat. I convince myself that I need it more than she does.
We start moving and the screeching wheels wreak havoc on my head. “Excuse me, if I could just have a moment of your time.” Oh, here we go; There’s a tall figure standing in the middle of the train carrying a box of candy. Don’t make eye contact! I look down at the floor and notice that he’s wearing new Air Jordans. Those things are 200 bucks! Sensing a scam, I take a good look at his face and see the telltale signs of a fresh shave. High school basketball team my ass.
It doesn’t take long to get to Union Square and I’m up the stairs and across the street like a shot. I feel like I’m going to throw up. Luckily I make it to the 4th floor bathroom before that tiny bite of pizza and whatever I ate last night comes back up. I spend some time on my knees in front of the porcelain trying to piece together what I did last night. I get little flashes: blinking lights, horrible hors d’oeuvres, a girl I’ve never met, champagne? Oh man, it was the office holiday party last night!
My day just got significantly worse.