Into the porcelain ether…

There is a unique state occasionally achieved when very drunk.  Knowing that you are incapacitated, feeling poisoned from the alcohol, room spinning slightly.  Not quite so far gone that you are passed out, incoherent and unaware.  The start of the purge… when you are just about to get sick, and the poison is making serious travel arrangements to vacate your body.

Hugging the toilet. 

As the toxins convene in your gut, mixing merrily with all of the poor food choices you’ve made for the last several hours, you know you’re about to get an encore presentation of everything recently consumed.  You wait.  Wanting it to be done.  Knowing that as miserable as it feels to be hoarking up the contents of your digestive tract, that you’ll feel so much better once it’s gone.

You wait for the first wave.  Disgust and relief. 

“Is that it?”

Hardly.  There’s a lot more.  A few quick rounds, then you drop into a zen-like state… the waves come and go.  More relief.  Wanting it to be over, but knowing there’s more.  You amuse yourself with the game of “hey… what was that?  did i eat that today or yesterday?”  Followed by “damn, i need to chew my food better…”. Forensics of the most base kind…

Eventually, you curl up on the floor.  Not quite ready for the comfort of the bed, fearing that there’s more poison still in your gut, fucking with you.  Maybe grabbing a towel off the rack for a pillow and a little warmth on the cold floor.  And you wait.  Maybe you doze… but there’s always another round. 

Finally, it’s out.  Maybe there’s more, but the need to regain normalcy overrides the queasiness.   You stand on wobbly legs to get back in your bed and sleep it off so you can get on with the responsibilities of tomorrow.  This is now more compelling than the need to purge.  So you suck it up, put a trash can by the bed and declare yourself detoxified.  And you try to sleep it off…


Since my weekend with the family, there i am.  Curled up on the floor, waiting for more to come up.  Just three hours on a patio  – conversing with my sister, brother and niece – has dislodged some of the more toxic items in my memory bank.

More to come, but i’ve got to get to rehearsal…

23 thoughts on “Into the porcelain ether…

  1. As any experienced poison enthusiast will tell you, a dash of B12 and copious amounts of water will head off any hangovers on the next day. Regrettably, this does not work for the toxicity that arises when dealing with family. Definitely have been there.

    Technical edit – I believe there’s an extra “has” in the penultimate paragraph.

    Peace, SA

  2. Defining moments, indeed.

    You should print this out and hand it out at junior high. …..nah! Those kids can learn it the hard way, same as we did.

  3. sonny – my normal drinking habit is to follow every drink with a full glass of water if it’s going to be a long night… not sure what the familial equivalent would be. thanks for the tech edit – i was ‘hoarking’ after work and before rehearsal. typing fast/editing without thinking…

    unbearable banishment – especially dance rehearsal. i have to focus. never had a dance lesson in my life, but love it, so it requires massive concentration…

    rob – can’t be taught. it’s when the lesson is repeated, despite the knowlege, that it becomes sad… i’ve learned… mostly…

  4. i hear hoarking up stuff is great for your abs. so, likely, hoarking up emotional stuff is good for the heart?

    sounds like there are lots of toxins in there. keep curled up and let hoark happen.

    (yes, i like saying ‘hoark’ too…)

  5. It’s a horrible feeling, laying down to go to bed and realizing that you have a half-hour or more of puking ahead of you. The cold porcelain is your only friend at that point.

    The lesson is never mix. If you’re drinking rum, stick with rum. Drinking beer, stick with beer.

  6. my normal drinking habit is to follow every drink with another drink, preferably PBR or Amstel in the summer, Guinness and Powers Irish whiskey in the winter, now after many years i’ve learned my limits and now know that at 6 imperial pints or roughly 120oz i’ll be a little hungover but what i call nicely hungover, make it 7 and i’ll be grabbing some pain reliever or better yet prescription pain killer that i bought off some low life in the bathroom, 8 and i’m sleeping on the couch while my wee men fend for themselves, of course i have to adjust if i’m drinking cans and attempt to do math and it’s even worse if i mix pints and cans cuz i cants do the maths and though it hasn’t happened in a long time i always kinda enjoyed that beautiful cold sweat that broke out and increased while i deposited what was left of my liver in the toilet.

  7. ~m – haven’t actually done this for quite some time. well, not counting the incident on new years eve after a 5k ‘resolution run’ and 3 chocolate pepermintinis… this is more about dealing with the memory bank dredging from a few weeks back… same effect, less mopping…

    gnu – hadn’t thought about it, but now that you mention it, bulimics have the best abs!

    renalfailure – never, ever mix alcohol food groups. worst drunk i ever had was only 4 drinks. in new orleans, at a conference. glass of wine, glass of beer with dinner, hurricane along bourbon street (large, hand-grenade size), glass of champagne in a strip club. only four drinks! WTF?

    alex – throw up early and often. that’s the motto of true drinking professionals…

    kono – you could always bring a sharpie and make hash marks on the inside of your wrist to keep track… for me, the amount of time is just as important as number of drinks… 6 beers/hour vs 6 beers in an evening? night and day…

  8. I think I only puked after being drunk once. Never wanted to do it again. Most of my drunks, and there were only enough to fit on one hand, were the room-spinning kind. You get that with family, too. Then there was the time I fell off the toilet, and couldn’t get up. My ex laughed his ass off, and the next day denied it happened. Hey, fool, I wasn’t so drunk I had a blackout.

  9. been there – usually after mixing the things you know you shouldn’t, but have somehow convinced yourself that you are immune to such trifles and superhuman. also, the sickest i’ve ever been was after going shot for shot with a 300# male friend… all i really remember besides the sickness is begging to be taken to the hospital to get my stomach pumped and being upset that i didn’t have anyone to hold back my hair.

    there’s a metaphor in there. i’m just too lazy/tired to figure it out.

  10. I especially like when we tell ourselves ‘never again’ …. not until next week anyway. It also allows me the rare moment of inspecting the housekeepers work to see if she’s taking any short cuts – one must find a sunny side to all situations. Cheers !

  11. Probably coincidental, but all of my family get-togethers seem to have evolved to include a lot of drinking. For everyone. So the real pukey feeling is more common, but the metaphorical one is usually not as bad.

  12. Oh i’ve usually got only 3 or 4 hours to get all my drinking in, if i have all day and make myself eat then double digits is easily in the cards.

  13. silverstar – yeah, it’s pretty miserable. i have about a 6 – 9 month memory cycle. goal is to extend that to years/decades… family? too much connectivity and i get physically disoriented… not nearly as much fun as being buzzed and dancing on tables in vegas.

    daisymae – yeah, the hair holding function is essential. a well timed elastic band has saved the day… i don’t do more than three shot of ANYTHING these days. never ends well…

    steve – ah, yes… i forgot the “Housekeeping quality control” part of the event… i stopped saying ‘never’ and am simply becoming more aware of the triggers that push me toward “fuck it, i’m drankin tonight”…

    Bb – more family time. unexpected cardiac work on mom today has me right back in it… working shifts for now, so i’m mercifully alone with her at the hospital this afternoon… thank god for hospital guest free interwebs….

    chris – no, i get it. for the past few years, i’ve designated one of my sprogs as driver, and brought jello shots to christmas dinner. it helps. numb. numb is good…

    kono – that’s pressure. i prefer to go slow… my tuesday night pub outing is now 2 beers. but that’s mostly driven by the need to watch the calories!

  14. ginny – you’ve hit on something… it’s not just one fucked up thing… “yeah, there goes creepy uncle elmer again with the barbie dolls… oh, let’s all play mah jong now… ballroom dancing after dinner!” it’s like standing across the tennis court against an army of ball throwin’ thingies gone mad…

  15. I must nod my head, ruefully, in agreement. At least we have rehearsal, and our disfunctional theater family, to make us forget about our disfunctional blood family.

  16. Holy shit, I’ve got to go lay down.

    Hey, thanks for saying hello to Mr. Fine. I was terrified after I told him about my blog, thinking he would discover I am nuts. I think I still have him fooled though.

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