It started with a choice.
I'm choosing to blame In-N-Out.
But I suppose it began with me choosing a mealy grilled chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A instead of waiting in the interminable lunchtime line snaking around the corner of the In-N-Out on Bristol St. And I figured, okay, half a grilled chicken sandwich (which was all I could manage to choke down, by the way, because it was disgusting. But I was hungry. Whatever) is probably the healthier option here, right? Healthier than a delicious burger with the delicious secret sauce whose main ingredient, I'm pretty sure, is the single tear of a perfect white unicorn and certainly healthier than those delectable fries which are sprinkled with mirth and gold shavings from Heaven. Right? Plus, I was in a hurry, buzzing from the rental place to a job, blah, blah, blah, couldn't be bothered.
Stomach, internal organs, just let it be known: I did it for your benefit.
It may have been misguided but these are dark times, these weeks linking gluttonous holidays, and I've been fairly militant about what I will and will not consume so that January 1st approaches more like a genial wave and less like a brutal slap to the (bloated) face. So far, so good, actually. I've actually managed to avoid beer since Thanksgiving. Kaboom, gluttony. One point for LD.
So this meandering preamble only serves to protect the inevitable, that being, I totally brought this on myself.
I choked down the sandwich, shot all day, and went home fairly starving around 5:30. This is where my excruciatingly ballasted preemptive starts to crumble, because my resolve (for the first time in two weeks, I might add) utterly vaporized when I was presented with the option of drinks and a movie at Dustin's house. OMG, FROZEN PIZZA! To be fair, I still managed to stay away from beer and opted instead for a bottle of Pinot. Baby step forward, gigantic leap back, etc. I was triumphant, nay, even beatific when Dustin opened his gate and I jauntily held up the grocery bag containing my surprises: "Pizza! Wine! Woody Allen!"
Oh, what a night.
My first clue should have been the fact that the pizza didn't go down nearly as smoothly as I expected it to. In fact, I felt downright squeamish a few minutes after eating it, but I merely chalked it up to the fact that I hadn't really put anything quite so greasy into my system for the better part of two weeks. I gulped down a few glasses of water and hoped to feel better but when I went to bed that night, "better" was a few zipcodes away, in the next city, right on the northern edge of town, sort of in the rural area that no one ever goes to unless they know someone who lives there. What had shown up in Better's stead was Worse, and Worse was ready to party.
I reasoned with Worse. "Here's the thing, if I just go to the bathroom this once, I think it'll all be over. It's my own fault, I shouldn't have had that pizza." Pizza. The very thought of it caused my throat to go dry.
Worse laughed. "No way, brah. I'm here and I'm ready to BLOW THIS JOINT UP. Let's DO this!"
Sweat was starting to bead on my forehead. "Okay," I cracked, barely above a whisper. "But can you just leave me out of it? Like, party hard, you know? Whatever. Do illegal drugs. I don't even care. Just let me sleep, yeah?"
Worse shook his head. "Nope."
Here's what transpired: Dance-off in my lower intestines to the musical stylings of Wham!, fifteen rounds of 151 in my throat, some sort of slam poetry throwdown in my stomach, someone lit the curtains on fire trying to make Flaming Dr. Peppers, and the cops never showed up to shut it down, so this party lasted all night long and tested the limits of the following day, as well. I'm pretty sure every single cast member of the Jersey Shore did a brutal fist pump to the lower half of my body. Talk about a hangover.
When Worse finally packed up his DJ equipment and swigged the last of the Jager, he gave me one of those awful bro-chin-ups. "Hey, bitchin' party."
With only one bleary, teary eye open and the rest crumpled in a ball at the base of the toilet I muttered, "Yeah. Holiday parties are the best."