Tag Archives: hungover

Origins #26

12 Jan

When last I left you, I was explaining that I’d nearly drunk myself to death in the fallout of what happened with my boss’s daughter, Rene. The hangover lasted over a week and that gave me plenty of time to think about why I’d gotten so drunk, or more to the point, why what happened with Rene had affected me so intensely.

Suckerpunched

I didn’t think I was that into Rene before we hooked up, so why had her rejecting me hit me so hard?

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A big part of it was that I felt blindsided. I thought I’d handled a really weird situation about as well as I could have, and I thought I’d been gutsy to to have a go despite putting a lot at risk to do so. It felt like I’d been victim to a really weird bait and switch and I couldn’t figure out why anyone would do that, least of all Rene.

REEEEEJECTEDDDDDDD

rejected

I was so fucking confused.

It’s one thing to be rejected, but to be rejected by someone who days earlier was crying about you not being interested in them, and who then demanded you ask them out? It was a real head-fuck. On top of everything else I was dealing with, it really made me feel worthless.

With the bad comes the good, but with the good comes the bad

In the past, even all of that wouldn’t have been enough to knock me down.

I had developed this ability to not care about anything, to just keep going no matter what was happening. That had made me extremely resilient and that had been very useful for me, but about the time I broke up with my previous girlfriend (about a year and a half before), I’d realised that my ability to block everything out was not only protecting me from bad feelings, it was also blocking out all the good feelings, too, so if I ever wanted to experience real happiness I’d have to take off the armor, so to speak.

It had been a very scary thing for me to try to change my mindset and let my guard down. It had been a very difficult process to actually try and make that change, but over the course of a year and a half I had managed to start letting things in.

And that was all great. But I made the wrong choice about who to let in, and not having my guard up at that exact point in time might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.

Broken trust

Try to follow my hokey little metaphor here…

I felt like I’d been doing my best to reduce the armor that I wore, that I’d progressively taken it off bit by bit and the only thing I still wore was the chest-plate, because that protects the most vulnerable part of me.

That night with Rene when she’d been crying, I felt like I was hurting her by keeping that last bit on, and I trusted her enough to take it off in order to help her stop hurting.

And then she stabbed me right in the heart. Right when I least suspected it.

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Et tu, Brutus?

When I already had all these other pains to deal with, and when I went out of my comfort zone to help her at my own risk, while we embraced, while I was exposed and vulnerable, someone I trusted shoved a knife into my back.

The pain from the knife was horrible, but I could deal with that. It was a close call, but I knew that would heal.

What was what was really hurting me was that feeling of having my trust broken, that feeling of being mislead, that feeling of being fooled.

And even that, I could deal with, if I could just understand why she’d acted that way.

stab.gif

But why?

It just didn’t make any sense.

Feelings

So after all those years of blocking feelings this was a very intense way to be introduced to actually feeling the bad feelings that we all have to deal with from time to time.

I had already attempted to revert to my “just don’t feel it” approach but it was too late. The feelings were already out of the box and there was no way they were going back in that box.

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It’s a shame y’know, when you’re reacting to feelings, it’s so much harder to catch them and react to them appropriately. You want more than ever to be rational about everything and not react in the wrong way, but you’re too busy reacting in the wrong way to do so.

Or at least, that’s what it was like for me. And for me, the wrong way to react was to drink the majority of a bottle of Absinthe to try and dull the pain.

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Clearly that hadn’t worked out too well.

No sick days. Ever.

I mentioned that my hangover lasted a week. I felt like death warmed up that whole week, minus the warmed up part.

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Nonetheless I refused to miss a day of work.

At that point I’d worked at Everlong about two and a half years and had never taken a sick day. That’s just something I was taught growing up, it doesn’t matter how sick you feel, you push through it. It wasn’t just talk either, I would be sent to school no matter how sick I was, which is of course a bad idea for the other kids because everyone else sick too, but all that experience made me sturdy enough to push through the hangover from hell and keep my record of no sick days intact.

Speaking of what I went through growing up, and that skill I’d developed to block out feelings, that’s all going to become important to this story, so I’m going to give you all an in depth look into the back story of your narrator in the next origins post.

And then we’ll get back to Rene and that newcomer Mia I mentioned was about to join the mix.

 

Origins #25

26 May

Rene had sent through what effectively translated to “It’s not gonna happen. Leave me alone.”

I had conceded that I was out of options and that all I could do now was grit my teeth and try to get through a shitload of unexpected feelings while trying to cope with all the other shit I had going on.

Stress proof

People often get the impression that I’m unaffected by what’s happening in my life. My former manager Mike Monarch, once told me:

 “Nothing ever rattles you. You just keep going no matter what’s happening. It’s like you’re stress proof.”

I’d received many similar comments over the years. I appreciate that people saw me that way, but I had never thought it to be true. Things affect me just as badly as anyone else, but things still need to get done when you’re doing it rough, so I try to carry on and not react, which I suppose looks the same as not being affected.

ectqp

That’s the only way I knew to do things, so that’s what I was going to do.

Everyone’s a comedian

In the following week I tried to hunker down. I tried to distract myself. I tried to not feel anything by doing anything and everything else I could think of.

It wasn’t working.

Having had Rene demand I ask her out and then reject me with practically no explanation was hard enough, but everyone at work was still hassling me with jokes and teasing about her having stayed at my place. I tell you what, after the 47th “How’s Rene?” of the day, my patience would wear thin.

ok-fine

But I couldn’t snap at them because no one was allowed to know that we had hooked up, or that she had demanded I ask her out, or that she then told me we couldn’t go out, and that left me completely head-fucked. All they knew was it was fun to make jokes.

What’s reality got to do with it?

On top of that, the standard hassles from my manager Gus continued:

“I need this project finished tomorrow and this other project finished by Tuesday, and this is a new project that I want done by the end of the week and I need you to show Larry how to write the XML for those other projects, and there’s a bug causing the system to show the wrong name on the third page of the sign-up and that also affects the back-end in the participant surname somehow, I need that resolved immediately.” – Gus

“Listen, Gus, I’ve asked you to put things like this into an email because there’s no way I’ll remember all that. Also, there’s no way I can get that first project and second project done in less than a month, so there’s no way I can achieve those deadlines, let alone do all the other stuff you just listed.” – Me

“I thought you were supposed to be a good developer. A good developer would be able to keep up. Stop being so negative. Just get it done.” – Gus

“I’ll do as much as I can but I’m telling you right now, no one could get all that work done in such a short period of time.” – Me

“Stop wasting time arguing about it. Just do it.” – Gus

Gus always asked for the impossible. Even at my best I could never keep up with his nonsensical theories on how much work could be done in an hour, let alone a week.

do-it

I was doing my best not to think about Rene, but I’d run into her sister, or cop another joke about her, or see her name on a file, and I’d get distracted thinking about it. So not only was it already impossible to keep up with Gus’ ridiculous demands, I wasn’t even running on all 8 cylinders.

Cat, please exit bag

I’d nearly made it through another week but I didn’t think I could cope much longer.

After work I received a phone call from a former Everlong colleague, Bea. Bea had worked admin at Everlong for 7 years before quitting in frustration that they wouldn’t give her a shot in marketing. Bea had moved on not long after Gus had started, so she knew all about his bullshit, and she knew Rene fairly well too.

Bea and I had gotten really close in the time we worked together and I was stoked to hear from her. She told me how well she was doing in her new marketing job and how her manager there was praising her performance.

And then she told me she’d heard a rumour about me and Rene from some of the girls she used to work with.

I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I trusted Bea and desperately wanted to talk about the situation, but I’d promised not to. I asked her what she’d heard. She said that everyone was sure I was a total player and I’d had a one night stand with Rene and that’s why Tim Everlong was furious at me.

I told Bea that I’d tell her the truth, on the proviso that she not tell anyone else, and that nobody else knew anything, so if the word got out, I’d know she was the one who told. I made her promise.

dktpnky

I sat there at my kitchen counter in my shitty little apartment and told her exactly what had happened. The cool evening breeze rushed over me, hurrying its way between the open balcony door and the open front door as I relayed the tale.

Bea asked all the questions I’d been asking. All I could tell her was that I didn’t know why Rene had acted the way she had, or what was going to happen from there on out.

Two bags, one cat

As I hopped up to get a drink I turned and faced the open front door. There was Larry from work.

cat

He stammered out,

H-h-h-hey, are w-w-we still hang-hang-hanging out to-tonight?

I’d completely forgotten I’d made plans to watch The Jersey Shore with him that night. I had no idea how long he’d been standing there. I told Bea I had to go, hung up, and told Larry to come in.

He was flustered. Larry is the sort of guy who is flustered a lot anyway, but this was more than he standard jitter. He was properly nervous. He’d heard something that clued him into what had happened between me and Rene and he was clearly stressed out by that.

I asked him straight up, “What did you hear?”
“Nothing… I… didn’t… didn’t. Nothing. Nothing at all.”, he said, visibly shaking.

I told him it was ok. It wasn’t his fault he overheard.

Larry’s the sort of bloke that loves a bit of gossip and I knew he’d keep my secret because he thought I was some sort of superhero because I could talk to women without making it awkward. Oh, how wrong he was, hey?

Unlucky Larry

I went through and told Larry the whole ordeal. There was a lot of “what are you going to do?”, “What about Tim? Do you think he’ll fire you?”, “what about…”

nervous

I explained my plan to cop it on the chin and not let it affect me. I told him I was happy he knew because I’d been unable to talk about it until then, and I thought having someone who knew everyone involved and could see it from a less stressed-out perspective would help.

We yapped about it for hours while the queued episodes the Jersey Shore dribbled by with stories of drama that felt disturbingly relatable. Eventually Larry called it a night and I was left to deal with knowing that I’d  broken my promise.

r2qfh

I had very much needed to talk about it, but Larry probably wasn’t the right guy for the job. I’d become good friends with Larry and valued his opinion on things, but he was a very nervous guy and a lot of the points he had raised were the opposite of calming. Whatever I’d gained by letting the truth out, I’d lost to the new concerns Larry raised.

Denial will do the trick

Fucking drama. All that effort to avoid it and it had still found a way to detonate itself all over me. I was caked in it and there was sweet fuck all I could do about it. Except of course, to pretend it wasn’t happening.

no-prob

It was a foolproof plan. And it worked, for all of a day, that being the next day at work, but it was a Friday and maybe the glimmer of the weekend ahead had more to do with me getting through it than the THERE IS DEFINITELY NOTHING WRONG attitude I’d taken on.

im-fine

I’d gotten very quiet. I got through the usual Friday night after work drinks session almost completely silently by focussing mostly on stuffing my face with food and pouring beer in my mouth between bites. It was not an elegant solution, but it was working.

Before I left for the night, Larry reminded me that he was having a party at his place that Saturday.

What’s that, little fairy? You can help?

I spent the rest of that night and most of the following day in bed. I don’t think I slept at all. I remember staring little holes into my ceiling. I remember looking at my phone wondering when I would actually sleep. I remember not wanting to go to Larry’s party.

See, Australia’s greatest motorsport event, Bathurst was on the next day, and I always get up early to watch that, usually about 5:30am.

13e5146gnptdww

But I had to go, because Larry didn’t have much luck with people showing up to his parties. There was a very real possibility that if I didn’t go, he might end up with nobody there at all. Plus, Larry’s place was barely two blocks away from mine so I really had no excuse.

I was happy to see that other people had showed up. The core group of the guys from work were already there when I arrived, which was great because they were all good for a laugh, and a laugh was exactly what I was in need of. Well, any distraction really, and therein lay the problem because there was a partygoer there I hadn’t anticipated… a little green fairy.

IMG_3320

Larry had heard my stories about enjoying the very fancy ritual of having an Absinthe and decided to buy an entire bottle of the most aggressive, high alcohol content Absinthe he could find.

Larry offered me some. I accepted. He couldn’t finish his and offered it to me. I accepted. His sister couldn’t finish hers, so she offered it to me. I accepted.

shots

It turned out very few attendees were willing to ignore the face-kicking nature of this super-charged Absinthe to get to its ever-so-pleasant mind numbing effects. But I was willing.

damn-good-stuff

I was very willing.

And as the bottle emptied, so did my mind.

I didn’t have any problems.

Everything was fine.

The more Absinthe I drank, the less static I could hear.

My mind was getting quiet.

All my thoughts were drifting away.

I was breaking free.

wine

What’s your poison?

I don’t remember anything after the third full glass of Absinthe I consumed. That little green fairy had deceived me. She wasn’t calming me down. She was trying to drown me. She was trying to poison me. She was trying to suck me into the darkness forever. She was trying to kill me.

I drank roughly 3/4 of that bottle of Absinthe and I’m fairly certain I gave myself alcohol poisoning in the process.

giphy1

The rest of this I only know based on what people later told me, or the evidence I discovered for myself…

Larry was so worried about me that he had someone drive me the two or so blocks home. Despite the short distance, I managed to vomit in their car, the first of several times for the evening.

grgl

 

I always loop my key chain around my belt loop to ensure I never lose them, but I had forgotten that somehow, and after I opened the front door to my shitty little apartment I apparently walked straight on with the key still in the lock, and fell face first when the slack of the chain came tight.

wasted

Based on the evidence I found, instead of taking the now bent key out of the lock, I kicked my shoes off and climbed out of my jeans. Then I crawled onwards, leaving the front door wide open. My key left in the lock, with my jeans dangling off it via the chain.

No joke

I know this all sounds silly and funny now, but I’m not kidding around when I mentioned alcohol poisoning. I’ve drunk a LOT in my time. I’ve woken up with the sort of hangover that left me promising to never drink again, and then done that again the next day. I’ve been unable to get out of bed from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon, but I have never, ever felt anywhere near as bad as I did the morning after all that Absinthe.

That was the only time I have ever been worried I wouldn’t survive.

frg

To put it into perspective a light hangover lasts a morning, a regular hangover lasts a day, and a severe hangover lasts a weekend. It took me more than a week to recover from this one.

iz1b1i

I felt how this looks

I was physically, mentally, and emotionally destroyed.

So much for denial.

Full circle

And with that, we’re now back to Origins #1.

That’s not the end of the story. The drama only escalates from here. Things get more insane with Rene, and I’ll introduce you to Mia, who makes Rene appear rational by comparison. Dear lord, what a life I’ve lived.

Seeya next time.

Origins #14

15 Apr

I was in recovery mode after spending the night with my boss’s daughter.

I don’t remember exactly what I did for the rest of the day after Rene dropped me home. I do remember that my hangover felt something akin to being a frog trying to swim through a washing machine and was demanding my full attention. My consideration and evaluation of the complexities of the situation with had to wait until my liver and kidneys did their part.

Goodbye, Saturday

When I was feeling a little more human again I started to consider the situation. It was a tough spot.

I was already dealing with so much else and the potential drama inherent in getting involved with the boss’s daughter was only going to add to the other stress I was dealing with. On the other hand, I’d liked Rene for a long time and I was absolutely stoked that we’d finally gotten past all the bullshit and gotten it out in the open that we were attracted to each other.

I don’t think I dwelt on it all much throughout that Saturday. I probably watched v8supercars or stared mindlessly at episodes of The IT Crowd, or Community, or Lost, or Breaking Bad, or whatever else I was binge watching at the time. I was no doubt doing my level best to distract myself from what I was going to have to deal with sooner or later, even if I didn’t realise that at the time.

Saturday came and went and nothing happened. My impression of a vegetable continued right through until bedtime, at which point I drifted into the arms of slumber once more hoping that I’d wake up into a world far less complex than the one I left when I closed my eyes.

Sunday, thoughtful Sunday

Sunday arrived a lot more gently than Saturday had. I was feeling like myself again and had accepted that today was the day I was going to figure out what to do about the situation with Rene. I hadn’t contacted her Saturday, so I figured I’d better send something through.

The problem was, I didn’t know what I wanted to say. I had to figure out if I actually wanted to go ahead with it. I knew that I’d told Rene that I’d ask her out but I was pretty smashed at the time and wasn’t exactly evaluating my decisions particularly well. I had to decide what I really wanted and what I wanted to do about it.

I lost most of that Sunday mulling it over.

thinkingI really liked her but there was no getting around the fact that her father was my boss, or that getting involved with Rene would get the gossip mill running itself into a frenzy the minute anyone heard. On the work front, I assumed that Gus would soon be ousted and we’d get back to the awesome working environment that I’d experienced before his arrival, and this thing with Rene was a risk that might stop things ever getting back to being easy and fun there like they used to be.

And there was also my proclivity to keep life as simple as possible. Getting involved with Rene was undoubtedly wrought with drama.

But I eventually acknowledged that those concerns were outdated seeing that I’d already gotten involved with Rene. There was no point pretending nothing had happened. We’d hooked up. We’d made it clear we were interested in each other. There was no undoing that, no going back. I was going to have to deal with whatever fallout came my way.

Having accepted that reality, I began evaluating the situation from a different perspective.

What if I think of her as Rene and not just as my boss’s daughter?

Rene was a stunningly beautiful woman. She came from a tight-knit, caring, wealthy family. She was witty, funny, clever, sweet and was nearing the end of her law studies. Rene and her family were constantly participating in charitable events and had always appeared kind, compassionate, caring and sensible people. Rene had always struck me as a generous and charitable young woman in her own right. Looking at it from that perspective, I couldn’t deny that I was essentially debating weather or not I wanted to go out with the girl of my dreams. All of a sudden it seemed like a pretty stupid question.

The girl who I thought was utterly awesome had been so interested in me that she couldn’t help but cry over the fact that I hadn’t made a move on her. I took that to mean she was pretty keen on me. For the first time in my life, someone I thought was too good for me thought I was too good for her. Man, that’s the good stuff. That’s what people chase their whole lives. That’s the sort of thing you take a risk on.

And so I concluded I’d be a coward and a fool not to go ahead with asking Rene out.

It doesn’t have to be a big deal

I rationalised that it didn’t have to be a big deal anyway, not right away anyway. We could just hang out for a while and keep it quiet while we figured out how we got along. If everything went well we’d eventually have to come clean but I already had a good rapport with her family and assumed that if it was obvious I was genuinely interested in Rene, and was treating her well, they wouldn’t necessarily be against me being with her. I got a bit optimistic and wondered if they might even like the idea.

We’d already gotten past what usually happens in the first few dates, we’d just done it all in one night. I remember thinking that was pretty cool because it took a lot of the stress out of it, but I thought it best that if I was going to play the ‘under the radar’ game, we’d better keep things a bit less hands on at the start. I could handle Tim Everlong finding out I was seeing his daughter without him knowing, but I figured getting properly intimate with her could wait until we figured out what we were actually doing.

So that left me with exactly what I’d been looking for: a woman I was properly interested in who I could spend time with doing fun things. Nothing serious, just a cruisy situation where we could get together and go out to dinners and see movies and shows and whatever else we felt like doing. If it progressed from there, that’d be awesome. If it didn’t, whatever, no dramas, we wouldn’t have to tell anyone about it. We could avoid the all drama until there was a situation in which the drama would be justified. It was a win-win situation.

Ask her out already

So I’d figured all that out, and all I had to do was ask Rene out.

Yeah… um… that should have been an easy thing to do, right? Turns out that trying to find the right words was far from simple and there’s that “wait three days” rule thing, so I pussied out and decided to wait for Monday instead. Judge me all you want. It was a fucking tough situation.

At least I knew what I was going to do.

Back soon

OK, so that may not have been the most exciting post but it is somewhat important to the overall story. Things will start sparking up again in the next post.

Origins #13

8 Apr

Morning had arrived. My mouth was dry. My head was sore. My body was tired. The light pushing it’s way in through my window was unwelcome.

brightlightI hoped that the memories of spending the night with my boss’s daughter, Rene Everlong, were the fictitious remnants of a dream.

I rolled back from my right side onto my back and reluctantly looked to my left. There she was. Laid out in my bed, her eyes lightly closed, the hint of a smile gracing her face. Rene looked like a happy little angel, secretly full of mischief.

What have I done?

It wasn’t a dream. I had spent the night with my boss’s daughter.

Fuck.

It’s one of those cardinal rules of life! Everyone knows, you don’t hook up with your boss’s daughter!

oh-god-what-have-i-doneIt’s not like I didn’t like Rene. Of course I did. I’d been interested in her for a long time and had very much wanted to get together with her, but not like this. Not as part of some alcohol fueled night of drama after drama after drama. I wasn’t unhappy that we’d gotten together, but it was just a rough scenario to wake up to.

What’s in a kiss?

I clambered up and sat with my legs off my side of the bed, back to Rene, elbows of knees and head in my hands. incredulousI took a deep breath and let it slowly escape my lungs as I considered the situation I’d woken up to. My internal monologue was interrupted by a gentle, soft touch at the bottom of the back of my neck.

I hadn’t yet made sense of what just happened. I turned to see what was going on, only to catch a glimpse of Rene as she darted off to the bathroom. I realised that delicate sensation I’d felt had been Rene kissing me. A stolen, sneak attack of affection. Just her style.

That simple act undid a lot of the anguish I’d been dealing with. I remember quite clearly that I broke out into a broad, goofy smile because I knew that meant Rene was happy about what happened, and that in itself took a lot of weight off my shoulders. There was something really sweet in that kiss. It’s difficult for me to describe, but in the face of all the chaos of what came before and after it, I still remember that moment very fondly.

How much does a hangover weigh?

As much as I enjoyed that, my hangover was growing exponentially with each passing second. I stumbled my way to the kitchen and grabbed a glass of water to help wash down the handful of Panadols I’d grab from the bathroom after waiting patiently for Rene. I remember offering some Panadols to Rene, but being seven years my junior, she laughed at the idea of needing something to help her recover and accused me of being a senior citizen for needing them myself.

too oldShe also chuckled at me for telling her I felt like I needed another shower. Regardless, in attempted to wash the previous night away in an attempt to return to feeling something like a human being.

Y’know, It’s amazing the difference brushing your teeth can make in bringing you back from the dregs of a night of over consumption. I suspect I lingered in the bathroom longer than necessary as I struggled to get my head around the circumstances I found myself in.

“Promise you won’t tell anyone”

Rene was dressed and sitting on the bed. I sat down and asked her how she was holding up. She explained that she was alright and happy about what happened but asked me to promise I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. I thought having to promise not to tell anyone was a bit much, but I wasn’t in any rush for anyone to know about what had happened myself, so I agreed.

Coffee?

As much as Rene had smirked at me about my slow recovery rate, she had suddenly become very keen to get a coffee into her system, ASAP. coffee-ivThe problem was, I had none. No coffee, no tea, basically none of the standard hot morning drinks were on offer at my place. Rene’s solution was for us to go out somewhere to get one.

Unfortunately, my car wasn’t allowed on the road and we’d walked/trollied our way back to my place from the pub and leaving Rene’s car there, so our only remaining option was two feet and a heartbeat. Sure, we were right not to drive the night before, but facing that lengthy, hangover ridden walk back, I began ruing our decision to obey that one law while continuing to go on to break so many other of society’s unwritten rules.

I suggested we walk down to one of the coffee shops near my place, but Rene had her heart set on a specific coffee from a specific place. Rene also pointed out that we’d have to get to her car eventually anyway, at which point I suggested I suggested we get a cab to her car. Rene scoffed, telling me the walk was so short, it wouldn’t be worth the effort of calling a taxi.

Walk on

And with that, we began our journey through the blaring sunlight of a humid, not-quite-ready-to-rain, Saturday morning in semi-urban/semi-suburban Perth. Rene voiced her concerns that we should walk via the back streets rather than the main road in case someone were to see us. It’s a relatively easy walk by the main road because it’s a nice level road with good footpaths. The back streets on the other hand, are more arduous. The back way involves suburban-style streets. If there are footpaths, they’re covered with leaves and honkey nuts and assorted other random shit that ends up between the cracks of the broken cement and the worn bitumen.

I don’t remember much about that walk other than just pushing through the hangover and tiredness and not really feeling very talkative. I don’t think much was said over the course of the trek. Perhaps trudge is more apt? It felt like it lasted two hours but it was probably only about 40 minutes.

Rene was wary that we’d be seen by someone from Everlong because many of us lived around the area, so as we neared the Chesterfield pub, we had to choose between walking an extra block past it and doubling back to minimise time spent on the main road, or walking three quarters of a block up the main street.

I was struggling and doubted the likelihood of anyone from work seeing us. I figured, even if they did, there was much to explain. We were just walking down the street, so who cares?

I didn’t give Rene much choice in the matter. She followed as I started walking down the main street.

As we walked down that main street, we passed all sorts of interesting ethnic places. Restaurants, cafes, whatever, they all seemed to be exotic places down that particular block. It just happened that the few people we passed were all speaking in languages other than English.

For whatever reason, this caused me to remark that sometimes I wonder if I’m even still in Australia when I walk through this patch of road. Rene stopped and with wide eyes said “You really just said that”, as if she was astonished that I could say something so offensive. Rene’s part Asian, so maybe she thought I was being racist, I don’t know. Then again, why would a racist guy hook up with an Asian girl? That’s just one more question I don’t have the answer to. All I meant was that it’s cool to have so many different businesses and people from so many places all available in such a short walk from my place.

Did he see us?

Sometimes life, or the universe, or whichever cosmic comedian is in charge of such things, spots an opportunity they just can’t resist. Rene and I covering that short bit of ground down the main road after avoiding it the rest of the way must have been one such opportunity, and thus, about 100 metres away from Rene’s car, I spot a very familiar and distinct vehicle heading our way.

Trundling towards us at barely a smidge over walking pace is the bright red Fiat of none other than Mike Monarch, a manager at Everlong. Mike had been my direct manager for my first few years at Everlong and had known the Everlong family for about 7 years at that point, so I knew there was no way in hell he wouldn’t recognise Rene and me.

Dammit.

My standard approach to an awkward situation, or any difficult situation really, is to face it head on. That’s why I thought to myself, “Mike’s going to see us? Fine. I’ll bloody wave at him and acknowledge it, so at least we don’t look like we’re hiding anything.”
I wasn’t quite ready for what happened next, though.

Having recognised it was Mike, I began to raise my hand to wave. I was looking directly at Mike and Mike was looking directly at me as he rolled towards us from maybe 50 metres away. I swear I saw his eyes widen when he saw me, at which point I assumed he recognised me… but then turned his whole head to the left in what I can best describe as an “NOPE! I’M NOT SEEING THIS” manoeuvre.

nopeaway

I now refer to this move as the “Nopeaway”

See that gif? It was exactly like that, except he didn’t look back.

And off trundled Mike Monarch in his little red Fiat, leaving me with standing still, frozen mid-stride with an unwaved arm extended as if I was waiting for a high five that was never going to come.

It went exactly like this.

It went exactly like this.

So that was some great timing and an awesome reaction which sure helped to make things a whole heap more bloody confusing.

Rene asked me why I’d stopped. I explain it was because I just saw Mike. She asked me, “Did he see us?”, and I told her I was certain that he’d recognised us. When I told her how he’d reacted, the colour drained out of her face.

We’ve gotta get our story straight!

“Oh my God. We have to figure out what we’re going to tell people. We’ve gotta get our story straight!”, Rene said in a rush of words so fast I could barely take them in.
“Let’s figure it out while you get your coffee”, I said as I let the magnificence of the situation soak into the dense cluster of mud that was thumping mercilessly between my ears.

We jumped into Rene’s fancy pants little black BMW and headed off towards the home of her favourite and walk-all-the-way-back-to-her-car-worthy coffee vendor. We discussed our story on the way.

“OK, so let’s tell everyone that I fell asleep on your couch while we were watching a movie. Laura will believe that. I do it all the time.” Rene told me.
“I’ll say whatever you want me to”, I confirmed.
“OK. OK. Yep. That’s it. No one will know anything. That’s fine. Yep. We’ll just tell everyone that.” Rene stammered with more than a hint of anxiety.

At some point along the trip, Rene did something a bit weird as far as driving goes. I don’t remember exactly what. Maybe she hit a curb, or ran a gear too long, or changed lanes without indicating. I know it wasn’t a huge deal sort of thing but I asked her something like, “Do you always drive like this, or is it just because you’re hungover?” I was genuinely curious but the look she gave me suggested she took that question as an insult. Rene just said something to the effect of knowing she’s not the best driver and that was the end of it.

At long last, the Coffee shop

When Rene told me she wanted to get her favourite coffee from her favourite place, I assumed she meant some fancy coffee shop where they use beans from a place I’ve never heard of and brew it for an hour in front of you while you wait.

coffeeI was wrong.

See, I thought we’d sit in a nice cozy little coffee shop and talk about what had happened and how to deal with the fallout in the future. Maybe we’d figure out this date I’d committed to asking her out on and maybe we’d have a chance to just chill out and enjoy each other’s company, minus the influence of alcohol.

It turns out, however, Rene’s favourite coffee was to be acquired from a drive through stall in the middle of an industrial area.

There goes that idea.

Homeward bound

Once Rene had been handed her takeaway coffee through the open window of her very spiffy, very recent BMW, we began the drive back to my place to drop me off.

I seem to recall that we were a little less anxious on the way back but I was a bit lost because it seemed like we weren’t going to talk about things much at all, and I’d have to face the music at work on Monday with very little more to say other than “She fell asleep on the couch while we were watching a movie.”

It was a strange situation.

We eventually arrived out the front of my apartment. Rene pulled to a stop, we said some mildly awkward goodbyes and, not knowing what else to do, I leaned over and kissed her.

And that was that. I was left to recover from my hangover alone, and try to figure out exactly what I’d gotten myself into and how best to deal with it.

Next time

So that concludes the night my boss’s daughter stayed over, but trust me, the drama is only just getting started. Make sure to come back and read more about how my life slowly exploded into a flaming ball of chaos, confusion and hurt feelings.

Crazy bitch tip: Sometimes covering your own arse isn’t the only important thing.

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