In mind, body and spirit, I don’t feel 40. When practicing sentence patterns with my ESL kids we always hit the question, “How old are you?” More often than not, I lie, pause and then correct myself. Not because I am trying to hide my age but because my age is hidden to me. As I said, I don’t feel 40. Until I wake up after a night of drinking.
Hangovers seem to have gotten exponentially worse over the years. What once took a quick hop in the shower to overcome, can now take as long as a half day. (A full day for my wife.) I checked it out and apparently there is some scientific evidence stating that our bodies lose their ability to filter out booze as we get older thus causing hangovers to be felt more severely. It’s good to know that I’m not just turning into a wimp in my old age. On an aside, I also learned that we do a better job of processing higher end alcohol. Rigorous distillation and filtration steps make these top tier alcohols cleaner and less likely to be ‘enjoyed’ a second time the next morning. This gives me hope for the Saturdays following our monthly whisky meetings!
And so, as I lay here (I had to go old school with this one. A pencil, paper and pillow under my head!) struggling through the buzzing wasteland of a hangover that I have so foolishly brought upon myself, I am brought back to first year university. Of course, I had many drunken nights before Queen’s (House parties, prom parties, Chez Mo’s…oh my!) but it was here in a dark, damp, swill smelling pub called Alfies that I first heard the song, Home for a Rest, by Spirit of the West. It is one of those classic tunes that will never grow old or go out of style. I chugged pitchers to it in Alfies, played it regularly at Nepal and Savannah and watched my brother do the jig to it in a bucket of ice and Rachel’s and my wedding.
Time, family and life have helped me achieve a modest sense of maturity and stability. Nevertheless, it is doubtful that I will grow up anytime soon. Monthly Water Buffalo bowling nights, SEA whisky meetings, the occasional Friday night poker game and nights out dancing with Rachel and friends will continue to happen. I know there will always be that night where one dram leads to ‘just one more’. And I also know that this will not be the last of my morning after misery. So as the drums in my head keep pounding and the waves in my belly keep churning, I reach for an ibuprofen, swig it down with a glass of water, and head out the door with my family. To the hangover that promises to stay for the better part of today I say, “Bring it!”
Home For a Rest youtube link