Hungover heath

By the time I had motivated myself out of the house to get potatoes from Marks and Spencers, it was already shut. Bloody Sunday.

Thankfully there was Anna selling “Friendly Falafels” outside the pharmacy, finding ways to keep herself ticking over having lost most of her summer festival trade. I had not met her before, but she practices Nichiren Buddhism. I bought a £7 falafel wrap and we talked about Daisaku Ikeda. Now I’m on the balcony at Mel’s in the evening sun wondering how I managed to lose most of the day and regretting saying “yes” to chili sauce.

I hadn’t really banked on getting drunk like that last night, and maybe my liver was just getting used to being treated slightly better as I took the brickbat to it once more. This morning I woke from fitful dreams to the harsh and pressing waking understanding that the contents of my stomach had absolutely no interest in staying there a moment longer. Quite a start to the day, singing the frogsong like that. Somewhere on the heath an early morning herpetologist would have frozen in place: “The call of the Hampstead Yodelfrog. Sounds like a big one! I thought they were extinct!”

No painkillers in the flat, after I rinsed them in February when my shoulder was trying to kill me. A banana and a paracetamol might have been the key to a more productive day.

As was, the rest of my day was given to a shambling mumbling torpor as I kept myself topped up with water and slid in and out of sleep, occasionally swearing and frequently saying the word “right!” in a decisive voice before doing nothing, and falling asleep again hoping that the headache would go. At one point I allowed myself to take comfort in the fact that it’s Sunday so I’m technically allowed to lounge around hungover all day because that’s what it says in the manual. You can’t even buy potatoes after six on a Sunday. Activity is not encouraged. I didn’t encourage it.

Now after my falafel and a bottle of Purdeys I actually feel like I’m alive again, just in time for evening and bath and sleep. I’ll be clambering back on the wagon again after a messy fall. Building myself up to solstice. And trying to work out how to get to the woods for the weekend.

At least the sun stays late, so despite the closed shops I was able to catch the evening sun and feel it on my skin and experience daytime for a moment. Next thing would be to get the fire up and running. There’s plenty of wood discarded in people’s gardens at the moment following various DIY projects, and plenty more fallen from trees around the heath. With a bit of rearrangement there’s the possibility of a good safe summer evening fire up on the balcony. But not in this state. That’s a job for sober Al. Not shaky hungover Malnutrition Al.

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I still want potatoes. There’s a steak in the fridge…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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