The hallway serves its purpose. People walk through the brightness of the large windows on both sides. Some glance out to see what the weather is like or take a quick scan of the lot to see which of the powerful have filled their reserved parking spots. Others walk through so wrapped up in their days that they fail to notice the world beyond the glass at all.
Birds are sometimes fooled by the reflective glass on bright days or the illusion of a clear path to the other side at twilight; their moments of impact seldom seen or heard by the people inside. The images are left, in the oils and dust each bird carries on its wings – pressed suddenly onto the glass in fine detail. An instant of flight and graceful freedom captured in the faintest of prints. The image of the bird held in suspended animation until the next rainstorm or custodian’s rag.
I know what you’re thinking; bad title. No one with a hangover or even the memory of a hangover would relish the thought of dissecting anything. Hangovers and dissection will often result in tossing your cookies in the general proximity of the gross anatomy lab. Trust me on that fact and we’ll leave it at that.
The worst part of the hangover for me isn’t the headache. Though it’s there, with bells on. No amount of pillows or darkness or ibuprofen will erase it. The nausea or general feeling of yuk isn’t the worst of it either.
The worst part of the hangover is my freaking imagination. That tiny grain of a thought that maybe this isn’t a hangover at all. That maybe the fact that I drank beers and shots and more beers last night is just a coincidence. There’s a blossoming idea in my head and it’s thumbing through the Rolodex of horrible central nervous system killers. Brain tumors and degenerative disorders with a side order of antibiotic-resistant infections. It’s building steam and branching out to other horrible illnesses.
Massive headache – isn’t that a sign of an sub-arachnoid hemorrhage and Dengue fever?
Sensitivity to light – that’s consistent with tumors on the optic nerve and Huntington’s Chorea, isn’t it?
Nausea – What illness doesn’t have nausea connected to it?
Soon I’ve convinced myself that I have some rare, horrific disorder. I’m then faced with yet another brutally upsetting idea. What if right now, lying in my bed trying to find a cool spot on the pillow to put over my face while suppressing increasingly moist, bourbon-scented belches is as good as it gets? What if every one of my days from here on out is even worse than this?! After all, this is the typical progression for Mongolian Brain Fever. You wake up one day with hangover-like symptoms, then within a month you’re lying in an iron lung with anti-nausea suppositories every 2 hours. Each day is worse than the one before it. I’ll look back in my morphine induced haze to this first day of hideous symptoms and wish I could feel this good again.
That’s it. Surely I’ve got Mongolian Brain Fever. Disregard the fact that I haven’t traveled to the Gobi Desert or ingested under-cooked Asian ground squirrel in the past several months. All logic is abandoned and I must accept that somehow it’s happened. I narrow it down to one of two questionable dietary choices in the previous couple of weeks. In a moment of extremely poor judgement, I had eaten one of those hot dogs on the heated roller thing down at the 7-11. I knew it was a bad idea, but I was weak with hunger and cash poor. The other possibility was that chicken salad from the week before last. I thought that it had might have been in the fridge a little too long, but when I smelled it, the fishy odor was very faint. Maybe I was too congested to notice, but it’s too late now. Before any of you smart asses start listing the differences between undercooked ground squirrel and chicken salad, allow me to point out that there are dozens of unscrupulous chicken farmers out there who will feed their hens any number of sketchy ingredients to fatten them up. We needn’t begin to speculate the actual ingredients of hot dogs. I know it’s all a little far fetched, but these kinds of delusions are typical with MBF.
Convinced that this horrid day will be the best one I have left as I close in on the great beyond, I struggle out of bed. I kiss my wife, despite her obvious annoyance with me, and my eyes well-up with tears. I’ll miss this place. I need to fight the throbbing in my head and get on with the business of the day. I had originally planned to spend the day cleaning out the garage and picking up dog dookie in the yard, but my plans must change. As this is likely the first day of my steep spiral down life’s drain, I’ll need to savor the hours I have left. I decide to spend my day on the couch, surrounded by my family as they work on the garage and clean up after the dog. I don’t want to burden them with the tragic news of my self-diagnosis. I want to enjoy them in their state of innocent bliss.
They’ll undoubtedly resent my lack of help today, but within a few weeks, they’ll regret their selfish, petty feelings as they witness my rapid wasting away. I’ll forgive them of course, they foolishly thought it was only a hangover.
Let me start this with a disclaimer. While many people close to me know I’m not the world’s biggest pet lover, I understand that even the most cynical among us get attached to our pets. When they pass away (see I didn’t say “die” – I’m sensitive that way), we miss them and mourn them like they were members of the family – because they were (kind of like that odd, flatulent aunt who sleeps on the floor in the sun and sniffs at herself).
Okay, that’s out of the way.
I re-activated my Facebook account to try to build my blog readership. Self-serving, I know, but it’s Facebook – not the Little Sisters of the Poor. In truth, the account was never deactivated, it will be active forever. You can’t kill a Facebook account, believe me, I’ve tried.
I found the world of Facebook to be chugging right along without me. When I suddenly reappeared on the site after more than a year away, there was no fanfare of trumpets or any such big deal. Many of the same people who were posting what they had for breakfast or other such trivial blathering, were right there where I’d left them. They were gloating about having just eaten the best bowl of steaming oatmeal known to man (Allow me to take a brief moment to “Like” Jimmy’s Diner in Newark, Delaware, home of the famous Bottomless Bowl of the World’s Best Oatmeal).
While I know I can’t change the way people use FB, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to make fun of some of the nonsense I see on there.
Today I went on and found the usual suspects, playing games and yakking about their grand kids, their breakfasts, their spiritual journeys and their grand kids’ breakfasts and/or spiritual journeys. One post I saw caught my eye. A friend of a friend (who wasn’t actually my friend), had posted something. The adage about “any friend of so-and-so is a friend of mine” doesn’t apply to online friends in my humble opinion. This person’s being a friend of a friend makes it permissible for me to find fault with how they live their FB lives, without actually insulting them, since they don’t know me.
Well, deal with it, because I’m doing it anyway.
Where was I?
This person posted that they missed their dog, who had passed away a year ago today. They wrote something along the lines of “R.I.P. Skippy! We miss you!”. I won’t bore you with a lengthy philosophical discussion about the canine afterlife. Suffice to say that, as a hopeless romantic, I can only hope that doggie heaven is filled with rolling meadows, unlimited tennis balls and no shortage of decomposing possums to roll around in. Come to think of it, I may have just stumbled upon what possum hell is like. Further discussion of possum hell will have to wait for another post.
One thing I know with an egotistically high degree of certainty is this; even in doggie heaven, dogs can’t read. Even if they could read, they would have a hard time getting the computer to go to Facebook – paws just don’t work that way. I know this is getting increasingly far-fetched – yuk yuk! Even if they could read, get onto Facebook and follow their former masters without technically friending them, why the hell would they? I thought doggie heaven was filled with old slippers to gnaw on and various unlimited butts to sniff. If Skippy has the option to be chasing squirrels and Buicks with Old Yeller and Rin Tin Tin, why in the world would you want him tied to a computer following you on Facebook?! Your poor, deceased Schnauzer-mix is finally off the leash and running wild in doggie heaven and you’re tethering him to the laptop like the rest of us?! You cruel bastard!
It doesn’t help your case that Skippy knows you went out and got that new puppy 3 months after he went onto the big kennel in the sky. Did you think he’d see your R.I.P. note from doggie heaven and not see those cute puppy snap-shots you posted a few months back? A Labra-doodle?! Seriously?! Skippy is barely cold and you went out and got thatbitch?!
I hope you’re happy with yourself. It’s people like you who are causing a huge upswing in dog-related poltergeists in this world and the afterworld. Poor Skippy, he’s spinning in his grave out behind the garage right now. Rest in peace, my ass!