by Meg Rose
Just something from the line some young people walk between having fun and self-abuse.
|This morning I woke up with the kind of hangover you can only get when you mix every German-named spirit known to man. From what I can remember, I had a double of what people at the party were calling "Blitzkreig". The peach syrup(poured from a can of Del Monte of course.) really helped to hide the Jagermeister, Ausbach, and Goldschlager. Last night was the first and last time I attend a German-themed costume party. Even though I was looking pretty fierce in pigtails and lederhosen, the Nazi costumes some of the guys wore were just bad taste. But I gotta say, Hitler started looking pretty damn good after a few drinks!
But there I was- legs and pigtails askew, smelling like nail polish remover, a shockingly detailed cartoon drawing of a talking penis on my thigh, just lying there miserable in my bathtub. Jeremy, my long-suffering tabby cat was staring daggers at me from the bathroom threshold. I probably vomited in his water dish again. As I dragged myself to the toilet, I started trying to remember what had happened the night before.
Out of the haze I discerned a few things, more than usual in fact. I know the party was at Lizzie's apartment, a convenient two blocks away from my own. I remember driving down early to help her prep the place, and being buzzed by the time everybody got there. Halfway through the night, I lost one of my heels and after enlisting two other scantily dressed girls I barely knew into helping me find it, I gave up, kicked off the other one and proceeded to party down barefoot. After next losing my car keys to the hostess, I staggered my way back home down those now less convenient two blocks. As I stared down the new contents of the toilet bowl I noticed a spot of red. Then another, and another. My nose had started bleeding! That was about the time I remembered that Matt had brought cocaine.
Sadly, I didn't have much time to think about my insane escapades for too much longer. The phone had started to ring. I got up and somehow made it to the kitchen in one piece, only to see the worst possible name on the caller ID. DADDY. Blinking at me mockingly, so bright and green it made me feel even sicker. I breathed in deep, knowing if I didn't pick up he'd just call back at a worse time, if there in fact was one.
"Christine? Christ honey, why do you sound like you've just smoked a carton of cigarettes?" He was right. Time once again for a classic excuse...
"Yeah, I've been kinda sick."
"You're still drunk from last night aren't you?" I paused. I wasn't sure what was scarier, him knowing that, or the way he didn't sound at all surprised.
"Your mom sounds the same way the morning after a bender."
"You still remember her hungover voice?"
"I heard it often enough." Like mother like daughter I suppose. I always seem to forget how mommy dearest was, always smelling like mint julep and Chanel No. 5. Though it gets hard to remember the little things when your parents divorce and your mother goes to Europe to 'find herself' for sixteen years.
"So I see you've been failing almost every course they could throw at you."
"To be honest, I didn't know college would be this hard.."
"Of course not sweetie, it's always difficult managing school when you sleep all day and stay out all night!"
"I'm awake now, aren't I?"
"It's four in the afternoon Christine, but I guess you're ahead of schedule today."
"What the hell is with all the criticism? Can't you at least be glad that I'm living on my own, like an adult?"
"Living on your own in an apartment where I pay your rent, with the credit card that I get the bill for, with the hopes that you at least pass your general education classes? To be honest, I'm disappointed." Oh god, here it was again. The big disappointment speech, where my dad would tell me how important it is to do well in school, get a job, be responsible, blahblahblah. I promptly muted my phone so he wouldn't hear me vomit into the sink while he continued to tell me that at this time in my life, the decisions I make will forever impact my future.
"Honey, you may not know it with how often I nag you but you scare me to death." I froze. I quickly spat into the sink and pounded unmute.
"What? Daddy I'm fine I just-"
"I know you're okay now, when I call you the morning after. It's the only thing that keeps me from having a panic attack. But what about last night? I know you wouldn't have answered the phone if I called you then. But what am I supposed to think when I get your credit card statement and see you made a two hundred dollar ATM withdrawal at two AM? Last night you accidentally called and all I could hear in the background was 'Hiel Hitler!', how could I know that you're fine? How am I really sure you won't be a face on a milk carton? I know you're an adult. There's only so much I can do to try and get you to do what I think you should, and even then it's all on you. But please honey, for my sake at least try to be more safe."
"Daddy, you know I'm not an idiot. I don't get in my car drunk, I never just go home with a guy.."
"I know, but waking up feeling the way you do can't be fun, can it? At least sober up before you go to bed next time, you'll feel better in the morning."
"Okay, I will."
"I gotta get back to work, my break is almost over. And try to get to class tomorrow, you got accepted for a reason."
"And here I thought it was for my looks!"
"I love you sweetheart." Somehow, that was what hit me. The way he said it, it sounded as if it was hard to say, like he was admitting defeat.
"I.. love you too daddy."
I hung up, just standing there in my kitchen with my head pounding, my stomach churning, and all I could think about was how much I wish I could have said I'm sorry. I don't know if he would believe it, and I'm not sure I would even be honest in saying so, but at least it would have been said. I grabbed a gatorade from the fridge and sulked back to the bathroom. It would be a long day, and I needed a shower.