Every time I wake up dry-lipped, searching around in the dark for recent memories, I take a breath–open my phone, and start looking desperately for hangover cures.
This morning I opened my phone and paused–I’ve done this before, I thought. I closed my phone, then my eyes before falling asleep thinking; I’ve grown.
A few hours later I’m awoken by someone pushing at my arm.
“Everything hurts!” Y moans.
I try to nod but can’t manage it. “Mhm–” I say instead.
There is more moaning, groaning and arm pushing.
“Why does everything hurt!”
I open my eyes, Y has a pillow pressed over her face.
“We drank too much, it’s a hangover.”
She rolls over, “uh-uh, a hangover is when you have a headache.”
“You’re getting old,” I tell her. She rolls back, glaring.
“You’re fucking old,” she reminds me.
I laugh. It hurts. She cradles herself, closes her eyes. “I can’t decide what hurts more…my legs.”
She rubs at her legs then falls back. “No, my arms.”
She holds up one arm, hand hanging off a limp wrist. “My body is just one bag full of shit—sorry for the details—my body is just full of—very shit—liquid shit, dog shit! You can’t do anything—or form anything, like liquid snow, you can’t do anything! Look at my hand.”
She wiggles her hand in front of my face, I try to watch it but start feeling sick. She lets it fall, groaning, “I cannot hold it up. My hands—my legs, my head it’s all formless dog shit!—ew, just talking to you I want to throw up, no—not because it’s you…you’re…nice.”
She reaches over to try and stroke my face lovingly but instead manages to poke me in the eye.
“Sorry.” She tries again, this time her hand falls short onto the pillow beside.
Somewhere a phone alarm starts going off. Y groans.
“Don’t you have work today?” I ask, remembering.
I frown, “I think you do.”
“No,” she repeats, firmer.
I want to check the time, but don’t. Instead I ask, “when do you have work then?”
“I don’t” she whispers, drifting off.
I want to argue, I try, “I think you do.”
She rolls over, “I don’t have to do anything when I feel like this.”
My mouth feels as heavy as my eyes. It’s no use.
I drift off, gently reminding myself that there is no god, because if there were, amount of responsibility and severity of hangovers certainly wouldn’t be walking through life hand-in-hand.