By Heather Lowe
The sunlight from my curtainless window slowly creeps across my bedroom floor and with great hate in my heart, I begin to stir. I attempt to shrug off the daylight and sleep once more but the pangs of a full bladder and an empty stomach wake me yet again. It’s early Saturday afternoon, my head is screaming at me, my knee is terribly bruised and I gag while brushing my teeth. Despite this horrible start, I still have hope and move with purpose because I believe in my heart that somewhere downtown they must still be serving breakfast. (Please Lord, let there be breakfast.) Before I can even remember getting dressed or brushing my teeth, (Did I brush my teeth?) I’m out the door and on a mission. First, I need a comrade, then I need eggs and finally I need all the drinks: a spicy caesar, a can of coke, a coffee, a small orange juice and a water – please. I grimace at the poor waitress and choke back the acid in my throat. (Maybe if I have time I’ll swing by the store and grab a Gatorade.)
After living in the downtown core for several years I have learned some valuable tidbits that have helped me get by. For example, on a Saturday or Sunday morning it is always best to walk with my head hanging down and my eyes on the street. I don’t do this out of mortification or remorse and sure, the posture generously blocks the sunlight from my eyes and allows me to avoid any and all interactions but no. Mostly I do it so I can gracefully and accurately skip over the unexpected piles of urine and vomit that decorate the city sidewalks and seem to bake in the sunshine (Or worse, stain the snow.) I’ve also learned that if you plan to feed the squirrels in our small version of Central Park then it is imperative that you utilize the buddy system. The squirrels are unusually brazen in that end of town and you will find yourself quickly outnumbered. Finally, I have learned that the only known cure for a skull krushing hangover is to continue drinking. It sounds crazy and regrettably unhealthy but it’s true. If you don’t feel up to a full bender then it is best to fill up on greasy food, drink plenty of liquids and promptly go back to bed.
So, over buttery toast and runny eggs my comrade and I tell each other stories from the night before. We sit for hours relaying drunken lullabies about unwanted attention, humiliating happenings and gushing over intriguing new sparks that would eventually fade out or simply never call. We see friends from last night and feign guilt about our inappropriate dancing and laugh hysterically about something we had forgotten. My comrade and I sit there until our eggs get cold and the coffee is gone. We try to hold off the oncoming and inevitable shame spiral that is heading for us and vow to never drink again. We do this weekend after weekend after weekend and we never seem to realize how quickly everything is moving past us and leaving us behind.