Absinthe (last part)

So Joyce and I went out to dinner with a friend of hers, Mrs. LaSalle…and Mrs. LaSalle got us drunk on absinthe, which neither me nor Joyce had ever tasted before. That wouldn’t have been too bad, except that we had to get home, and both of us were too tore up to drive. Keaton lives across the street from Mrs. LaSalle and came over to move Joyce’s car into the garage in Mrs. LaSalle’s building. Joyce and I were having a big fight about all of this, and Ubered back to her house without saying a word to each other.

(There’s another lesson Dad taught me: don’t ever argue in front of anyone else.)

The ride home quieted us down some, so we didn’t start up all over again when we got back to Joyce’s. Then I said I wanted something to drink, and got a beer from the refrigerator. That set Joyce off again. She said I was turning into an alcoholic, which was pretty dang unfair to a man who rarely has more than two beers. Then she stormed into the bedroom and slammed the door. She didn’t even lock MuMu and Numnums up, so her lameass cats could have attacked me while I was sleeping on the couch. Since I was fighting with Joyce, I was worried that they might hate me even more than usual. Lucky for all three of us, they didn’t pull anything during the night.

And I was stuck spending the night at Joyce’s. The shitbox was parked in the garage, but Keaton made me give him the keys to that too.

I’m not sure too many people mix beer with absinthe, but the effect on me was that I passed out on the couch before I even finished the bottle. And I mean passed out cold.

I woke up in my clothes and probably looking like shit. My watch said 8:00, which meant I wasn’t going to have a lot of time to go get the Tesla if Joyce wasn’t going to be too late for work.

And fuck did I have hangover. Like my tongue really was stuck to the roof of my mouth, my head was pounding and my eyes felt glued shut. We didn’t close the drapes the night before, and Joyce’s living room gets a lot of morning sun. So, when I did mange to open my eyes, I wished I hadn’t. (I had sunglasses…but they were locked in the shitbox.)

I sent for an Uber and looked in at Joyce. She was out like a dead possum on the bed, still in her clothes and makeup and everything. I know Joyce hates to sleep in her makeup, so she must have passed out almost as quickly as I did. I decided to let her sleep and very gently made my way outside to the car when it came. I can’t imagine what the Uber driver thought from how I looked and how I was acting. I half wanted to explain that this was my girlfriend’s house and that I wasn’t coming back from some wild drunken orgy lol.

I texted Keaton when we were getting close to his building. I knew it was super early for him. When he opened the door of his apartment, he looked like someone who always needs a haircut looks when they get out of bed after 4 hours sleep. Like shit, in other words. I don’t think he said anything. He just growled (nicely) and handed over all the keys.

I let him go back to sleep, went outside and across the street and picked up the phone at the box outside the front door of Mrs. LaSalle’s building. She buzzed me in. When I got upstairs, I found her looking totally fresh, her hair arranged and her makeup on already, even though she’d probably had more to drink last night than either me or Joyce. She was busy watering the plants and got a good laugh out of how I looked. (Joyce doesn’t have any mirrors in the living room, so I still hadn’t gotten a look at myself. Mrs. LaSalle does have mirrors, and let’s just say I looked as bad as I felt. And seriously needed a comb. To say nothing of a toothbrush.)

Getting the Tesla out of the garage was easy, and I was soon driving it back up to Joyce’s.

When I got there and let myself in, Joyce was still in the bedroom, but awake and clearly as hungover as I was. We took one look at each other and burst out laughing.

“I’ll go start coffee.”

“Make plenty of it,” I said. “Like at least two baseball mugs full. With Tylenol instead of sugar.”

“There’s actually something I’ve always wanted to try. It’s an old hangover remedy they talk about in classic movies.”

“What is it?”

“It’s called a prairie oyster.”

“A what?”

“A prairie oyster. Claudette Colbert orders one on the train in The Palm Beach Story, remember?” (Joyce showed me the movie one night. It’s actually pretty dang funny for a black and white movie.)

“What’s in it?”

“First you have promise you’ll have one if I have one.”

I eat tacos de cabeza. So I promised.

“Ok…so it’s a raw egg, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and freshly ground pepper.”

“That’s supposed to help a hangover?”

“That’s what they say. I don’t know. But let’s find out.”

So we went into the kitchen. Joyce got out two glasses, broke eggs into them, and got out the rest of the ingredients. I was a more generous with the hot sauce than she was.

“Do you stir it up or swallow it with the yolk whole?”

“I think you stir it up. It’d be less gross that way.”

So she handed me a fork and let’s just say that absinthe is a way prettier color than a prairie oyster.

“Here’s looking at you.” I think that’s what they say in old movies. “You swallow it all at once, right?”

“I hope so,” Joyce said.

So we went 1-2-3 and we downed our prairie oysters.

They’re as gross and slimy as they sound.

We looked at each other and burst out laughing again.

“Well…at least we can say we tried them,” said Joyce. “Do you feel any better? And what on Earth was it that Mrs. LaSalle gave us last night?”

“And how did she keep up with us? She was up and dressed and looked fresh as a daisy when I went to get the car. And look at us.” I laughed. “I have no idea what the Uber driver thought of me when he saw me. I didn’t even have a ball cap to put on…it’s locked in the shitbox along with my sunglasses.”

“Keaton certainly is thorough when he takes away people’s keys. But I’ll admit he was right…and that I got all worked up over something I didn’t need to get worked up about. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. I shouldn’t have lost my temper. I’m sorry too.”

“Apology accepted.”

I put my arms around Joyce and we both burst out laughing again. For a few seconds in there I thought we were going to have make-up sex. Then we both remembered our headaches.

“I’ll get the Tylenol,” I said. “I think I’ll feel better with food in my stomach. What do you think? Or is making breakfast going to make you late for work?”

“I can’t go in looking like this. If you think food will help, I’ll get some started. I’ve got to do something to pull myself together. I’ve never had a hangover…is this what they’re like.”

“Pretty much. Only this one is extra bad.”

“That wormwood’ll get you every time.”

I went to get the Tylenol while Joyce got the oven preheated for the biscuits.

Before I could take the bottle to her, Joyce dragged herself into the bathroom.

“I just realized…I’ve still got my makeup on from last night. Thanks for not mentioning it.” She saw herself in the mirror and took the Lord’s Name in vain. It wasn’t that bad…but she needed one of those wipe things she uses to take her makeup off pretty bad.

I didn’t say that however lol. I just left her alone to take care of her face while I popped open the can with the biscuits and put them on the cookie sheet. Neither of us felt up for eggs after those prairie oysters lol…but we had enough biscuits and coffee to get us to feel like we were human again. Joyce went to get ready for work, and I got into the shitbox, put on my ball cap and sunglasses, and drove home.

As for absinthe, I think me and Joyce both felt the way Mrs. LaSalle felt when she was on the top of Mount Everest: let’s never do that again lol.



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