The long and winding hangover

Mother's not a well woman!

Mother's not a well woman!

It’s Sunday night and I think I’m finally finished with a hangover that began in the early hours of Saturday morning.

James had texted me on Friday afternoon to see f I wanted to catch up for a bevvie after work. Well, it had been another week from hell at work so I quickly agreed.

We met around 6pm at what is quickly becoming the Elephant’s Graveyard, the Midnight Shift in Oxford Street. We had a few beers there before trying out luck at Stonewall up the road. Really boring and unusually quiet. We followed up with a bevvie across the road at the Oxford Hotel and I suggested to James that we try the Flinders Hotel.

A guy I know was doing the DJing on Friday night and it was a British Pop themed night. However, it was also the ‘Bears’ night. Click on this link for more information about what ‘Bears’ are. I’m certainly not a ‘bear’ and not into the bear sub-culture but we’d run out of venues to visit on Oxford Street. Poor old Oxford Street ain’t the thriving strip it once was.

We popped along to the Flinders and it was pretty much dead – the big night didn’t start ’til 10pm. However, a new doyen of the local ‘bear scene’, our good friend Andrew was there. So James and I immediately got into a chat, chat, chat with Andy. More beers were consumed – especially by me.

Later, I was introduced to a couple of Andrew’s fellow ‘bear buddies’ including a guy from America. I was so sozzled at this point, I was up for anything so I proceeded to make a move on this guy. Shamefully, very shamefully (as in no, it isn’t an amusing anecdote), I can’t remember his name. But anyway, along the way, James and Andrew both went home leaving me rather tanked but determined.

Somehow I ended up on a bus to Bondi Beach at 1am or 2am in the morning – can’t remember the time – and ended up back at this guy’s flat. Well, it was more like a room actually. Being so close to Bondi Beach, it’s about all a normal working person could afford.

Throughout the night I didn’t even think to drink any water. Something I was to regret rather forcefully the next morning. Saturday morning, when it did arrive, also brough the realisation that I had the hangover from hell. After staying a bit longer, I decided it was time to drag myself home – I would need a long shower and more sleep if I was to survive.

Walking out of this guy’s place I completely ignored the two coffee shop-type places out the front. I could have bought water, Diet Coke, anything. I just wasn’t thinking. About anything else except how appalling I was feeling and that I needed to be home NOW!

It wasn’t to be. The bus was late. It was a blazing Sydney morning with the sun shining on me at the bus stop like a 10,000 watt spotlight. Oh god, can it get any worse…yes, in fact it could. Not only was the bus late but it stopped and nearly every goddamn stop between Bondi Beach and Sydney city. It was interminable. I had my work bag with me but I was too sick to read or to listen to my mp3 player. I just kind of sat there and felt ill.

I desperately needed to go the loo when we got to town. I managed to pick up a Diet Coke at a 7-11 but not much else was open. It was before 9am and the city wasn’t that busy. Just hot and bright and stinky. Or maybe it was me that was stinky?

Anyway, you know how it is when you’re desperate to find a loo. Of course the train station toilets were closed down for refurbishing. I wandered and wandered and finally ended up in a not-quite-open-yet food court where there was a toilet. Thank god for that. I won’t go into further details 😉

Next thing I found myself in George Street opposite Town Hall waiting for a bus….any bus, I didn’t care. Just something to get me closer to home. Along came a 412 and while it isn’t ideal, it kind of intersects another bus route that can get me home. And it was air conditioned.

But the stinger was this – being early, the bus driver kept on going ahead of the timetable so he kept stopping at bus stops. Just sitting there, waiting. There were about 10 of us on the bus feeling like we wanted to strangle the bloody bus driver. ‘Hurry up and get this f***ing thing moving!.’ I wanted to scream.

We sat and waited outside RPA hospital for god knows how long. And then the bus driver proceeded to try and catch every red light on the route to slow himself down further. I’d managed to find two old and dusty no-name paracetamol tablets at the bottom of my bag so I wasn’t feeling so much like I was going to throw up, just that I needed to be horizontal…in bed…asleep….NOW!

In the end we finally got to a point where I could cross over to another bus. Of course I’d just miss buses from both available routes by a couple of minutes. And I had a long walk to the bus stop I needed to be at. In the increasingly blazing heat of a Sydney spring day that thought it was a summer’s day.

The bus stop I waited at had no protection from the sun at all, just a bench to sit on and roast whilst waiting. Eventually a bus came along and I got on. Sitting opposite a young guy all decked out from the night before who was obviously also just going home. He looked worse than I did if that’s possible. Kept nodding off and waking up with a start whenever the bus jerked forward. He would have looked smashing the night before but, like me, he was just faded glory at this stage.

When we reached my bus stop I could barely walk down the street and up the stairs to my flat. I didn’t want to have a shower, I just wanted sleep! But I was stinky, my mouth felt like I’d been gargling with raw garbage and my hair was all lank and oily. So a shower it had to be. I’d like to say I came out of it refreshed but I didn’t. Yes, I was clean and yes my mouth was clean and my breath was fresh again but I still felt like shit.

I rang Yoda and delayed his arrival. He was coming over to do some business clean up things – we’d set aside the whole weekend for it. I’d imagined both of us beavering away for the whole weekend. But all I could imagine now was being asleep.

He was quite understanding and I hung up and promptly fell asleep until about 2pm. The rest of the weekend has been very quiet and a little blurrish. And also quite unproductive. I haven’t written my job application, I have barely been outside the flat except for a bit of grocery shopping late this afternoon. I did manage to do a bit of washing but mostly it’s been sitting on the couch watching Dr. Who episodes on DVD or being back in bed asleep.

I’ve had lots and lots of water this weekend and even more Diet Coke. But it is only now I’m beginning to feel as if the fog has lifted and I’m on the road to full recovery. Of course, it is now 7pm Sunday night and it’s back to work tomorrow.

The lost weekend? It certainly was.

Next time James suggests we go for a bevvie after work, I”m going to suggest we go and play lawn bowls instead!



  1. Mark, there was no coffee and cake. There were no chandeliers. I don’t think he would have been your type – i.e. he wasn’t a 21 year old from the mail room! The rest? Well, some things are meant to be private dear!

  2. And the moral of this story – or the question it raises is…… “Sex – is it worth it?” The answer is 90% of the time …. NO.

    Signed FrigidPhil

    • But you gotta be in it to win it! Who knows? It could have been the start of something wonderful. But I’ll try to be a bit more sensible in future 😉

      • So this guy you hooked up with last week Graeme was he a hottie??? spill the beans.
        We know you went back to his flat for coffee & cake but what else happened??
        Did you both swing from the chandeliers when things got boring…do tell…..

  3. Blame me? I went at home at midnight darl!

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