The Viceroy of the Virtuous

The Viceroy of the Virtuous

‘Tis The Season


Honesty, it was a lovely prime rib holiday dinner at dear friends, eight interesting, lively attendees, breaking bread and sharing stories and participating in a normal holiday gathering.

Why then did I awake at 2am from a hideous, fractured nightmare, cold.…hot….clammy….dry-mouthed and poundingly headachy?

A little glass of Champers (maybe two) to toast the holiday in, some red wine with the prime rib, a glass, a refill (maybe two, who’s counting?) and there you have it.  Sum total of a lovely evening, at least what I remember of the consumption at least, I may have to hire a “counter” to monitor my intake to report and certify it in the morning. Oh. That’s what Dave is for……..nevermind.  Although I often think that he manipulates the data to impress his outcomes.


This is what age hath wrought.

Fitfulness of sleep where once the halcyon dreams of the dead drunk played across the limbic recesses of the middle brain.

To sleep perchance to……….

No dreams, just that agonizing creep of realization upon struggling, finally, to that point of morning consciousness where one must get out of bed and function. This is going to be a very difficult transition.

From restless night to unrestfull day.

Cotton  mouth.  I stopped smoking weed years ago but I do recall this particular edge of insanity where nothing you can even imagine will quell this insatiable thirst.  Like having the batting bunches from a thousand prescrption bottles wedged into the recesses of your molars and tongue kissing your epiglottis.

Water?  No

Coffee?  Maybe

Fresca?  Now we’re talking, about a 6 pack to start.

But this only leads to a swelling of the brain that is normally associated with a stroke, which I might be on the way to, the jury is out.

So I settle into a day that will involve my body betraying me in ways that I had not imagined, at least not since my last really severe hangover which, truth be told, I mercifully cannot remember and, like every one before it, led to an “Absolution Totalimus” that included the swearing upon statues never to embark on this sordid and seedy path again.   And honestly, these were aberrations of youth and folly and competitive consumption that frequently involved the mixing of liquors, dares, free rounds, pub crawling and uproarious amounts of seemingly endless humor and camaraderie that simply demanded another round. And another.

But I have always (almost) had a built in governor that prevented me from absolute horror and total degradation, at least in public.

Well there was that one very local upscale Pacific Heights paragon of Yuppiedom, Alta Plaza, that I was once asked to depart from (or was that really tragically strong-armed  to the curb?) but that was the 80’s and there were drugs involved, never a good mix.

Oh, and there was that other less than honorable or even respectable drinking hole off Polk St, the Wilde Goose, where they apparently frowned upon sex acts on the bar (really? It was across the street from the infamous Mitchell Brothers theater, c’mon!).  And that was the 70’s and again, there were undoubtedly drugs involved, it was the 70’s after all, same as the 60’s only with cleaner clothing and more money.

But aside from those few really minor incidents from decades gone past, I am a studiously responsible drunk; happy, upbeat, rarely morose and never drinking to drown out the cacophony of problems that confront us all but more to heighten the great times, like the super-charger hole on a bong (yeah, yeah that drug thing, again, I got it).

But now, more mature, responsible, and saner than ever before in my lifetime, how have I ended up feeling like I had been force-fed a litre of 150 proof rum while having my head vacuum-packed like a tube of toothpaste?

I will chalk it off to aging systems. Like the Challenger that exploded over Texas, my O rings are worn and when subjected to the stresses of a prolonged and seemingly normal launch, I blew a gasket and the remains of me are scattered about the house in need of a forensic replay.



Totally necessary for the program to continue, though.  Introspection is the best cure and can sometimes, not often, lead to the remedy….moderation, in the future.

I ever so cautiously mention I’m feeling a bit nackered, more to the ether than to Dave, hoping for him not to seize upon the obvious and berate/gloat on my impairments.

Too little, too cautious and I’m very afraid, too obviously diminished in capacity for him to conclude anything other than the facts.  Although later, some days later, as I poured myself a thimble full of Woodford Reserve in a Waterford shot glass to sip whilst preparing the evenings repast, he does not hesitate to pounce like the cats on their catnip laden toys and remind me of oaths I did NOT swear (I learned that lesson loooong before we ever met) regarding the abstaining from all alcohol in perpetuity.

That’s just really taking advantage of the handicapped and really, truth be told, sad.

Inevitably, after a day of channeling Ray Milland in Lost Weekend, I awake the next day, refreshed, human and ready to face another round of Holidaze, older, wiser and possibly a bit less prone to excess than in years (or at least the last few days) gone by.


One thought on “The Viceroy of the Virtuous

  1. Yup! I can’t drink more than a 1/2 glass of wine anymore. So sip it slowly, savor it, and stop. That’s my new motto. The last morning I had like that, which you described so eloquently, was my wake up call. I just have to remember that feeling when I’ve taken the first sip……..

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