ritual cleansing

October 3, 2004

days like yesterday are there to remind us that long island iced teas are never good for you, especially when taken after several glasses of white wine. feeling all slowed-down and incapacitated and disgusting while the precious weekend-time drifts by — for a time-obsessive like me, it hurts. and it’s not like being sick, because you can’t get any sympathy. instead of feeling like a good person unfairly stricken with some vicious pathogen, all pure and innocent and sweet (think beth in little women), a hangover transforms me into a horrible sinner who is only being punished accordingly (think martha stewart). the morning after, i always hear taunting echoes of radiohead’s ‘just’:

“you do it to yourself – you do. and that’s why it really hurts. . .”

i spent yesterday morning in alternate states of regret and self-loathing, but by noon i had moved on to making optimistic promises to myself never to drink too much again. still in a haze, i also decided that after my recovery, i was going to emerge reborn as a better, cleaner-living person altogether, subsisting on organic produce and fiji water for the rest of my days. i would spend 3 hours each morning practicing yoga, cleansing my spirit as i sweat out toxins from so many years of unjudicious living. i would devote the rest of my time to keeping my humble dwelling spotless and spare, scrubbing the bathrooms daily with earth-friendly cleaning products. and whatever time was left over, i would spend in lab, working on cures for diseases more worthy than a hangover.

somehow, i lost the haze and most of this resolve by late afternoon, while i was frantically piecing together the chocolate-caramel-walnut tart i had promised to bring to a dinner party. life is a bit too short to spend that much of it doing yoga, and a little bit of rich, gooey chocolate and caramel never hurt anyone, right? finally, daily bathroom scrubbing? yeah, that’s never going to happen. i’m more likely to find the cure to death.

the tart came out quite good (if i do say so myself), and i enjoyed spending the night with a bunch of friends i no longer see every day in the hospital. my house is not clean yet, but i’m feeling better. i have the whole rest of the weekend to get things done. and i’m not a horrible person, i just drank a bit too much. i want to say i’ll never do it again, but i probably will. not for a long time, though.

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