When I woke up the morning after my going away BBQ, I felt fantastic. The world was glowing and my life was perfect. I was happy and warm. I was tingly. I was still drunk. That feeling rapidly abandoned me. When Boyfriend dropped me off at the airport to fly to Australia, a racquetball game was playing inside my stomach. I had started to sweat. Rum exuded out of my pores. My arms, legs, stomach, head, everything hurt. My toenails hurt. I felt like I'd been trampled by an elephant. My hangovers vary from slight stomach unease to bodily distress, akin to death.
When I'm hungover, consuming soda provides me with a false sense of functionality. I like to believe that the carbonation soothes my wreck of a body. It doesn't. I bought a bottle of 7-Up and then sat in the airport's waiting area with my head back, my eyes half-closed, and my limbs feeling like they had been attacked by a rabid dog. The airlines called everyone to board, I got in line, and when I extended my arm to hand over my ticket, I could feel my body rejecting the soda I had just swallowed. I screamed, "Oh God! Hold the plane," pivoted away from the line, and sprinted to the toilet.
Seven minutes later, nobody was in the line, and the airline attendants were waiting for me looking anxious. In a country with a population of four and a half million, they hold planes. My friend Rob Awesome was once standing outside the airport in Nelson smoking a cigarette when he received a call from Air New Zealand saying he had checked in but wasn't on board, and every passenger on the plane was waiting for him. He finished his cigarette and then got on the plane.
I had been assigned a middle seat in aisle four. The only toilet was in the back of the plane. I breathed shallowly and closed my eyes. The first time I asked a stewardess if I could go to the bathroom, she replied that the plane hadn't even left the ground. The fourth time I asked, she said that the fasten seatbelt light should turn off momentarily.
Forty-five minutes into the flight from Auckland to Brisbane, everyone knew my name. The first three times I got up to sprint to the bathroom in the back, the man sitting next to me in the aisle seat groaned. The fourth time he muttered, "For fuck's sake." In my subsequent sprint down the aisle, I shimmied around an old man and almost knocked a small child on his head. An hour and a half into the three hour flight, the stewardesses moved me to an aisle seat one row in front of the toilets. I had easy access and I was ecstatic.
During our descent, a steward asked me if I had vomited during the flight.
"Clearly," I replied.
"Once we land you're going to have to go through an extra interrogation before you're allowed to enter Australia."
"What?" I managed to utter. My eyes were closed. I had a second heartbeat in my head and the mental capacity of a file folder.
"Do you have any idea why you're vomiting?" Steward asked.
"I'm hungover as all hell." I stuck out my tongue. It was suffocating me.
Seven minutes later, the fasten seatbelt sign was on and I asked a stewardess if I could use the toilet.
"No, sorry, you have to stay in your seat. We're in our final descent."
"I'm going to puke on this seat."
The generous soul handed me seven barf bags.