There is only one good thing about having a hangover - there comes a time when you actually feel better. Correspondingly, having a really bad hangover means that your recovery is like getting over a serious illness. Having a catastrophic, supernova, brain-bursting hangover makes your recovery more like a resurrection - returning from the dark netherlands of the deceased.
It all started as an innocent bread-and-butter gig in an Irish pub not far from where I live, about a 15 minute walk (and I do like to walk home from a gig - it's nice to be in the fresh air and away from the noise). I had a beer during the last set (I don't normally drink during gigs - well, not much - but as I have made a pact with one of the other guys in the band to start a diet this very Monday I was perversely aiming at getting a few last beers down me neck before the deadline).
A birthday party arrived in the pub... a lot of people I knew, including my elder daughter and a lot of other people I hadn't seen for a long time... visitors from the States, Aussies, a New Zealander...
"Have a beer!" "Don't mind if I do!"
"Ouzo?" "Certainly... yeia mas!"
"Bet you don't know which whisky this is." "Erm... hmm, definitely not the same as that other one we just tried".
And so on, and so on...
Time to go, handshakes, hugs and farewells, the warm glow of human fellowship.
Outside... fresh air and... kerPOW: drunk!
My 15 minute walk home became extended to more like 45 minutes due to the substantial number of involuntary steps to the side, to the left and to the right... and back again. For the first time in my life I started to understand Greek dance.
I shall draw a veil of discretion over the events of the hours following my difficult but eventually successful attempts to overcome the evasive keyhole in our front door, just as my memory itself has drawn its own veil over that cloudy time until I finally was able to still the rollercoaster in my head and sink into sleep.
Yesterday was a daytrip to Hades, metaphorical rending of garments and gnashing of gums spent in the company of the chthonic gods; a day when I didn't wish that I was dead for the simple reason that I thought I was! But today... oh glory to my liver... I have returned not, however, to say a futile "never again" but an "at least not for a while".