What I do when I’m blackout drunk… is none of my business

Recently I celebrated my dirty 30th birthday. It was a lavish and decadent affair filled with music, drinks, laughter and good times… Well so I have been told. I remember none of this. My last clear memory of the evening, was actually welcoming guests early on in the night. No, I didn’t pass out.  I was not roofied. Wasn’t sick. And was there all the way till the end.

So, who is this person that inhabits our body when we are blackout drunk? It certainly isn’t me. I mean, if you cant remember.. then how can you be certain that it’s  really you? I have had plenty of blackout moments in my career. Probably more than the next person. And although I should probably be used to it by now. Its still scary when you wake up the next day and you cannot remember the events of the previous evening. Its still, damn right frightening. What would happen if something bad happened whilst you were blackout drunk? What if you hurt someone? Or..What if your blackout alter ego killed someone? Would this hold up in court? What if your blackout alter ego decided to slide down a handrail instead of walking down the stairs? Can you blame your alter ego on the consequences?

It would appear the answer would be no. By all accounts my blackout alter ego (and yes i’ve named him. his name is horatio) is actually not too bad of a guy. Fun. Outgoing. Confident. Loud. Always keen. Up for anything. Good for a laugh… I personally, do not like him. Well actually I haven’t met him. And never will. But I hate him. With a Passion. Horatio is the worst kind of human being. Selfish. Arrogant. Careless. He basically takes over the best part of my night/day/party. Has all the fun. Runs a muck. Then kindly leaves me with the ensuing repercussions. Hangover/comedown/injuries.. Worst. Bloke. Ever.

Once at a festival, I blacked out at about 1ish in the arvo. And then came to at about 7pm. On the dance floor. In the middle of a thousand people. Dancing. With a drink in one hand. And a cigarette in the other. What the fuck had I been doing for the previous 6 hours??? How the fuck did I come to have this drink in my hand??? And who the fuck lit this cigarette!?? Its kinda scary if you really think about it.

Which leads me to the coma incident. The best way I can explain the coma incident (see previous posts) is that its exactly like a blackout episode. Just with greater repercussions. I remember up to a certain point. Then it gets vague. I remember getting to the hotel with my brother in law and mates. Having drinks. Having shots. Then I remember being chauffeured in an ambulance from hospital to rehab. A full month later. I do not remember the strippers. Nor the chasing of the strippers. The sliding of the handrail.  The fall. Nor the ensuing month in hospital.. I remember everything before and everything after.

And this is why I hate Horatio. The guy has such a good time, dancing with thousands of people, chasing strippers, sliding down handrails. And then he’s gone and leaves me to pick up the pieces after. Prick doesn’t even leave me a postcard. Or thank you note. Its been over two years, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about that coma incident. Not so much the actual accident. But the aftermath. The impending grief it caused everyone. And the rehab. And the rehabilitation. And how it took 6 months of my life. Fuck Horatio.

Does this mean we will never see Horatio again? Apparently not.

He’s not ALL doom and gloom. Once, coming out of a blackout, I was actually in the company of a girl. Mid pash. And she was hot. Smoking Hot. I’m going to go with a 9.. So perhaps, Horatio isn’t such a bad guy after all. Perhaps hate is a strong word.

I really.. can only hope that Horatio and I, ONLY cross paths like THIS from now on..

“I’ve got 99 problems.. but a bitch aint one of them”

Yeah cheers. Thanks for that Jay-Z. Thank you for parting with me, such wise words of wisdom on how a real man should live.  It didn’t take me long to realise I am definitely not Jay- Z. Nor a real man it would seem… Since the beginning, the opposite sex is something that always intrigued me. I’m pretty sure I got in trouble for trying to kiss a girl in kindergarten. Kinderfuckingarten. That’s like five years old. What the hell was I thinking trying to kiss girls when I was five??? The only thing I should have been worrying about at that age were my army men. And whether I had enough Legos to build them a fort.

Fast forward through twenty-five years, and I pretty much still have the same mentality. Kiss the girl. Forget about the real things that matter. It’s all part and partial with living. Unless you’ve found one early, or knocked one up, then chasing girls takes a significant amount of your time, effort, money and sensibility. Your whole world is encapsulated by them. 99 percent of the conversations guys have revolve around women. Hey did you see that chick? Would ya? Did you get her number? How was she? Did you do the dirty? She have any friends?  What did she say? Did she reply to your message? Oh she didnt?? That bitch!.. At home. Work. In the car.  Walking to the shops. Cooking. Eating. On the dunny. Pretty much everywhere. It’s perplexing how much we talk about girls.  But it’s fun. My two housemates and I are all single and thirty. I repeat. Single. And thirty. So this is pretty much ALL we do. Sit around and part wisdom on our respective conquests. Past conquests. Current conquests. Future conquests. Or conquests we don’t even know could be or would be future or past conquests. The amount of rubbish our neighbours must hear when we gas bag in the backyard… I can just imagine them rolling their eyes as we huddle in the backyard on a Sunday morning to discuss last night’s match report.

Truth be told though..Girls do my head in. Actually that’s a lie. I do my own head in. But it’s their fault. Ive always been this way. Always wondering whether she liked me or not. Or what that message meant. Or why she hasn’t messaged back? Within three minutes of me sending the text?? I don’t  care that you’re washing the dishes. Drop the plate bitch and write back!! Am I insecure? yeah probably. No. That’s not it. I may just care too much. I’ve always been one to fall too hard.. and fall for those who really, in hindsight, probably shouldn’t have had anyone fall for them at all. As some of my past relationships would attest to.

But that’s why I’m single and thirty. Girls are retarded. Or maybe the girls I’ve seen are retarded. Yeah. The latter is probably more to the point. I once saw a girl who broke into my house whilst I was asleep. Hid in my room whilst I was out. And stole my Ipod. And broke my sunnies. Needless to say I still continued to see her. Or another one was so blase about our relationship that I was actually convinced that she cheated on me. I cannot confirm this with facts. And looking back now she probably didn’t. It just seemed like she would have or was capable of. She was as emotionally detached as a girl would be, to say.. sport. Needless to say I continued to see her. And its not just the ones I did go out with. The worst ones, by far, are the ones you haven’t even been with yet. The chase used to be something we’d actually enjoy. Now, its just a pain in the ass.  Figure your shit out. You either want. Or you don’t. Simple. Mind games is something we played in high school. Now that we’ve hit thirty. Ain’t nobody got no time for that.

Does this mean I’m NOT looking for love? Definitely not. Hells Yeah I am. Isn’t everyone? I see my mates who are married and have kids, and I  admire them. I do want, what they have. But as you get older it just gets harder and harder to see yourself settling with someone. Your idea of the trophy wife just gets narrower and narrower. Has to be a good girl. Has to be fit. Has to be smart. Well spoken. Not from the hood. Cant be taller. Cant be bigger. Must have blonde hair. Must have brown hair. Must have light eyes. Big tits. Small tits. Must be cute. No. Must be sexy. Actually, needs to be the perfect mix of cute and sexy???!!

Your whole world revolves around attracting and procuring girls. From the clothes you buy. To the haircut you got. The workout you just did. The run you just went on. Say what you will, but if you’re single, most of these things, you do just to attract the opposite sex. And if you say it isn’t. Then you my friend are a fucking liar. And once you’ve attained said girl from all the chasing, and the mind games, and the wooing, and the dating.. A whole new pleasure game awaits you. From the lying, to the arguing, to the shouting, to the make up and the make up sex. Then again to the lying, and the arguing and to the shouting and to the inevitable break up and the inevitable break up sex. (Which I have to say is by far the best sex a couple could have. Ever) And to the all NEW chasing and new mind games and NEW inevitable break up and inevitable break up sex. Sheeeesh.

Jay Z is either a fucking liar.. or some sort of demigod. Cos it would seem I’ve got 99 problems.. and bitches be ALL of them.

The birth of 2.0 or the death of 1.0 (whichever way you want to look at it)

Two years, four months and two days ago, I died. And then 17 days later, I rose from the dead.

Well.. not technically, because that’s physically not possible and quite frankly, would be quite scary if it actually was..  But its close enough. I was in an induced coma for 17 days because I suffered massive brain trauma, a fractured skull and my brain had swelled to the size of watermelon. Now you’re all probably thinking what kind of horrific accident caused this. Was it a car accident? Perhaps a motorcycle accident? A skiing accident? Wait. Its probably a sports injury? or was it a fight? Yeah it was probably a fight. Did you get in a couple of good shots? Are they still in jail now? Well.. in fairness to yourself,  these are all reasonable and rational conclusions. However. In actuality, it was none of these things.. Wait. Stop. It wasn’t a fight??  No. There was one reason and one reason only  for the seventeen days of induced coma. Four weeks of intensive care. Six months of ongoing rehabilitation. Four months off work. One stressed out family.  A crying mother. . . And one freaked out stripper.

So who was responsible for such an atrocity? That would be me. Yep.. me. There’s no one else to blame. No car. No driver. No motorcycle. No ski resort. No sport. No fight. Just me. And maybe a stripper. No no, I cant try and shift the blame here. It was all me. I inadvertently turned my whole world ( and the world of the people around me) upside down with one stupid decision. One stupid decision and a copious amount of alcohol. Which by the way goes hand in hand.

Wait a sec. How does a stripper fit into all of this??  Let me explain.. It was my (now) brother in law’s bucks party and I, chasing a stripper down some hotel stairs decided, that instead of walking down like a normal human being, decided to slide down the handrail like  Jason Bourne. Jason fucking Bourne. Well a very drunk and very stupid Jason fucking Bourne. Handrail broke. 3 meter fall on to my head. Fractured skull. Bleeding through my ears. Brain swelling.  Ambulance ride. 17 day coma. ICU. Hospitals. Rehabilitation. Crying mother. You get the picture.

Now I want to make things clear that a coma isn’t quite what everyone perceives it to be. Did you just wake up and think where the fuck am I? No. That’s the Hollywood version. Reality is quite different. When you have bruising and swelling of the brain, the most effective way to heal is to sleep. Your body heals itself whilst you are asleep. So I was placed in an induced coma. Holes were drilled into my cranium to relieve pressure. And I was hooked up to triple strength morphine to deal with the pain.  Waking up from a morphine binge is quite surreal. You have lucid dreams that you think is reality. And as they wake you up from your induced coma, it’s very gradual and you are unsure what is real and what isn’t. I still remember those dreams. They weren’t nightmares. Just real life situations that I realize now, was not real life at all. Like having an adopted African child, but leaving said child in Africa as I flew away in my cessna.

I remember those dreams. I don’t remember much else. After the doctors decided to take me out of the induced coma, I remained in ICU for 2 weeks. Awake, yes. Coherent, no. But awake, yes. As told by friends and family, I was in a child like state. I do not remember those 2 weeks of being awake in hospital. I was heavily drugged on morphine, and I’ve been told by all accounts that this is quite entertaining. My favourite story is of me telling a nurse of Asian descent to “piss off. why is there a nip treating me?” (I’m Filipino). It was the morphine. Morphine is a hell of a drug. My first real conscious memory was the actual ambulance ride from the  hospital to the rehab center. I still remember thanking the ambulance drivers for getting me out of there. I do not remember anything before this point. I don’t remember the countless times friends and family visited me in hospital before this.  I don’t remember my sister celebrating her birthday in the ICU waiting room. Nor my mother, who slept in that waiting room every night. Or my friends flying back from the UK to see me. I don’t remember any of this. I do however remember a noise though. Vividly. A weird series of beeps. Like the sort of low frequency beeps you may hear at an airport. I can still hear them now. It still sends shivers down my spine. I remember this? But I don’t remember much else.

So you went to rehab? rock and roll man.. Em no. This was definitely not the glamorous rehab where you find strung out celebrities. There was no Charlie Sheen. No Britney Spears. No Ben Cousins. Hell, there wasn’t even Matthew Newton. This is the kind of rehab where you find stroke victims and motor accident victims and others who have had unfortunate accidents. And then there’s me. A binge drinking,  stripper chasing, non stair walking, idiot. I was here for a few more weeks so I could be under observation whilst the doctors decided I could be released back into the world.

And this how 2.0 was born, or how 1.0 died. I’m still the same person. I still have full memory, and I have no ill effects. Wait, that’s a lie. I’m slightly deaf and have tinnitus (a low frequency hum) in my right ear. But  thats it. I’m blessed and forever grateful that I’m actually alive and back to full health. It could have been a lot lot worse. Apparently, if I landed an inch lower , I would have fractured the nerves in my neck and would be unable to walk. So do you have like a new lease on life? Well yes. I do. Not that I now want to climb Everest. Or go bungee jumping. But I appreciate those around me a lot more. It’s the only thing I regret about the incident. I don’t regret the hospital, or the rehab, or not being able to go out, or the living back at home with mum, or even the deafness in my left ear. I do however regret what it did to those around me. The worrying. The crying. The praying. The postponing of weddings. The ending of trips. This is what I regret about the incident the most. But it did give me a greater appreciation for pretty much everything around me. So perhaps, I don’t regret it at all.

So. What happened to the stripper? Well.. After the fall and I was rushed off in an ambulance, Dying. She actually still performed that night. True story.

It wasn’t her fault. It was mine. And as I learned,  just because your world has stopped because you were an idiot, the rest of the world does not…

 The show must go on.

You only live once

Well actually.. Its twice in my case.

But I have always had an affinity for this saying. It’s simple. It’s profound. It’s pure. It’s true. It makes sense. I’ve probably lived by it a little bit too much in my life. Well again, in my case, lives. Not in the conventional “You only live once” – I’m going to go skydiving. Or the “You only live once” -I’m going to study hard and do something with my life. But.. More like the “You only live once” – yeah fuck it, lets do another shot,  rack another line, or scull another beer. Or the “You only live once”.. lets blow all my money this weekend on alcohol and other things despite knowing I have rent or bills to pay on Monday. The good kind of “You only live once”.

I’ve been this way since I could remember. Swigging goon when I was a child at some party my parents brought me along  to. (I’m not even saying child as in teen. I mean child as in child. I was probably around ten.. And that’s being lenient).  To being the tender age of twelve with schoolmates and smoking my dad’s cigars under the church. Or stealing grog from our respective dad’s liquor cabinets and getting pissed on the classy stuff.  But I always replaced the alcohol. The trick is to drink the top-shelf stuff that your old man would never really drink. The good stuff that was more on display than anything else.  And then replace it with a non alcoholic substitute.. Clear liquor (vodka, gin, etc..) is the easiest to replace. You can just use water. But the darker stuff, takes a little bit more nous and skill. You need the right colour and consistency. I discovered, through trial and error, that powdered iced tea is the best for drinks such as scotch and bourbon. But this method needs regular upkeep. You need to replace this every couple of months as the mixture tends to separate and build sediment over time.

Now I want to make things clear that it’s not that we were bad kids. It’s just what we did. We didn’t hurt, steal or rob anyone. We were just delinquents brought up in suburbia trying to pass the time. And that’s what you do in the burbs. We lived in the middle class middle of nowhere. And these were the things you do to pass the time. Acquire grog. Walk the streets. Crash parties. Get pissed. Throw up. It was fun.

But this sort of behaviour shouldn’t really translate to adult life. Especially when you get to the pointy end of your twenties, the repercussions of over a decade of partying are too great. Hangovers feel more like you’re  on your death bed. Come downs go on too long. After a weekend bender it usually takes me until Thursday to feel right again. Then its Friday. And the cycle begins again. I basically used the working week to recover for the weekend. But again. It was fun.

So this was the affinity I had with “You only live once”. Lets just party and run a muck as much as possible. And deal with life on Monday. There was really, no major repercussions. Until… You wake up in hospital after sleeping for 17days because your “You only live once” mentality has finally caught up with you. But even this doesn’t do much to stop it. Sure, you don’t drink for a while because the doctors say you’ve had massive brain trauma and your brain needs to heal. They said 12 months. I said 4 months… And you know what?.. it was fuckin delicious.  I couldn’t help it. I’m not an alcoholic. I just really really enjoy getting wasted. But now I guess you have to pick your spots more. I don’t drink anymore on school nights. And I drink more now to enjoy the company of friends and family (or more to the point, they can enjoy mine), rather than party until you cant feel feelings anymore.

But now I see that “You only live once” extends to much much more. Having had two lives has shown me that the things you should appreciate the most, are the people around you. Your family and your friends. Its not  just appreciating them in the good times. Its more about appreciating them in bad times,  like when you’re in hospital.. And they come to visit everyday, without fail. Or they postpone their wedding,  just so you can attend. Or they fly home from the other side of the world so they can be with you. This is when you appreciate them the most.

And how do you appreciate them once you’ve recovered?.. By getting fucked up with them.

Hey, what can i say? You Only Live Once.

Well.. Twice in my case.