i’m sure we’ve all had them. a night when a beer turns into a bender; a weekend doused in whiskey. followed by the monday morning booze blues. a pledge to your kidneys that “i won’t do that again [anytime soon then]”. the somber scroll through your text message history to discover the regretful truth you rambled on about and the unnecessary question marks that you sent thirty seconds apart. you swallow yourself in your smoke-stenched covers and wish the humiliation away.
you rise the next morning. you wash the long whiskey-fuelled night off of your skin. you brush off what happened as a forgivable sin.
you’ve been there before, right?
i can’t remember where i read it but the title of this post and the sentiment it evoked was inspired by a review of the song left handed kisses, a smokey duet by fiona apple and andrew bird. the sharp lyric “a backhanded love song” sings the story of many a contrived mistress’ life: too many long whiskey-fuelled nights with her heart left broken in her own shaking hands.
ok, i confess. there is no mistress. just me. i’m the hot mess.
replaying this intoxicating ballad by these two soulful songbirds my mind whirlwinds. i become a dizzied up girl. is it the whiskey? is it the woe? is it the bitter bruise from last night’s left handed kisses? is there even clarity between the lines that have been blurred?
by tuesday life feels like a vegas blunder, my phone burns of neon green SMS lights. his line burns like burnt smoke through my screen. “let’s pretend this never happened,” his emotionless response reads.
come wednesday i’m frigid and jaded so i say fuck you to his not-so-intended kisses and hit the empty tavern for sad shames and another tyrant journey into a dangerously long whiskey-fuelled night.
the consequence of my tsunami tirade robs thursday from me. i’m useless and nonsensical. i rise to wash the whiskey away yet again. my mirrored reflection silently screams at me to get a life — to end this struggling strife.
friday finds me alone. sober and sad. i lick my lips. they still taste sour to me. i close my eyes. i feel the warmth of his skin. i can hear the grunt of his orgasm. but there was nothing intimate about that moment. nothing i deem to be proud. i regret letting him cum in.
the waiter brings me my usual round of jameson. but i look at him and bow away. he gestures for me to sit back down. i scowl in distress. he licks his lips slightly. he raises his left hand …
but before i can decipher what happens next i flip him the finger and abandon the jameson just as he had left me six mornings before. i walk out into the cold and wither my way home. once there, in the comfort of my own refuge and solitude, i crumple to the floor and let the lyrics of bird and apple roar:
i don’t believe everything happens for a reason
to us romantics out here, that amounts to high treason
i don’t go in for your star-crossed lovers
in the heart of a skeptic
there’s a question that still hovers near
the song ends and i pull myself to stand and with a pen in my left hand i write, “is falling into a person any different than falling in love with someone?”
and as if listening the night whispers back to me, “you’ll never know dear until you learn to love forward and rise early without the long whiskey-fuelled nights.”