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Eric sat on his couch, by all appearances watching hockey as he enjoyed a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale on a warm Saturday evening. However, appearances were deceiving. He wasn’t watching hockey, and he sure as hell wasn’t enjoying his beer. He was sitting rigid, eyes glazed over as his thoughts echoed so loud he was sure his neighbors could hear him.
“Good god, I’m hungover. How am I still so hungover? It’s 7:30 p.m. Christ, I’m old. This time last year I would be ripping shots in the fraternity house, singing along to some Yeezy with my best friends, worrying about nothing in the world except possibly how to approach the upcoming N-bomb I was rapping towards. And even that was an easy solution. All I had to do was just say ‘neighbor.’ And look where I’m at now. I’m 24, a supposed adult, and I’m hungover as Satan’s balls on a Saturday night because I still have no idea how to pace myself and drink responsibly.
Remember when you said you were going to take it easy? Remember that, you idiot? I hope you do because it was less than a week ago. You sat on this exact couch cushion, chugging a lukewarm Gatorade and desperately refreshing the Domino’s Pizza tracker app and said, out loud, ‘I’m taking next weekend off.’ And instead, you were the first person in the group to text about going out plans, and blacked out aggressively on a Friday night.”
The memory (or lack thereof) of his previous night’s shenanigans opened a whole new level of anxiety in Eric’s chest. He instinctively took a sip of his beer to calm himself before realizing the cycle he was perpetuating and slammed the bottle down aggressively. Unfortunately, the sudden motion caused the beer to foam out of the top of the bottle, giving him two unfortunate options: drink the beer he just set down in a feat of willpower, or let it go to waste. He picked up the beer and sipped it until it stopped erupting, then placed it back down, laughing at his own ridiculousness.
“Thank god my roommate isn’t here right now. I look like a fucking crazy person. Shit, maybe I am losing it. Maybe my excess drinking has given me early-early-onset Alzheimer’s and that’s why I feel so horrible. I’m sure I read an article that said blacking out ups your chances of getting dementia. Fuck me. And fuck blackouts. What did I even do on Friday? My friends say I just Irish exited and jumped in an Uber, but who knows if that’s true. I do know I woke up with all my texts deleted, and no innocent man ever deletes their texts.
I also posted a blurry Snapchat of my toilet to my story at 3:43 a.m., but at least I deleted that when I first woke up at 6 a.m., so pretty much nobody saw it. I know I texted Rachel because she texted me back ‘you’re cute’ this morning, which isn’t a good sign. Did I text her some lovey-dovey shit? That’s the last thing I need right now. Our situation is confusing enough as it is.”
The thought of his current fling with his ex-girlfriend brought a wave of nausea to the back of his throat and he swallowed hard. He knew whatever they were doing was a bad idea, but he couldn’t help himself.
“God, I’m weak. I spent fucking months getting over and acting like a bitch when she started dating that fucking douchebag, and all it takes is one text from her and we’re hooking up again. I mean, I think that’s all we’re doing. I guess we’ve also gotten food a few times. And she came over once just to hang out sober, which was oddly nice. FUUUUCK. You idiot. Do not get any ideas. She hasn’t mentioned getting back together at all, don’t you dare catch feelings. The last thing you need is to go through another rough breakup for no reason.
The truth is exes are exes for a reason, and I have to accept that. No matter how easy it is to hang with her and how much my mom likes her. Oh god, my mom. I was supposed to call her this weekend and totally forgot. I forgot because I was too busy being a hungover piece of shit and eating food I got delivered from a place literally two blocks away. Not only am I the worst son in the world who can’t even remember to call the woman who gave him life and raised him, but I also spent $7.50 on a delivery charge to a place that I could have crab-walked to and gotten my food faster.”
Eric lowered his head to his hands, fully engulfed in a spiral of shame and anxiety on a beautiful Saturday evening. His head raced with questions about where his life was going.
“What am I doing with my life? My parents already had careers and were looking at buying a house by my age. I can barely afford an apartment with a roommate who smokes pot all day and never does the dishes. I haven’t gotten a raise since I started my job and my romantic interests are non-existent. I have no idea if I even like what I do, or if anyone likes what they do, or if we’re all just expected to hate our lives for 50 hours a week for the next 70 years.
Even after working on boring shit all week, all I ever do on my days off are drink, and sit on the couch and feel bad about drinking. My life is a perpetual cycle of blandness. When was the last time I even felt truly excited? I can’t even remember. That’s it. I’m going to make a change. I’m calling Rachel right now and letting her know I can’t’ do this anymore, and I’m going to sign up for some classes and find a healthy hobby or some shit.
Eric picked up his phone with confidence and breathed deeply. He had made it through the traumatizing depths of a panic attack, and he was back. He was going to make positive decisions from now on and-
His phone vibrated in his hand paused his thought process momentarily. He glanced down at his screen to read the text.
Jack [8:11pm]: Ayy, you wanna come over to my place for a pregame? Kyle bitched out but Andrew’s on his way over. Bring some booze, daddy’s thirsty.
Eric sighed. Positive change could start on Monday. It was Saturday night, and he was only going to be young once.
“Lol, Kyle’s a pussy. I’m on my way.” .