======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
Light crept through the thin wooden blinds, still leaving the room dark but with the unmistakable alert that morning had arrived. He opened his eyes to stare at the ceiling, blinking a few times to clear his vision. As he rolled over towards his bedside table, a painful fog washed over his head.
No, this can’t be. I…I didn’t even drink much last night.
He closed his eyes; his lids slamming shut almost made his head throb, and he began to recount the previous night. Burger and beer with Mark and Leo had turned into burger and a few more beers than intended, but this still shouldn’t have been the end result.
The two IPAs…burger should’ve soaked up both of those though. Then the Millers…two or three…definitely two…and the vodka soda I took my check with. No, two vodka soads. And that one dumb tequila shot. Still, this is overkill. I can’t be this washed, can’t be. Felt great in the Uber ride and still got to bed before 12.
No matter how hard he tried to convince himself that he couldn’t, shouldn’t, and wouldn’t be, reality sunk in: he had a hangover.
Nothing Earth-shattering; much worse had occurred in his lifetime, but neither ideal nor planned. Clicking the screen of his fully charged phone (“I was responsible, I don’t deserve this hangover” he mumbled to himself) the screen showed one iMessage & a time of 6:52AM.
Well, at least Grant isn’t up, maybe I can get a thirty more minutes of–
“Daddy! I’m awake!” The shout reverberated from the adjacent room, creating a twinge of pain beneath his hairline. Grant had announced his presence with authority, blissfully unaware that his over-the-hill father had been defeated by nearly less than half a dozen drinks.
Rubbing his brow in pain he called out, “Why don’t you come watch TV in my room?” and right away threw on the Netflix reboot of The Magic School Bus. His son trotted in carrying his favorite pillow and jumped up on the bed, causing his father’s head to bounce up as much as it possibly could. He tucked in Grant, then rolled over and shut his eyes.
On some mornings, Grant would have too much energy to zone out and stay still watching TV, like he’d spent the night with an IV drip from a Pixie Stick. Today was one of those mornings. He squirmed and readjusted, reacting to every single instance on the show. Between bellowing with laughter each time Ms. Frizzle ripped off a child-appropriate one-liner and pulling the comforter off his father, it was apparent early that no further sleep would come.
Rolling over to face Grant, he opened his eyes, still twinging with pain. “Let’s just go downstairs to watch TV bud, I need some coffee.”
Grant immediately hopped off the bed, making it clear that his entire goal of being rambunctious was to lead the charge downstairs. He sprinted out of the room yelling “Let’s turn on Magic School Bus downstairs and I want a chocolate chip waffle and some milk…” his voice trailed off as he made his way down the stairs. His father walked to the bathroom to brush his teeth and splash some cold water on his face, wishing it was already bedtime that night.
Coffee dripped slowly into the mug, and a gentle rise of steam engulfed his nostrils with the relieving smell of coffee. Although he was kicking himself for not having any cold brew in the fridge, as a cool beverage might’ve felt better, the scent of brewing coffee was a small positive. What wasn’t a positive was the act of cooking.
Grant pulled a chair up to the counter, seemingly dragging it as loudly on the flood as possible, to observe his father getting his waffle batter together. Hungover as he was, boxed waffles were a trash move, and he wasn’t going to let a little headache & cotton mouth deprive either he or Grant from good waffles.
Momma didn’t raise no bitch….well she did, but I can at least power through waffles.
“Here Grant, want to crack this egg in the bowl like we practiced?” Any work he could pass off would help. The sooner he got these waffles done, the sooner he could sit on the couch with some ice water while Grant watched TV and hopefully played quietly. Grant took the egg and enthusiastically smashed it against the counter to crack it. Predictably, the egg shattered.
“Grant” he said, somewhat softly, as his headache was overpowering his anger in the battle of voice volume supremacy, “why, why, why did you hit it that hard on the counter? Go get a paper towel please.”
And just go back to bed please.
“Sorry Dad, I guess I’m just too strong” replied Grant as he hopped off the chair and over to where they kept their roll of paper towels.
Between the egg shattering, nicking his finger on the hot waffle iron, and spilling coffee down his shirt, by the time he got waffles in front of he & Grant, he wasn’t even in the mood to eat. His headache was consistent, throbbing just enough to remind himself that he was washed up.
Normally he cooked breakfast like a well oiled machine; eggs, pancakes/waffles, & bacon like a Waffle House at 2 a.m. Timed perfectly. This morning he felt like just the waffles had taken thirty minutes longer than usual. Draining his last sip of what was sure to be the first of multiple cups of coffee, he whined “Grant just finish up that waffle then we’re going to throw a movie on and relax, sound good? Lazy Saturday morning could do us some good.”
Grant stuffed his last three bites in his mouth and uttered, “Can we watch The Incredibles?” as crumbs spit from each word.
“We can watch whatever you want buddy, as long as we sit on the couch and do it.”
The pair moved over to the couch and as Grant sat down and finally stopped moving, and his father put on the movie. He then cracked a lime LaCroix & checked his phone. 8:34AM.
My God this is going to be the longest day. At least we don’t have shit to do.
As soon as that thought passed through his head, his phone lit up with a text from Kate, the single mom he and Frank had met at the ice cream social the previous week.
“Are we still on to meet at the playground at 10? Blake is so excited to play with Grant!” .
If you’re enjoying following “PostGrad Single Dad,” be sure to go listen to the latest episode of “The DadGum Podcast,” live on Grandex Labs.