We’re The Blackout Generation


The weekends have become a bit hazy over the years, haven’t they? Monday morning rolls around and you’re left droning and drooling over a vacancy in your mind when a coworker asks what you did during the weekend–but you know exactly what you did. You blacked out.

You were bouncing around the kitchen, waiting with your friends for a cab, and slamming back shots to some Spotify playlist where all the songs sounded the same. You chanted and yelled with each raised glass and everyone made the same puckered-asshole-on-the-cusp-of-shitting face when the liquor hit your throats. But you still did it again and again. The cab came and if you didn’t pretend the immigrant driver was some glitter lizard stripper with all your cash raining down in plumes, you and your friends mumbled and whispered, trying to get someone to handle the money you short-changed the pot. Then, once you cartwheeled into the bar, you started jumping around. If you weren’t crying in the bathroom in an hour, picking fist fights with your best friends, dry humping humanoids you wouldn’t even consider giving the Instagram double-tap to, or screaming the wrong words to some overhyped song from your childhood, you were at the bar tossing some more back.

I’m not insinuating that “you” doing all of this is an implication of my innocence of weekend decadence and depravity. In fact, I’ll be the first to admit it. I have blacked out more in the past half decade than a narcoleptic on ketamine. I’ve woken up face down in a college house attic all alone in the morning. I’ve slept under my bed by choice. I’ve sarcastically applauded drunk girls for knowing how to spell their names on the pong list. I’ve pissed in just about every alleyway on the Jersey coast, and I’ve contributed unwanted ingredients to buckets of jungle juice at parties I crashed. I’ve caused more drama in my drunken stupor within my circle of friends than any Shakespearean character could’ve even tried to attempt.

I’m one of “you,” and I just want to know, why the fuck do we do this? I don’t get it anymore. Maybe this is alcoholism giving me a friendly poke to let me know it’s on its way.

Alcoholism: “Hello, Morgan! Are you ready for the ulcer that’s going to burn through your turgid gut in a few years, after you’ve blown up all your friendships and relationships and knocked up a one-eyed stripper named Pumpkin?”

Me: “You bringing the beer?”

We spend our weekends–that’s Thursday through Sunday for all you lightweights out there–going fucking hard. On Saturday mornings, we would eat egg and pork roll sandwiches with bellies full of Advil and halfway digested Irish Car Bombs, asking who blew who the night before, and talking about where we would drink again tonight.

Lately, what’s frightened me is my lack of hangovers. I wake up on Sunday mornings, my life in shreds and a vast concavity in the place of last night’s memories, without even an extra thump in the skull. I’ve become immune to the hangover. In college, blacking out was usually followed by a day in bed, texting people and playing detective. Now we just laugh it off and say, “One of those nights, huh?”

Do we ever learn our lesson? Of course not! Who wants to learn anymore? I’m trying to get fucked up. Monday is two days away. Let’s be honest, the weekends spent in front of the TV or in bed by midnight are a waste.

After you start to unfold all of the crumbled receipts in your pockets from the night before, look through all of the embarrassing social media photos, and read the late night drunk texts like, “hhhhheeeeeeeyyyyyyyyy! Wuutt r yu dewin right n0ow??!?1 ;p” that you sent to a person you haven’t talked to since sophomore year, something may hit you harder than any day-after hangover ever could. Or at least I would hope it would.

If it doesn’t and this routine is just an okay norm for you, then you can stop reading here and continue on your merry way. I’m sure we’ll meet in a few years. I’ll ask how you also know Bill Wilson in a church hall, where everyone will sit in a circle, avoid eye contact, and chain smoke Marlboro Reds.

But if you know the feeling I’m talking about, the quiet that looms in the wake of it all around mid-afternoon the day after, along with the lingering emptiness of all the collected weekends that we’ve smudged out by choice, then you and I are in the same place. Maybe you’ll read this and just be like, “Hey, dude! You’re a drunk! Go get some help.” But I’m pretty sure that there are a few of you who might have an idea about what I’m feeling.

I don’t know why exactly we act this way. I do know that we’re destructive in nature, and that working five plus days a week for The Man is going to give us all cancer eventually. I just still can’t put my finger on exactly why we run into the liquid dark every weekend night by choice.

There’s only one thing that I do know for sure, and that’s what that feeling is. The next time you’re sitting in your underwear at the foot of your bed around 2 p.m. on a Sunday, rubbing your head with a lingering dread about what might have happened last night, thinking, “Why does this always happen?” know that everyone else feels the same way. It’s the long hangover, the one that lasts a lifetime.

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Morgan Balog. 24. Starving writer. Half human. Half black hole.

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