Friday Night at Forty-Five
I’m dropping my wife off at work. It’s 7 am and drum and bass is blasting in my car
It’s too early for that shit, she says, turning off the stereo.
You know, for some people, it’s still nighttime, I reason. The young people that is.
I realise it’s 7 am Friday morning, and that means —
Tonight is Friday night.
My heart rushes with half a second of sheer excitement before I realise that I am forty-five years old.
I drop her off, and on the way back, I blast Little Speaker by Underworld out of my car window to make me feel young again.
I drive past the groups of young people returning from (or continuing) their MDMA-soaked Thursday romps.
I nod at them in recognition. I am one of them since I am playing loud music with a beat out of my car window.
That’s right. I’m young like you. I listen to music with a consistent kick drum.
I mostly receive scowls and even some verbal abuse.
Again I am forced into self-awareness.
I see myself from above — a creepy grey-bearded man in an Adidas tracksuit making faces at twenty-year-olds coming down from speed and ecstasy.
Self-realisation is seldom a pretty picture.
For a moment, I wish I was twenty again, looking forward to a Friday night of debauchery.
Then I remember what it is like to be twenty — to have no money because you spent it all on booze and drugs and to have no ambition besides getting wasted and laid. It sounds alright, but in truth, it’s a fucking nightmare.
If I were twenty again, I would spend it getting really god damn trained in something and learning how to invest money.
Then I would be sitting here at forty-five doing fuck all in my manor by the lake instead of banging away on this electronic typewriter all day just to pay one god damn bill and pay the rent.
I barely drink these days. It’s not for any kind of moral reason and it’s not that I don’t want to drink. I just can’t take it physically.
Yet here I am, looking toward tonight and wondering what alcoholic beverages I might consume.
I even coined the phrase ‘Friday night innit?’ which morphed into being transferable to any day of the week and an excuse for consuming anything that the body might find intolerable.
In my moment of adrenaline and cultural inspiration, I forget that recovering from a hangover at forty-five is the equivalent of recovering from surgery.
It’s funny because if I went to a particular bar and got attacked by a man with a knife, I wouldn’t go back there. Yet, with booze, there is amnesia. I suppose there has to be. Otherwise, who, having experienced a bad hangover, would ever drink again?
Anyway, I come to my senses, and I come down from my Friday night booze aspirations and instead consider a large bag of potato chips and a Snickers bar. Maybe even diet coke.
Then I remember my reflux.
I remember that pretty much anything with excessive sugar or salt turns my stomach into the pit of hades.
So I downscale my Friday plans once again.
Tonight I’m gonna eat a fucking baked potato. AND I’m going to put some god damn butter on it.
The words of my doctor echo in my mind.
Avoid saturated fat, salt, and caffeine.
In a moment of clarity, I realise that I want to live.
So I downgrade again.
Tonight I’m gonna eat a motherfucking baked potato — with some hommus. And some green tea — with some motherfucking honey.
Friday night, innit? Can’t fucking wait.