I woke at 2 pm today, having stayed up till 7 am, and was greeted by my housemates in the kitchen as I put the kettle on. They said they were going to a small party to celebrate the opening of Ailee’s new workspace. Ailee, who lives upstairs, and who I like a great deal, had invited me weeks ago, but the thought had slipped from my brain. And so I told my friends I would need twenty or so minutes to mold myself into something presentable and less frightening.

I washed my face and hair and combed my cat. I drank two cups of tea and lay in the bath and absorbed all the vitamin E I could. And then I biked four blocks north to a warehouse near McCune’s place and ate a handful of carrots and drank a lot of tea that I maybe only half-realized was filled with alcohol.

My housemates and I sat outside under a cloudless sky and made jokes and drank the dark stuff until we could barely move. I was mostly functioning on an empty stomach and hated myself more than usual, so I was badly affected. When I admitted that I was so far gone I might not be able to get home, everyone seemed surprised.

“How much have you had?” said the blur that lives across the hall.

“Three, maybe four cups,” I said. I was laughing and tearing up. “But it could have been more.”

In the main hall I ate half a baguette and fumbled through a few sentences with Ailee’s friends, who clearly had no idea what to make of the drooling mess in front of them.

Minutes later, I think, we were biking back to Castle DOOMSDAY and the sun was already setting below the crumbling vacant warehouses. When I got home I knew I would say hello to my cat and give him a few treats and hope that was enough to convince him to lie on my chest and fall asleep.