There is nothing in the world that I want more when I am hungover than eggs, over-easy, dripping over a pile of fried potatoes. Salty, with cheese and, today, with ham. To be sure, I love this meal when I am not hungover. But when I am, there is little else that is more comforting. Perhaps only the enduring, persistent love my friends bear toward me...
When I am drunk, I am chatty. Confessional. I have learned that, if I want to keep my own secrets, then I had better stay sober - or learn to have no secrets. I annoy and disappoint myself. And still my friends call me the next day, they go shopping with me, they smile and look at me and there is kindness and generosity and love.
I do not deserve this. I deserve a stern talking-to. I deserve to receive fewer invitations. I deserve a shake of the head and a reproach. And what I get is, consistently, love. Not a "love" that says -I don't care that you get stupid when you're drunk- but a love that says -I care, and, yes, you do make a bit of an ass of yourself, and I love you-
If I let myself think too much about the very drunken conversations I had last night, I will reproach myself - How could I have said that? and that? and did I say that or did I dream it later? I will sigh heavily and feel the disappointment rise and feel like a failure again. And it occurs to me that those conversations I only half-remember were listened-to by my soberer friends - and if they can look at me with kindness today and the next and the next, then I suppose I ought to be similarly kind with myself.
I am eating watermelon now. Full and sleepy and humble. When I nap I will dream that I can learn to love my friends as well as they love me.