January 14, 2007

New Year, new adventure

Having just had shoulder surgery, it has recently come to my attention that nearly all my friends have enjoyed going a few rounds with a bottle of prescription pills. Having two very large bottles of them -- Oxycodin and Valium, specifically -- after surgery, therefore, made me a very popular person.

This popularity ended about a week after surgery, when the no-refill prescription ran out and I was too chicken to ask for more, having very little remaining pain and a possible ulcer from overindulging when I did.

And I wasn't really that sad to see those empty bottles in the trash, honestly. I'm just not a big pill person. The payout is a little dissapointing for me. I mean, I can drink one beer and hold my breath for 30 seconds and get the same floaty, sleepy feeling I have when on pain meds. This apathy extends to all prescriptions with two exceptions: Xanax (thank you, Xanax) and Ambien.

Not long ago, I dated a slightly self-obsessed and very dramatic recovering hypochondriac who struggled for a while with anxiety.

(It is fuzzy as to exactly what these anxieties were about, as his main activities in life were not working, eating, drinking, watching VH1 and browsing homoerotic websites. That said, I suspect they included worries about why women only sleep with him when they're blacked out and whether or not he can convince a woman to bear him children before he has an inevitable midlife crisis -- brought about by hair-loss and penis-size insecurities -- which will drive him to collossal weight gain and one reckless night in a swingers club where he inadvertently gets blown by a man, loves it, and simultaneously ruins his marraige and breaks his mother's heart by coming out of the closet with his liberal, Eastern-European vegetarian hairdresser/lover, Stefan.)

But I digress. This ex, as part of his genius step-by-step-seduction-program, hooked me up a couple times with both Xanax and Ambien, which was pretty great, as I was going through a crazy career change and some stress-related issues of my own at that time.

And they worked like a charm. Xanax was my superhighway to my "happy place", while Ambien was the equivalent of slipping into a bathtub full of warm pasta on the way to a dreamless coma, all in 11 minutes, max.

So that's me and my two favorite meds. (Oh, and a little unfortunate foray into one of many awesomely strange dating experiences).

Now, on to New Year's.

Z and I went to Idaho to spend the three-day weekend (WAHOO!!) with his family, who have a kick-ass place at the base of a resort with easy access to a ski hill, snowmobiles, an outdoor hottub, a sauna, and general awesomeness. While we stayed, his family had a guest who took a twice-daily cocktail of pills to stay even-keeled. Of course, as I'm not a pill enthusiast, this meant nothing to me. Yet.

On the first day, we engaged in a (rad) routine of snowmobiling and hot tubbing and beer drinking and football watching. On the second day, we repeated this routine, and by the time we got off the mountain that afternoon, we were ready to take it a little easier. The plan was a hot tub, some drinking and cards, and then off to the local sports bar to watch the BSU-Oklahoma game.

I shook off the cold and my frozen coat, Z kicked off his boots and retreated upstairs, presumably to pee or change. I hit the sunroom, sprawling out on a big leather couch. Moments later, Z appeared in the doorway, eyes twinkling.

"Hi!" he said, grinning like a kid with a secret.

"What did you do?" I asked "Or are we about to do it?"

"Nope," he said. "Better."

Something was clearly up. I waited for the bomb to drop.

He extended his hand, turned it over, and unclenched his fist to show me his big secret: a tiny white pill.

"Look what I got you!" he stage-whispered. "Take it!"

I picked up the pill and drew it close to my face. Something about it was vaguely familiar...

"Oh Jesus," I said. "You didn't take one already, did you?"

"Yeah... why?"

"Well, because in about 20 minutes, your limbs will be asleep, your lips will be numb, your heart rate will drop to "almost not beating" and you'll be drooling."

"What?" he said, confused.

What I forgot to mention is that Z, though a pill enthusiast, is not a pill expert. He, having the constitution of a small Russian army, is never sick, and is the opposite of hypochondriacal. He is a picture of health. Sleeps when he's supposed to, wakes up when he's supposed to, and is the most even-keeled, solid person I know. (A nice compliment to my crazy, and a fucking relief after dating drama queen after drama queen.) This means when Z reached into the bag of houseguest goodies hoping to pull out two happy pills, he had no clue he popped the world's tiniest and most effective sleeping pill, instead.

I, of course, am obsessed enough with illness that I whip myself into a frenzy about some disease or another (and its remedy) about once every four to six days.

"It's Ambien," I said, shaking my head in disbelief.

His face flickered between surprised, confused, and bemused, while I slowly realized that unless I took the one he was offering me, he was going to coma the afternoon away, leaving me to spend family time with his family. Ummm, they're lovely and all, but no thank you.

"Fuck," I half-laughed, rolling my eyes, "Well, if you're sleeping, I'm sleeping too," I said, and popped the tiny wonder-pill in my mouth, swallowing.

No sooner was the pill solidly in my stomach, and beginning to wrap its warm tentacles around my brain, than he got that kid-with-a-secret look again -- but this time it was tinged with a little crazy-and-drugged, too.

"Oh God," I said, "What?"

"I'm gonna fight it," he grinned.

You can imagine how the rest of the afternoon played out:

I dissolved into a fit of laughter, and Z, already glazed over and loopy, did the same. Ten minutes later, we were both still laughing, lying in a hysterical pair of heaps on the floor, knees and elbows flailing, clutching our ribs, tears running down our faces.

Twenty minutes later, we were clutching our faces, sore from the laughter, then each other's faces, which soon turned back into laughing fits.

Then we had a snack.

Then the dog farted, and more laughing.

Then hot tubbing. More laughing and some water-splashing, which nearly resulted in a nasal drowning accident.

Out of the hot tub, a slip and fall into a snowbank -- in a bikini -- then more laughing, right up to snack #2.

Three hours later, we were at the sports bar eating pizza, drinking beer, playing cards and yelling our way through the BSU game. There was some slurring, for sure, and some pretty reckless card betting, but no sleep.


Seven hours later, the game was over, and it was mercifully dark. I enthusiastically hit the sack, from where I didn't move for nearly eleven hours. I was finally awoken with a cappuccino sometime mid-morning on the second bright day of the new year -- without a hangover.

What a fabulous way to welcome in the new year. Hope yours was as utterly memorable.


jali said...

Happy New Year!

Hope you're healing.

Trebuchet said...

grazie! I have my first PT appt on Thursday, so I'm mos def on the road. :) Happy new year to you, Jalimama!