Pain resonated from every movement as I moved through the TSA line. Yesterday’s wedding and open bar had left my brain soggy; today I’d felt significantly dumber.
Everything was steadily becoming more unpleasantly sober. My mouth tasted like I’d made out with an exhaust vent at a vomit factory. I was further consumed by this sinking notion that I likely owed a dozen different people apologies for a litany of now-forgotten, blacked-out transgressions. Being swarmed by these families, ripe with noise and disorganization, I felt was punishment enough.
Grunting throughout in lieu of actual language, I’d made it to my gate. I’d uncovered a two-day-old Egg McMuffin in my jacket pocket, an unfortunate choice that had now led into another unfortunate choice.
Donning sweatpants and a stained t-shirt, I hunched over my find. My loveless eyes surveyed the terminal while I shoveled the congealed mass into my face. I felt the stares weighing, each person praying for me not to be the stranger who occupies their row’s middle seat.
I was nearly the last person to board. The girl by the window recoiled in disgust as I jammed my bag into the overhead compartment and packed myself between her and the meek businessman on the aisle. Through the safety spiel and cross checks my row simmered in my musk, an odor not far off from bourbon and blood. I did not apologize or speak.
My body couldn’t agree on whether I was hot or cold, tired or awake, aroused or very sweaty, but my systems could all agree that the Egg McMuffin needed to vacate immediately. This could not wait for us to reach cruising altitude.
Like parents’ undying affinity for CBS, this impending dump was not at all surprising. I pointed and grunted. Meek Businessman timidly hopped up and I tottered up to the front bathroom.
Every second counted and sweatpants had been the right choice. I collapsed onto the seat and it flared out of me, coating the water-less bowl with viscous human tar. An evil presence had left me; it was as if I had been some sort of horcrux.
Finally catching my breath, I’d stood up to examine my work. It was this hangover, midnight-black hue so dark that light could barely escape it. By standing, I’d permitted a jailbreak on this stink that wasted no time in making this pseudo closet intolerable.
The torrent of, what I assume was, blue Listerine took care of the bulk but the remainder unapologetically lingered. I ambled back to my seat—naturally, like the way one does when they haven’t just expelled the unspeakable.
Still panting, I wedged myself back into seat. Leafing through SkyMall, I noticed a large, well-groomed gentleman stand up and march his way up to the front. Nervous energy echoed throughout me. Feelings of hangover were overshadowed. I was giddy, like a kid waiting for a driveway firework to explode.
The gentleman crossed the threshold and immediately retreated. Anger and surprise caught in his throat. All he could muster was this oddly ghoulish half-moan.
He staggered back to his seat, his nostrils scorched and his face petrified. The entire cabin took note. For the remaining hour and ten minutes, my fellow passengers collectively decided that they could use the rear bathroom or hold it until we landed.
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