Chris Khatschadourian on Stage live with In Sanity Q

October 10, 2019: Waking Up with a Hangover

I woke up with a hangover, late for work. There was nothing to motivate me to get out of bed except water. I was so dehydrated I understood what it’s like to be thirsty in hell.

I crawled out of bed and went to grab a cold bottle of water from the fridge in the kitchen. There was a Manowar song in my head I couldn’t shake off. One line from “Hail and Kill” on repeat, in a loop.

Blood and death are waiting like a raven in the sky
I was born to die

I took a piss and got dressed. My reflection in the mirror frowned at me as I tried to button my pants; I responded with a nod — never been this fat before.

In the car, I slapped myself twice to ‘wake the fuck up’. I wasn’t sleepy. I was demotivated, bored out, tired of everything and everyone. I did not want to do life anymore. But the routine was waiting for me.

I started the car and turned on the AC but remained in the parking. I punched the steering wheel a few times and then rubbed my temples as I tried to remember the night before.

It’s better to regret things you’ve done than to regret things you haven’t done.

Last night, I met an old friend in a coffee shop by accident. He was there and I was there, so we agreed to go out for drinks immediately and catch up. He had just come back from New York.

“Two years already. Wow,” I said. (We weren’t close friends, so his absence mostly went unnoticed. He posted things on Facebook every now and then, and that’s how I ‘remembered’ him.)

“Yeah, I’ll be here until August or so. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be back in New York in September to do my Ph.D. So we have a whole year to do things together. Oh, are you performing with the band anytime soon?”

(AB is an unpublished poet with a master’s degree. He is a skinny young man with messy hair. From some angles, his face may remind one of George Orwell. Charismatic, talkative, and loud, he tries to woo or hug or kiss every girl he comes across. AB is also known to be a drunkard. The bartenders on Hamra Street know him well.)

We had a few beers, talked about literature, and tried to define art. At some point, he tried to explain his thesis and how he tried to defend it, but I didn’t follow. The music in the bar was too loud and I wasn’t interested enough to make an effort to hear the words he was blurting out. But in general, we had a good conversation. I always liked him.

I heard him ask the bartender if he could pay for his drinks tomorrow, but I wasn’t going to let that happen. I waved at the bartender and gestured that I would be the one paying the bill. And I did.

“Thanks, man.”

“You don’t need to thank me. You’re a writer and you’re supposed to be broke,” I said, and we both laughed.

And then, since I already had the book with me and since he had already told me that he planned to read it, I told him a little about Jaroslav Hašek, the author of The Good Soldier Švejk.

“Hašek,” I told AB, “was a real character. Born to be a writer and a vagabond. He was a true bohemian and an anarchist, kind of like you.”

We laughed a little and then went to another bar where we had some whiskey. By that time, I was already a little intoxicated and his girlfriend had joined us, and our ‘literary conversations’ were repressed.

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