No matter where you find yourself-whether on the trolley-filled streets of San Francisco, amongst the bark-eating residents of Madison, Wisconsin or as a working class hero in Scranton, PA-Night Guy and Morning Guy will repeatedly step into the ring, bump gloves and square off for battle. Let the struggle begin:
Phase I - As Bad As It Gets
The alarm goes WAH! WAH! WAH! WAH! You twap it with a deft flick of the wrist that even Mr. Miagi would be jealous of. You stare at the digital numbers and truly believe that somehow, for some reason, someone advanced your clock by a couple of hours while you snored. The cottonmouth has melded your tongue with the roof of your mouth. Before even unraveling from the fetal position, you identify at least three bruises on your arms and legs whose causes don't ring a bell. This is as bad as the day will get.
Phase II - False Hope
Just at the point when you're about to crawl into the splash closet for an Irish Spring smelling salt, you drop your towel. Before thinking of the repercussions you quickly bend to retrieve it"¦ Fast-forward 30 seconds and you find yourself on one knee, hand on the toilet (no worries, it' always clean), profusely sweating while all the blood in your body crams into your head as it thumps out what you're pretty sure is Queen' "We Will Rock You." You stagger to your feet and plunge into the steamy depths of a moldy shower session. You're cured instantly. The warm water washes away the pain and you think for the first time that you may actually walk on the same side of the street as a bar again. However, the minute you turn that middle faucet off and the water stops pelting your locks, the symptoms return and you realize that this was a horribly cruel case of false hope.
Phase III - Promises Promises
You exit your apartment and immediately notice how everyone that passes seems to have a Mr. Rogers-like pep in their step. And you despise them for it. You make it to the subway station with the largest Gatorade ever unearthed from a Korean bodega firmly in your clutches. As you swipe the transit card and feel the madness of the morning commute begin to overwhelm your senses, you curse yourself for being so cheap and not taking a cab. You quickly attempt to rationalize it as a form of masochistic punishment somehow meant to purge yourself of the sins incurred the night prior. Nice try, cheapo.
Jamming onto the subway car, you let out a "Mooo!" in a surprising attempt at humor, considering your state of disrepair. No one finds the cattle reference funny. Neither do you, actually. Residual inebriation, you surmise. You're now rotating your head from left to right, alternating between some smelly giant's armpit on the left and another' moustache on the right. You think to yourself, "Why doesn't she wax it?" As the minutes pass and the delays mount, you wonder if you happened to faint, would anyone help? Your anxiety heightens when you realize the answer is a resounding "no." The nausea is crippling at this point, but you're not really concerned about that because vomiting on this train would actually improve its ole factory qualities. At this point, you make that age-old promise to yourself... never to drink again.
Phase IV - Revising the Promise
You've been at your desk for two hours now. The headache has subsided a bit, but the nausea is a blue collar son-of-a-bitch with one hell of a work ethic and a heroin-like addiction to overtime. You're staring at a cold egg-and-cheese bagel that you can actually hear triple-dog-daring you to eat it. But you know better. Despite continuing on in an extremely bad way, you're beginning to think that just maybe you might survive to see the afternoon. It' at this point that you revise that promise to yourself: I will never drink....... on a work night......... EVER again.
Phase V - The Clouds are Clearing
You've made it to high noon and have finally forced down breakfast. Don't ever let anyone tell you that eight Advil's and four hours of surfing (the Internet, that is) is not a hangover cure, because you're starting to feel like a human again. Your bruises still hurt and you still don't know where they came from, but you can actually bend over to tie your shoes now. In addition, you just received a strange email from a girl you're certain you've never met thanking you for a great night and hoping that you'll be able to get together again real soon. She compliments you on the durability of your bedroom furniture and passes on her number. The clouds are certainly clearing now!
Phase VI - Short Term Memory
The work day' creeping to an end now and you've already talked to four people about their plans for tonight. Night Guy has officially beaten the crap out of manic-depressive Morning Guy and stuffed him in a trunk somewhere. Night's laughing, talking and joking about last night, how much fun he had and how he's revved up for another round of good times on the town. This bastard has it good, I tell you; he whoops it up every night like a man with no tomorrow.... no tomorrow morning, at least. Who can blame him, really? He never feels the pain caused by his actions from the night before. All that shit happened to Morning Guy.
Phase VII - Game On
The whistle blows and you're out the door. It starts with a few beers followed by a few (dry) chicken tenders. Or, if you're feeling trendy that night, some sesame chicken skewers. You make your way to the jukebox, play nine U2 tracks, Nada Surf's "Hyperspace" and that song by the Verve that brings you back to that "warming-up-for-high-school-basketball-games" feeling no matter how many times you hear it. As usual, you leave the bar before you hear any of them. It's off to the races now, bar after bar, all the while drunk-dialing in an attempt to bring every poor soul who has ever given you their number down with you.
All rationale has been out thrown out the window. "Seven hours sleep is plenty, I'll be fine." Four Bud bottles later, "six hours sleep is plenty and besides, I don't have any meetings tomorrow." Two shots of SoCo and a Jack and Coke later (you are so drunk you're actually thinking that beer is not getting you there fast enough so you've switched gears) and you're thinking "five hours of sleep is plenty of time to sober up and besides, that's tomorrow morning, that's never going to get here." Your game is on.
WAH! WAH! WAH! WAH! Twap that alarm.