I was at the point that when I woke up, I felt every single beer from the night prior. Even if I just had like one or two with dinner, it weighed me down a tad the next day. So when I would have one or two an hour, while out with friends for hours on end, I felt like throwing myself off a bridge for the next three days. It was like someone laid concrete in your stomach and your head, and filled your pockets and shoes with wet sand, then chuckled at you for moving so slowly. And then forced you to re-watch your actions of hours upon hours of one or two beers an hour.

Last night was a one or two an hour nights, and  I was driving across a bridge earlier today to another friends surprise birthday party. I wasn’t going to know anyone  at this party except for the surprise-ee, so essentially I wasn’t going to know anyone there. I was feeling every single hour and feeling shaky, I crossed the bridge and had to pick up some beers, couldn’t show up empty handed. I hand to keep my hands occupied. It was like when you’re dancing and you’re white and you don’t know what to do with your hands, so you have one or two beers an hour, but just to keep your hands occupied.

So it was starting soon and I had already crossed the bridge. I went to a coffee shop to kill time and try to look interesting while reading a book and drinking a latte, but I was filled with dread and concrete and wet sand and replays of my actions. It was like when you’re having a forced conversation at a surprise birthday party, and you can see the disinterest in the person’s eyes, and you know you don’t have anything to say after the next thing you have planned to say, and you can feel their eyes kinda looking through you to see who they’re going to talk to next. So after you say the last uninteresting thing, you ask them if they want one of the beers you brought, but they say no thanks and pity you with a sigh and a smile, and you walk over and get a beer and mercifully let them go over to whoever it was their eyes drifted towards.



Wild Growing Flowers

The last panic attack I had was on Mother’s Day, well technically Mother’s Day night, well technically it was past midnight so it was the Monday after Mother’s Day. I was about to fall asleep, I went to bed. I was living with my sister and we had a few brews while watching the Yankees and at some point I said, “I’m so excited to sleep tonight, it’s gonna be great.” I had a few brews and I was so tired, I had far too many brews the night before and was hungover all of Mother’s Day. I had too many brews the night before and stayed up until 6 in the morning. I woke up a little before 11 and went down to where our childhood house used to be and picked some wild growing flowers for Mother’s Day. So me and my siblings went to my parents house and we all gave her flowers, separately, we had never done that before. She said “wow! I’ve never had so many flowers!” We never got her much of anything for Mother’s Day, just our presence and my dad would make a cake or something. But this year we all got flowers, separately, unplanned. So take that for what it’s worth. And we did that and it was fine, we gave her some flowers and ate cake and talked about stuff and it was fine, the cake was quite good, cheese cake, my mom put the cake dishes out and attempted to serve the coffee, but the coffee wasn’t ready yet, so we had the cake without coffee, but it was still quite good. Blueberry compote on top, it was warm and the cheesecake was cold. My dad thought he fucked up the graham cracker crust, but it held just fine. My sister left because she had dogs to tend to. Me and my brothers hung around for a little while longer, but eventually left. I left and headed to my sisters, I was staying in the basement. A few days earlier I roasted garlic in olive oil at my sister’s house, so now I had a jar of garlic flavored olive oil and roasted garlic, in the same jar, it was fantastic. I used it with almost everything. I went back to my sister’s and I made some biscuits, and I made some eggs, and I used the garlic oil and some garlic cloves to fry the eggs, and put them on top of a freshly made biscuit with some kimchee. It was quite good, almost as good as the cheese cake with the blueberry compote. The blueberries were warm. I worked with a chef who showed me the roasting garlic in oil trick, I loved it, used it with almost everything. He said “make sure you refrigerate it, because it can actually cause botulism if kept at room temperature. And that’s actually pretty serious.” So I made a bunch a few days before Mother’s Day, and put it in a jar and forgot about it for 10 minutes or so. No big deal, it had to cool down anyway. I used it to sauté some kale a few days before Mother’s Day, and it was quite good, and I didn’t get botulism because I was keeping it in a fridge, except for the 10 minutes I forgot about it. So I was at my sisters and I fried some eggs up with the garlic oil and a few cloves and had a few brews and watched the Yankees and I was so excited to sleep. I went down to the air mattress in the basement and I was so tired, I laid down and my stomach felt a little funny, almost as if I’d been drinking for two days, or I was dying of botulism, the disease thing I vaguely remember hearing about a few months prior. I decided it was botulism and forced myself to stay up, because otherwise I was going to die in my sleep, I was sure of it. My sister was a nurse, but more importantly she was no stranger to panic attacks. So she could easily talk me off this irrational ledge. I went upstairs and she was asleep on the couch. I got some water and went back downstairs, I was laughing to myself, I was laughing at myself, I knew I didn’t have botulism, but I was certain that I most definitely had botulism. It wasn’t Mother’s Day, well it wasn’t Mother’s Day anymore technically, but it was, because I hadn’t my slept yet. I felt myself drifting off, but I forced myself to stay awake. I googled “botulism in…” and garlic oil was one of the first things the search engine guessed. I was justified. The first words that I read in the search were “extremely rare,” but I was sure I was going to have all the symptoms. I researched for 10 minutes, I didn’t have any of the symptoms. I was laughing to myself, at myself. I was drifting off to thoughts of my own wake, people lining up to say sorry to my parents, tell them what a great guy I was. I pictured the chef who warned me about botulism telling my mom what a great worker and guy I was. But it wouldn’t mean anything, no amount of flowers would help. I couldn’t go to sleep because I knew what would happen, and it was Mother’s Day, even if technically it wasn’t anymore, I hadn’t slept yet.