I normally don't like to post these too often, but the calendar dictates this one... the New Year's edition.
Dave’s eyes slowly blinked open... the room was dark. What room, he wasn’t sure. The cushions supporting his body would work for the rest of the night. Not feeling that his body would be synchronized with any further thoughts he might produce, he resigned himself to his confined, yet sufficient, quarters.
Sunlight sneaking around the edge of the blinds pulled his eyes open a second time. Like a police sketch artist, the sun slowly removed the haze and pulled each element of the room together into a recognizable picture for him. The room he had slumbered in was familiar, but the route he took there was currently unknown. That was good enough for now as the steady rhythm pounding inside his head made more sleep a very attractive option.
Noises from the direction of the kitchen brought him back a third time. Having already established his location, he tried to salvage the previous night from his damaged memory banks before rising and confronting anybody else sharing his flophouse that day. The memories that teased him would be from the last party of the year as he realized he was regaining consciousness in the first sunrise of the new year....
Careful planning disguised as altruism had afforded him the entire day off that New Year’s Eve. He had volunteered to work Christmas Eve while others spent the day planning family get-togethers and last minute shopping. In return a week later, Dave would get a day off and get a head start on the parties that would evolve that evening. A case of beer that afternoon would evolve into a good buzz that he would maintain into the evening, as well as provide a few cans for any merrymakers that might want to join in that day. A bottle of Wild Turkey would be on hand to help anyone evolve into the party guest that every host dreams of entertaining. Some Schnapps might also help distract any females with a disdain of the fine Kentucky bourbon or sudsy mugs typically tossed back by the male species.
The self-prescribed and carefully planned intake allowed him to disregard the strange feeling overtaking his head that evening. He rationed that it was the strange combinations of these solutions creating the momentary disarray rather than his failing attempt to ration the volumes. The time quickly approached to take the small group of revelers that had gathered with him at the hotel that evening to the watering hole that would nourish the eclectic group for the coming year.
Shortly after arriving, and perhaps excited by the array of people that had turned out that cold December evening, Dave felt the need to bypass the free beer and wine provided under the cover charge that evening and buy a round of Jagermeister for his closest 8 friends gathered near the taps. Most of those friends, along with those who weren’t friends prior to the purchase, each returned the favor by sending back a couple ounces of the fine spirit that would remind most people of the cough syrups they fought off as children.
Those must have been the fatal shots that caused his brain cells to scramble the rest of the evening. The same cells that swelled in his skull that morning as he strained to recall anything else. Dave wanted to lie on that couch the rest of the day until he remembered what else he might have done to finish off that year, but nature called and his hosts had been most forgiving in the past. Perhaps they would forgive him just one more time.