Beginning to see how it was the longest day of my life? It hasn't even hit lunchtime yet and already I have been fightin' and drinkin' and shaggin' and flyin' and cryin' and I still haven't quite sobered up. Epic! For all the wrong reasons.
Would possibly make a not-bad country song.
I've been fightin' and drinkin', shaggin' and thinkin', flyin' and cryin' 'bout life
I been rantin' and ravin' - I've not been behavin', this must be The Longest Day of my Life.
It started at midnight with an ill-fated fist fight, then the 'bandits' took over the bars
There was talk of a lynchin', then derriere pinchin' and romantic walks home 'neath the stars.
The Euphonium Player was a disloyal layer, and smoked most of my cigarettes
I missed my bus, caused a hell of a fuss, now I'm sobering up on this jet.
I have often thought I've missed my niche in the country music world.
Movin' On Up (to Picton), 12 noon-9pm
I woke up, surprisingly enough still in the plane, somewhere over Ashburton. All I have to say about the rest of the flight is this: Never sober up on a plane. Do not forget this, for it is important. Airplane hangovers are worse than airplane food, in-flight entertainment and Snakes on a Plane all put together and wrapped in a tortilla of pain and self-loathing, which is how I felt. (Wrapped.) I deplaned (I love using that word, it makes me feel like an international jetsetter) in Christchurch and got a taxi home. No-one else was there, thank God, so I stumbled up the stairs and into bed. I woke up about an hour later when my mother arrived home, highly surprised by my presence (I wasn't meant to arrive on the bus until an hour or so later, and she'd made space in her day to come and pick me up) and winkled me out. (I am difficult to get out of bed - Kate refers to getting me up in the mornings as 'shucking the sleeping oyster.' For some reason now that I've written that down it sounds rude, but I promise it isn't.)
I showered, took my suitcases (of which there were five) downstairs, and then tearfully told Mum the story of The Horrid Fight (leaving out the alcohol and tEp). She gave me a cup of tea and told me that I had been Morally Right and was a Very Brave Girl and I had a little cry and felt better. Yay for mothers!
Then she said helpfully, "Do you have your booking number for the ferry?" and it dawned on me that I did, but it was written on a handy little piece of paper inside my trumpet case. Which was in Dunedin. I instantly flew back into my Enormous Panic and starting sobbing hysterically (I am not at my best when I'm tired). Then we called the booking office, who gave us the number in about ten seconds, and then my ride to Picton arrived. It was a veritable whirlwind of activity. I loaded my suitcases into the car, hopped in the front seat next to the driver - one of my close friends who was going to Picton that weekend anyway - waved a cheery goodbye to Mum and then, the second we had backed out of the drive, began snivelling inconsolably to my friend about tEp. I am a terrible friend sometimes.
Travelling in a car for five and a half hours isn't great at the best of times, but it's even worse when you're enduring possibly the worst hangover of your life. The friend who was driving me, who is amazing, put up with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. This isn't to say that the car ride wasn't fun; it was great fun and became more so as we went along and my insane hangover, while not disappearing, settled into a state of tolerable intensity. Apart from somewhere round Kaikoura where I thought it would be a good idea to have a cigarette and it wasn't and we had to stop the car on very little notice so that I could lean out and vomit on the shoulder. Other than that, though, it was an enjoyable road trip and by the end of it I was feeling much better about the Horrible Fight and the Horrible EP and Horrible Everything in general.
(Aside: one of SF's best stories is about the time she went to Valentine's to celebrate something, got over-excited and ate an enormous amount of meat from the buffet, and had to stop by the side of the road and be sick on the way home. The best bit is that she was 32 at the time.)
We arrived in Picton about 6, checked in my bags at the ferry terminal, and then went to get something to eat as the ferry didn't leave until 10pm. I braved a sandwich - the first thing that had passed my lips all day, apart from copious amounts of water - and half a bottle of wine, which made me feel immensely better. It always does. Me and the friend sat around outside smoking (I was now feeling well enough to go back to suckin' down the poison) and talking about nothing in particular except how much we were going to miss each other, now that I was moving, and from time to time what a prize jerk tEp was. This was easily the best part of the day, and also the part that went the fastest.
Eventually the friend said she had to depart, and dropped me off at the ferry terminal. I went upstairs and waited for the gangway to open...
To be continued...