Last week I lost twelve hours of my life. Those twelve hours were spent throwing up what looked like a mangled midget, but was instead jambalaya and one Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane.
I’m not much of a drinker (except for when I was 22 and drank myself to sleep on a regular basis and wrote emo diary entries about how no one loved me), but wanted to participate in the intoxicated fun of New Orleans’ Bourbon Street on my first visit to the magical city with my mother and our friend Margie. Each of us indulged in a Hurricane in the romantic courtyard of Pat O’Briens and enjoyed a pre-Fall evening in the jovial atmosphere of the French Quarter. We got tipsy, but no one was fall down drunk. We come from a lineage of non-drinkers and all my mother can handle is a few sips before falling into a giggle fit, then sleep.
We traversed the relatively tame crowd of Bourbon Street back to our hotel in the Warehouse District. Last week, the city was full of middle-aged men with pot bellies and polo shirts for a waste water convention. Needless to say, we were barely accosted with beads or invitations to drink. Granted, I was dressed like Mr. Rogers, so that probability of having cheap plastic beads smacking my face from high above was highly unlikely.
At the hotel, we all fell into a blissful sleep, but somewhere around 5:30AM I woke up to a gnawing sensation in my stomach. Knowing full well what that feeling was, I tried to will the want to throw up away by drinking lots of water. Big mistake. For the next four hours, I threw up every fifteen minutes. I threw up so much that I pulled muscles in my stomach and back. Even as of today, my body feels like it had trained for a marathon. I had never thrown up so much in my life.
I was ready to give up on life last week as I laid on the bathroom floor and tried to mute my gagging noises so I didn’t wake my roommates. There is something comical about having your worst drunken night at the age of 29 in the hotel room you are sharing with your mother, but that humor was lost upon me as I stared at the ceiling asking God, “Why?”
I’m still not sure what caused me to get so sick. It could have been the Kool-Aid sweetness of the drink, the fact that one Hurricane is actually three drinks, that I hadn’t eaten since 3PM or the fact that I hadn’t had a drink in several weeks.
So why the hell am I telling you all of this? It’s a cautionary tale about New Orleans.
Listen folks, don’t drink Hurricanes. They’re evil. They will take your insides and rip them out and throw them against the wall. They will make you barter your first born child to the devil.
On a side note, here is classy a photo of my mother at Pat O’Briens back in the 70s, and below it, a photo of me at the same place. I am definitely my mother’s daughter.