Teaching Hungover

If my body is my temple, then I’ve ransacked it for all its wealth and splendor and smeared filth on the walls. Last night, I did something terrible, something inexcusable, something untoward and deplorable. Last night, some friends and I. . . played Monopoly. Naturally, the only way to react to the trappings of a capitalist system is to drink copious amounts of cheap beer and rum and to shout “water is an ingredient” anytime someone suggested I should hydrate.

Artist’s rendering of the evil I’ve inflicted upon myself

I got filthy drunk and played Monopoly on a Wednesday night. I don’t know why my mistake was especially awful because it was a Wednesday, but the Wednesday-ness undoubtedly made everything worse. Now, it is Thursday because days have this awful knack of going one after the other. Chronology is not my friend.


I’m a teacher–something I forgot last night while shotgunning beers in my backyard. Students go to school on Thursdays–something I wish wasn’t true. I, a teacher, had to talk about responsibility, critical thinking, and healthy life habits while enjoying the feeling of a train wrapped in barbed wire and airhorns tearing through the meaty parts of my head. One student asked for an extension on a paper. I gave it to him because the thought of putting in the cognitive strain to say no was more painful than just giving him anything he wanted. I was so weak. More asked for extensions. I gave one to anyone who asked. They saw my frailty and exploited it. They would be amazing at Monopoly.

My mental faculties in a picture

The kids had a field trip today. My presence was required for about half an hour, and I don’t think I could have gone for any longer. I am weak, and though I logically know the floor of my classroom is not the deck of a small fishing boat caught in a hurricane, that is definitely what it felt like. My mouth always tastes like pumpkin when I’m hungover. I answered questions about the most recent essay I assigned and was more preoccupied with the harvest festival in my mouth than anything else. My past self was looking out for me today. If I hadn’t assigned such a simple paper, I absolutely would not have been able to answer my students’ questions. Questions require answers, and answers are hard to find when your brain is a tangle of old hot oranges, poison, and drooling bees.

I do not know if I will survive the day. I’m writing this while considering the merits of skydiving without a parachute. I did this to myself by drinking enough poison that I forgot it was poison, and then I had more. I would be a terrible life coach.

“Listen, kiddo, who am I to tell you that you shouldn’t throw back a shot and chase it with cheap beer then go to town on a Lord of the Rings themed Monopoly board.”

I’m lucky that my students don’t need me today, and maybe I planned for that last night. I don’t remember anything other robbing the Monopoly bank every time I thought I could get away with it. I’m lucky they’re all off learning about engineering or the environment or climate change or something–I can’t remember what this field trip is for. All I remember is drunkenly complaining to my cat about weird verbs these kids use in their essays. All I can hope for now is that by tomorrow this poison will have passed from my body and death will have long since taken me.


Life is pain. Remember to drink water.