The Morning After: One Fan's Day Following a Horrific Loss
Hey, I'm sure I'm not the only one that's gone through something similar. But for those of you that may not know what I am talking about, please continue reading. Every one of us probably handles it differently when our team loses in embarrassing fashion as the Rangers did last night to the Islanders. Not to take anything away from an Islanders team playing pretty good hockey of late but come on, how can we have just sucked like that in a game with so much importance. As I said earlier, everyone probably handles things a little differently but let me tell you how things work around my abode following a debacle like the one last night.
First off, I'm sure my neighbors went to bed with pounding headaches due to all of the yelling emanating from my house last night. You know, the type of headache that makes you wish someone or something would just come along and put you out of your misery as you cradle your head in trembling arms while kneeling on the bathroom floor in front of the toilet. Yeah, that kind of headache.
By the 3rd period I was too angry to even yell anymore. An unsettling calm descended over my house as I began dealing with the defeat in my own special way. That leads me to the most important lesson of this piece; what not to do the night of a game like that and how to deal with the wreckage that likely ensued the next morning.
Here's a timeline of what happened to me this morning following one defeat of such epic proportions.
6:30 - The alarm goes off and I moan softly while reaching for the snooze button with a shaky hand. After 35 seconds of blindly feeling around the nigh stand, I manage to successfully mash a button that quiets the incessant buzzing of the clock.
6:40 - A repeat of Step 1 above.
6:50 - Yet another repeat of Step 1.
7:00 - Finally realizing Step 1 was severely lacking in efficiency, I hurl the clock at the nearest wall fully expecting it to shatter into thousands of useless pieces. Unfortunately, as a result of my weakened state, the best I can muster is some flailing push of a throw that a 4 year-old girl would have been ashamed of. This results in no damage whatsoever to the clock. Fortunately, as the clock bounces on the floor the correct button is pressed and the thing is finally silenced for the duration of the morning.
9:23 - My eyes snap awake and instantly I know I will not be going back to sleep this morning. Despite knowing sleep is what I need more than anything, it's a futile effort and I know it. I only pray I remembered to put a handful of aspirin and a glass of water on the night stand next to me.
9:27 - I finally manage to try to sit up to look for the aspirins when a horrifying thought crosses my mind: did I throw the clock at the wall earlier or was it really my glass of water? I can't take my aspirin without water!! Oh crap. Just then the pounding in my head kicks into overdrive. Now I know how my neighbors must have felt last night.
9:39 - I've just spent the last 12 minutes sitting absolutely, perfectly still until the sharp, stabbing pains subside moderately. I carefully and slowly open my eyes and peer toward the night stand where thankfully both the aspirins and the water both set waiting for my.
9:42 - Like a man dying of thirst (maybe I am dying and if I am I just hope it happens quickly) I weakly reach out toward the aspirins. Surprisingly I am able to grab 5 of the 17 tablets on the table. The others end up on the floor. I put all 5 from my hand into my dry mouth which feels like it's full of cotton.
9:44 - The tablets are dissolving in my mouth which leaves a disgusting taste but it still takes every last iota of strength in my body, at least it seems that way, to finally try to grab the glass of water.
9:45 - I begin to curse myself, not out loud because I know somehow that will cue the throbbing in my head to start again, but to myself, for using a glass in the first place for my water. The chances of me dropping this on the floor and it breaking are too darn high for me to have so foolishly bucked the odds. I should have grabbed one of the many plastic cups I have in my cupboard.
9:52 - I actually get the glass to my lips and it still has half of the water, or almost half of it, left. I thank whatever gods I believe in at that moment (none) for such a seemingly small favor.
9:53 - With the aspirins now mostly down my gullet, leaving only the faintest of nasty tasting residues in my mouth, I prepare to again sit perfectly still until I know for sure the meds are having their desired affect.
10:17 - The worst of the headache is now gone and only dull remnants are left to torture me. I slide 90 degrees to my left so my feet now dangle over the edge of the bed.
10:23 - My feet finally touch the carpet and I attempt to stand.
10:26 - Somehow I actually make it to my feet.
10:34 - After not moving for 8 minutes, only swaying softly back-and-forth on my feet, I remember the secret to walking. I place one foot in front of the other. I've taken a step!!!!
10:36 - I repeat the above step again and smile, softly, at my remarkable progress.
10:44 - I realize I haven't moved beyond the second step and again, tentatively, as if I was stepping into water that could possibly be scalding hot, put my left foot in front of the right.
10:46 - I've got this now!!! Gaining more confidence with every step I make my way to the kitchen. I need to eat something if I am going to survive the day and I think I can handle a slice or two of dry toast.
11:02 - Finally made it to the kitchen when I realize I really, really have to take a leak. With my head hanging in shame, anger, disappointment and perhaps more critically, desperation, I turn back toward the same bathroom I passed just moments (okay several moments) ago.
11:09 - All the practice is paying off; it only took 7 minutes to navigate the 13 feet (as the crow flies) to my bathroom.
11:14 - Now that my bladder is empty I need to wash my hands. I turn on the water and place my hands under the faucet. I wonder if I actually shot straight or if I need to clean up a mess in the bathroom.
11:17 - I realize too late that I turned on just the hot water and only the sudden excruciating burn warns me that I might actually be boiling the skin clean off of my hands.
11:18 - No need to dry my hands as the water was so hot it quickly evaporates on its own. I begin my trek back to the kitchen.
11:21 - I'm getting better all the time. Three minutes to make the trip this time.
11:25 - I finally found the bread which for some unknown reason was under the sink next to the garbage disposal. It must have been a hell of a night.
11:27 - I manage to stick two slices of wheat bread into my toaster and depress the lever.
11:33 - The toast pops up and naturally, it is too done for my taste. Nothing else to do but to eat the charcoal bread as is.
11:41 - I choke down the final bite. I firmly believe I am going to hurl and all of my innards are coming up this time.
11:46 - The churning in my stomach lessens and I decide coffee is needed to fast forward my recovery.
12:13 - The coffee is finally done brewing. What the hell, was it aging in the coffee maker or something? Does it taste better the longer it brews? No, it doesn't!
12:17 - I manage to fill my cup with coffee while spilling virtually the rest of the contents of the pot onto the counter. I'll clean that up later.
12:17:49 - Sadly I forget that coffee is pretty damn hot coming right out of the pot and I succeed in burning my mouth. I look at my reflection in the toaster (the closest surface with any mirror-like properties) and am surprised I didn't manage to burn a hole right through my bottom lip. Ah, small miracles.
12:40 - With one full cup and another quarter cup (mostly grounds) of coffee in my system I almost think I am going to be able to leave my house today........ at some point, anyway.
12:53 - I slowly make my way back to the bathroom. I need to take another leak and also while I was there the first time, I realized I must have projectile-vomited the previous night's spaghetti dinner all over the walls and tub. There's some good news.
12:55 - Unfortunately during my first trip through the hallway, I didn't notice the empty liter bottle of Belvedere vodka on the floor. I notice it now as I stumble right over it and do a perfect header into the wall before falling to the floor. Now my head really hurts.
1:18 - As I lay motionless on the floor, I'm now on the verge of peeing all over myself. I have a tough decision to make; either sit there and do it (something else to clean up) or try my damnedest to get back to my feet.
1:19 - Back to my feet now but god I have to piss. I feel just like a 7 year-old in school right before recess. If it were possible to do so and walk in my current state my legs would be vigorously doing the pee-pee dance.
1:21 - Thankfully I reach the bathroom without wetting myself, though I did spray all over the toilet (great).
1:24 - I manage to bend over without fainting and grab a bucket and sponge from the vanity beneath the sink.
1:30 - I thought I had to puke while eating my glorious breakfast of charcoal. Try cleaning up dried spaghetti mixed with generous portions of vodka and bile. Awesome.
1:42 - I manage to keep it together long enough to clean up the mess (including the piss on the toilet). I almost wouldn't be very embarrassed if a guest had to use my bathroom. Almost.
1:46 - I head out into the living room already with a good idea of what to expect.
1:53 - Yes. My favorite chair lies in ruins on the living room floor. Amazingly it has burn marks on it. A half-empty fire extinguisher lies next to what's left of the chair. I guess someone was responsible last night. I have no idea who though.
2:22 - Nearly a half-hour of mourning for my favorite recliner is in the books before I survey the rest of the living room.
2:24 - Ah yes!! My 48" flat screen LCD TV has a hole right there in the middle of it. I can only surmise I was watching the replay of the game courtesy of DVR because the remote is sticking a quarter of the way out of the hole in the screen while the cable box lies in a still-smoking heap outside my front door, which by the way, is open. My dog, thankfully, is still lying on the floor next to the trash can in the kitchen. Of course he got into the trash during the night and its contents are strewn all over the house. Why couldn't he have eaten the puke in the bathroom instead of playing with the garbage?
2:32 - While continuing to survey and tally the damage done to my house and belongings, I go into an instantaneous and debilitating panic. Did I remember to call into work sick?!?!?!? Oh SH!ZNIT!!!!
2:44 - I manage to text one of my subordinates the following message: "did i caln sik 4 2dy/". Funny how my phone's auto correct failed me then when I needed it but will "fix" other innocent words or phrases into something perverted. See: clean mom's china, being "corrected" to: clean mom's vag!na." That's a true story by the way. Not with me but with some other poor sap.
2:45 - Mercifully my maintenance supervisor texted back that yes, I had indeed phoned in sick. However, it appears I may now be looking at a write-up (best case scenario) or termination due to the profanity-laced, drunken voice mail I left my boss. Evidently I must have believed I was leaving a message for someone else considering the 136 distinct and direct insults of my boss that I managed to make in the 11 minute-long rambling recording I left.
2:52 - I end an internal debate on whether I should now update my resume or head out onto the road to replace the several destroyed items now in my house. They won't fire me. Hell, apparently, according to my maintenance supervisor, I am now the most popular person among the working stiffs at my job. I am the man.
2:53 - Feeling pretty dapper for a guy with a sever hangover, I grab my truck keys and some of the destroyed items and head out.
3:07 - My first stop is to Best Buy where I hope to convince them that my extended warranty covers the damage to my TV.
3:59 - I've now screamed and yelled at the idiot lackey that has so far refused to accept that the damage to my TV was clearly due to a "manufacturing issue," for nearly an hour. Finally his boss arrives and decides it is no longer worth their time to argue with me. He offers me a 5% discount on a new and more expensive TV. Feeling justified and victorious, I agree and break out my Master Card.
4:10 - With a new 60" Samsung LCD TV in the back of my truck I proceed to the cable company.
4:22 - I don't even argue with them and just shell out the $65 for a new cable box and remote control.
4:39 - I arrive at Jerome's (a furniture chain in So Cal) to pick out a new recliner. I only had the other recliner for 3 weeks but loved it. I could fall asleep in it's comforting grasp in mere minutes. I love Jerome's; they have the best furniture for really great prices.
5:13 - Following the 33rd time the sales guy at Jerome's explained to me that the chair I had purchased a few short weeks ago was now discontinued, I finally managed to stop the tears from flowing down my checks. In fact, for the same price I paid for my now destroyed recliner, the only thing I can buy from Jerome's now is a lawn chair. I hate Jerome's.
5:21 - All loaded up and headed for home. I suddenly realize why in the hell everything had happened the night before in the first place. The Rangers lost to the Islanders. They lost badly. It was 6 - 2.
5:33 - I park my truck in front of my neighborhood liquor store. I grab a six-pack of Stone IPA beer and 2 bottles of Belvedere. Fortunately I already have several Swanson's frozen spaghetti dinners in the freezer at home. Thank god it's Friday so I won't have to risk having to call in sick tomorrow. In fact, we don't play again for 2 days. Maybe I'll just stay drunk until then.
5:36 - I exchange my six-pack for a full keg of IPA and grab a 3rd bottle of vodka because you just never know. I don't want to risk any more moments of sobriety until Sunday's contest.
5:48 - I arrive home.
6:30 - The alarm goes off and I moan softly while reaching........
That was my day after last night's disaster.
On a side note, I want to thank Rob McGowan and of course Prax and Michael Aldred for allowing me to be on last night's live blog on TCL. It was obviously a tough evening for me but Rob and his fellow Islanders fans kept the chiding and jokes to a relative minimum. That was our last game against the Islanders this year. I look forward to several more next year. Hopefully we make the playoffs despite last night's disappointment and if we do I will at least have that to hold over Rob's head.
By the way, am I really the only Rangers fan that frequents this site. What the hell is up with that?