I wake up on the couch fully clothed. It’s six am and my alarm is going off because I’m an idiot who doesn’t turn off his alarm on a holiday weekend. The world is too loud, too bright and spinning way too goddamn fast. I’m all for new experiences (If you’re just joining, read about these so-called experiences here, here and here), but hangovers like this leave you a shell of a man with nothing but misery and a shit load of couch-time reflecting on life.
The day is a total waste. After the alarm rocked my audio sensory, I try to sleep some more but the hangover elves (Asshole cousins of the Keebler Elves) will not stop pounding their adorable little hammers on the inside of my skull. Once everyone starts milling around, laughing at my misery, we take an inventory of the apartment and clean up some water that was spilled around a few cups on the coffee table. Whatever we silently assumed it was, there was no damage done to the table. It might have been pee but I didn’t care to really investigate. I just wanted to eat Advil and sleep. It was bad enough to be hung over, but we were about to enter a new year. New Year’s Eve is when people reveal their grand plans to lead better lives and make their mark on the world. The only mark I left was possibly on the coffee table of someone I barely knew. Everyone’s NYE inspiration would just exacerbate my “Why the hell did I drink that last night?” regrets. With great beer comes great responsibility, and I did NOT follow that principle guideline.
However, there is a happy ending to this story. After a day on the couch, I peel myself off, clean myself up, get back on my old friend the bus and head into town with the crew. An Angel’s Choir launches into an epic opus while a heavenly stream of light bolts down to earth, cutting through darkness like glorious Holy scissors slicing black construction paper to illuminate the next Lion King which is a beer in one hand over my head while I reach up with the other, pull the tab and let roar a ferocious crack that uniformly symbolizes Samuel MF Sly getting back on the wagon. Time stands still, the Earth stops spinning, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Tony Stark and Thor shit their pants simultaneously while I put the can to my lips. And I fucking drink, Goddammit! I drink with the passion and zeal of a 16 year old that just swiped a beer from his old man’s refrigerator! Let the Heavens open up their loving arms and accept the world for what it is because I am drinking the glory that is beer once again!
Ok, that was a lot of fanfare even for me. I crack open a Blonde Ale can from Aspen Brewing Company at a little bar called Jimmy’s. It’s an excellent light ale that helps nurse a man back from the brink of swearing off drinking. With a new lease on life, I decide to experience something that I haven’t done in a while: a relatively toned down New Year’s Eve. I spend the evening with great friends, revisit several of the places I rampaged the night before and am dry humped aggressively at midnight by an asshole very dear to me. Let’s call him Doctober for the sake of anonymity. The night was rounded out with him and myself trying to keep the party alive back at Gisellas with the afterhours crowd. Doctober is regaling an uninterested woman with stories of his awesomeness while haphazardly mixing himself extra tall Jacks and ice with a splash of Coke. We laugh, he drinks and then we laugh some more as he continues to shout about his awesomeness. He’s one of the finest shouters I know. I finish the night off trying to drink Doctober’s whiskey bombed beverage so we can leave, walk two miles to the place I’m staying and ultimately find myself locked out. I couldn’t help but wonder what the fuck I did last night to tilt the Karma scale in this direction, and why it choose this moment to cash itself in.
It’s now three am and I’m standing in Aspen waiting for a ride to take me to another apartment. The sky is free of clouds and the thin mountain air is littered with stars. It’s bitter cold, but in this moment the cold can’t get me. I’m seeing Aspen for all the great things it brings to the table. It provides awesome skiing, great food and that Colorado beer-forward attitude in a neatly tucked away little package. Basically, it was the perfect storm to blow out 2012 and welcome 2013. I had some great memories from the weekend and great stories to share with my friends, and for them to share with me. Sometimes the highs and lows of stepping out of that comfort zone can help set your perspective when it’s starting to stray. I’ll be back, Aspen.
An open mind and a few beers can make anywhere an adventure.