I was sitting at my dining room table, repeating the mantra of the hung over: too much, too old. In front of me was buttered toast and black coffee, fat and carbs and caffeine to ward away the burning in my stomach and the pounding in my head. But at that moment the food might as well have been plastic set pieces for decoration; I couldn’t fathom putting anything more into my body for the rest of my days. That’s when the knock came at the door.
It was Sunday morning. My wife was at work, part of a 12-on schedule that was depriving me of her but providing me with this house and this bread and, yes, this hangover, considering the credit card I’d used to buy my drinks the night before would be paid, without question, automatically, from a checking account kept flush by her tireless labor. A good woman; an evil arrangement.
The knock. I could see the man who produced it from where I sat. Sixty-ish, pudgy, neat. Were the Christians doing same-day recruitments for their Sunday services? That was my first thought, if that paints you a picture of what he looked like. A beat longer and he would have turned and looked through the window and found me there, staring. So I stood, withstanding an onrush of vertigo and ache, and went to see what he wanted.Continue reading →