When you're 28 going on 30, something chemical happens that no scientist could possibly explain. Your body starts slowing down and you can no longer recover the way you used to. You've heard the urban legends and you may even have a friend or two who's already been through this cataclysmic phase, but not once do you ever stop to think that it could happen to you. And just as you're about to take that 3rd and final shot of caramel vodka at some club you know you're too old to be in, it hits you...I was going through a quarter life crisis.
Forget what they tell you, time does not fly, it soars like the motherfucking Concorde and just as you think you're about to touch down on solid ground, life throws up the unexpected. It happens once you've reached a certain point of adulthood...you've just started paying towards a retirement annuity plan, the car is finally paid off, you can actually consider upgrading your medical aid scheme and you have finally made peace with the government for taking your money, in fact, you've found a way to make SARS actually work for you. That bursting sense of pride and accomplishment can quickly dissipate the moment you find yourself in the presence of real life 20-something year old's. Everything I had built up suddenly seemed meaningless in comparison to the care-free lives of these fabulous creatures. Life is as sinfully ignorant as it is blissfully careless and almost everything has some kind of sexual innuendo. Refusing to party on a school night is the ultimate sin and refusing to down a drink only makes you seem like a sad old relic. I couldn't help but wonder...had the burden of responsibility successfully suppressed my inner 20 year old? Could 30 year old's have just as much fun or are we just desperate sods trying to hold onto something that's slipping?
I was determined to prove that I still had it so I put on my tightest jeans, zipped up my leather boots and sprayed on so much cologne that I could have been Parisian. Gina and I had been planning a night out with the girls for about a month which in itself was something a 20 year would never do. Strike one. Fortunately it was Mary's 30th birthday, so the sense of occasion made it seem slightly less desperate. Since there's nothing more uncool than waiting in line, Gina and I had made the necessary guest list arrangements. The only line worth waiting for is a line of blow. The evening started with a couple of Mimosa's at Beluga before peeling back a couple of Prestwich Island's at Trinidad. It was ten sharp but the club was empty. Fail two. Our eagerness led us straight into the lounge of Ivory Green, where we were met with bubbly and a table. No 20 year old could have pulled that off. We were joined by Slater and her brother Mike and before you knew it we were drinking shots and partying like it was 1999.
The last thing I remember was blacking out on a gold Ottoman inside the club somewhere, half way into a conversation with someone. The next morning I had a girl's name and number in my pocket, a hangover from hell and the insipid taste of chocolate vodka lurking in the depths of my breath. Still drunk and reeking of alcohol, I was rehydrated and treated to a McFeast Deluxe meal which still did nothing to appease my headache. It felt like Dumbo had been performing Swan Lake inside my head. It took an entire day to recover and even then I am not sure how many brain cells were still missing in action.One thing was for certain though...epic fail.
As we grow older and accept the changes that come with it, I couldn't help but wonder, was PAYE the new hangover?