But perhaps I should back up a little bit here? Far enough back you'll end up whipping your lash, but take the ride with me.
I'm Nico Morley, and I'm an alcoholic. Trite, but it had to be said. Also, to get the boring details out of the way, I'll brass tacks this shit and say that it all came to a crushing head for me on Christmas day. I just threw my hands toward the ceiling and said, "Take me somewhere. God help us, every one."
I took one last shot of Kentucky's finest vodka, and was escorted out the door on a mission to grab a Christ-forsaken Filet-o-Fish on the way to my doom (which right there is an alcoholic antic if ever one existed), but McDonald's refused to be open on Jesus' birthday. I mean, honestly.
I was dropped off at an ER entrance with nothing but the clothes on my back, my purse and my iPod. As I closed the car door, I turned to my husband and said tearfully, "this is going to suck." before I crammed my hands more deeply into the pockets of my hoodie and walked inside. Yes, walked - not stumbled. According to husband, I only appeared to only have a buzz going. Ha!
(Before you call my husband a jerk-head for letting me do this on my own, it had to be done that way. We have two small children and no family within close proximity and/or good health to assist. I'd also made my bed and planned to lie in it.)
I entered the building and answered the age-old question of "how many people does it take to help a hammered-to-death Nico find the ER reception desk?" with "at least two." I approached the desk and announced immediately, "I can not fill out paperwork."
The sassy black woman stared at me from behind the glass for a moment then mouthed, "Suicidal?" I nodded yes, knowing this was the only way to get help immediately. Sure, I wanted to die, but truth be told, there was no way in hell I'd have actually done it. I have babies. Her next question was, "Homicidal?"
I answered, "Well, I wouldn't kill you, you seem lovely." She laughed and promised to take care of me if I'd just take a seat. I plopped down and did my best grumpy cat until someone came to retrieve me an ... uh, undetermined amount of time later. I was very drunk. It couldn't have been very long, I didn't even start considering throwing shit.
Eventually, after many tests of my physical body and my mental will to remain charming and civil, I was taken to a room - a proper room - not a bed separated from another bed by a curtain. I was instructed to put all of my belongings into a plastic tote - along with all of my clothing - and put on what I can only describe as the most inscrutable hospital "gown" I've ever encountered. It had like, three fucking head holes, no arm holes, and it was all crazy-ass snaps that didn't match up in any logical way. Even once I'd sobered up, I tried to get that accursed thing to make sense and came up with only "wtf, come on, you can't be serious."
For real, though - you hand a desperately drunk girl a fucking puzzle and expect her to solve it while basically naked? I'd have cried if I wasn't so busy being utterly perplexed. I finally gave up and sat on the only thing in the room - a table that I am sure they wanted me to think was a bed - covered myself in a blanket and looked around the room. It was your basic hell hole. The walls were painted plywood, the floor painted concrete. In the corner, there was a used band aid. I still can't find the words I need to say about that.
Not to mention, I was locked-in. If I had to use the bathroom, I had to knock on a very sound attenuating door and beg a guard (a fucking guard!) to let me out.
Meanwhile, I waited there sitting, for an interminable amount of time (probably about 15 minutes). I finally gave up and laid on my back and decided to stare at the ceiling. Fuck a dog backwards, there was a television up there! In that moment, I found that to be literally the most comedic discovery of my life, and cackled riotously until someone finally entered the room to speak with me and give me informations.
At this juncture, let's think back to how I'd sauntered into that hospital all by myself, not looking like a hobo clutching a bottle wrapped in a paper bag. Now, let's discuss my blood alcohol content. The legal limit for getting a DUI in the States is .08% ... mine was .30%
I could have shat a Twinkie when they told me that.
What was almost worse than finding out that people have died at the blood alcohol content I had most likely at some point Skyped at was the fact that the ceiling television was set to a western movie marathon and everyone in the hospital claimed the channel could not be changed. At one point, a nurse came in to take my blood pressure to make sure I was still alive (she couldn't tell just by asking, apparently) and I said to her, "I am going to list my grievances in no particular order of importance and with as much humor as possible ... this room is a shitbox, this gown is an enigma wrapped in a stumper, and you've got me watching a John Wayne marathon when I already want to kill myself."
Still, I waited. John Wayne got fatter and more fucking annoying the more sober I got. I was in that resort for about nine hours, laying on what amounted to an examination table with no pillow but every blanket in the hospital stacked on top of me, before I was finally picked up by an ambulance and transferred to the detox center by some of the nicest EMTs ever.
There's really no humorous spin to put on the fact that I'd said to the guy, "I didn't even get a Christmas cookie." as he was very thoroughly strapping me onto the gurney (wrapped up in blankets as he put it, "like a Nico burrito"), and just as we were about to exit the building, he stopped short, ran into the snack room and grabbed a bag of Pecan Sandies and dropped them into my lap.
(Seriously, you'd be amazed how cheerful and kind even people who have to work on Christmas and deal with assholes like me can be.)
But wait ... there's more! Stay tuned for the tale of me being admitted to the detox center while very much in the throes of alcohol withdrawal. Oh, for fun!