This is a hangover story. You've heard it before. Here it is again.
So I drank too much. I blame Jamie, my sister's boyfriend. No particular reason except he brought the rum. We canoed on the Buffalo River on Tuesday--it's pristine, so clear we could see all the fish beneath us, and the bluffs were gold and red and brown. There were no other people around.
Then we found a gravel bar. Emphasize bar. I had a few rum and cokes. Then a few more. We set up camp. If this sounds like a Bukowski poem, it is.
We told stories by the fire, which Jamie stoked with the attention of a butler or a sprite. Bats flew around us. Then owls. Then we thought about bears and went to sleep on a bed of fossil rocks.
At the crack of dawn I felt wiggly. I drank some water. For a second, I thought I might escape unscathed. But then...the pain! the pain! the dryness like a desert yet so much clear water ahead! I jumped in the river and said, This is it! This will cure me. Like the thermal bath at Hot Springs I took with my sister a few days before. Curative! The river was Adderall or morphine or Freud!
No such luck. I barfed in the Buffalo. After that, I ate a peach. We broke camp and paddled another six miles. I barfed once more, over the side of the canoe and I learned something. Really, I did.