drank some nyquil cuz i thought it would calm me down but then i just panicked in my sleep

A galley for Bret Easton Ellis’s new book hits my doorstep, his first in a decade, and he’s one of my favorite writers so, to read it in a style befitting the occasion, I walk over to Redbar for happy hour and I’m about sixty pages deep and halfway through my second beer when I get a message from somebody on whom I’ve been trying to make a good impression.

I shoot off a text, put the phone down to keep reading and drinking, and when I look at my phone again a few minutes later there’s a response waiting and I answer it feeling just a little bit drunker than last time, and then a little bit drunker still, until finally (bane of my fucking existence) I get longwinded, and I overshare, and after submitting this block of text that’s almost as long as every collected remark in our conversation up to this point, the person goes silent.

            This is 7:30.

            I’m in bed by 11.

            At 2 a.m. Mango wakes me up cuz he’s gotta pee and so I go to the floor with him and he pees on the absorbent pad. I fold up the pad and wipe up the floor and put the urine stuff in the trash and then carry the trash outside to the chute at the end of the hall and then hustle home, wash my hands, hit the lights and grab the dog and curl back up into bed.

            Few minutes later Mango wakes me up again and I put him on the floor and he shits. It’s a slimy shit, and he’s mobile, dropping a long twirly deuce and then scampering a few feet away to drop another, his back hunched the whole time and looking like a beetle.

‘Round the room he goes, shitting and shitting.

            Maybe fifteen minutes later I’m in bed again and the room reeks of Clorox and poop and Mango’s asleep at my hip and now I’m restless. Fidgeting. Remembering my stupid fucking longwinded text message and also how I broke a friend’s eyeglasses a couple days ago. Worried about money. Got a certified letter today about these fucking parking tickets. Need to pay $400 in person. What if that friend wants me to buy him a new pair of glasses? No fucking way I can finance that screening in February.

            I’m sweating and feel like I need to do jumping jacks so I go instead to the kitchen and get the NyQuil down from the cabinet.

            Hit it bigly.

            Back to bed.

I tell Alexa to play “Desire” by Kamasi Washington and after two or three turns of it I seem to nod off.

            Land of dreams.

            NyQuil gives me horrifically vivid dreams, though. I sometimes forget this. Occasionally it’s cool cuz I get to see what kindsa crazy shit goes on under the floorboards of my imagination.

            What’s not cool is taking NyQuil and crawling into that cognitive hovel when I’m already stressing.

            So begins a dream in which somebody asks me to park their very-expensive car and I end up getting it hooked on a construction crane. The crane lifts it slowly into the sky, carries it off, raining plastic and rubber and glass as it goes. Then I’ve gotta turn and face the slackjawed car owner, who balks at me. I turn my palms up to him: “I can’t afford to fix this.”


  • I learned through experience that I should never have Nyquil or Theraflu. They are CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES for me.

    the one time I had Theraflu I had a PROFOUNDLY vivid dream during which I dreamt a friend of mine told me that he was going to be getting a surgery and that “it’s a little like liposuction”. I very nearly called him when he woke up to talk him out of it and literally had to remind myself “no that wasn’t real”.

    Just Say No.


    • i’m glad i’m not the only one! when i’ve mentioned the “nyquil nightmar” phenomenon, where i get these insanely immersive and almost TANGIBLE nightmares, my friends all seem to’ve never experienced anything like it. i’ve got a boss, tho, who once wrote me a pagelong email about nabokov under the influence of ambien. doesn’t remember doing it.


      • *snort*

        I have always been something of a lightweight, which has always made me pretty close to “straight edge”. Even today I rarely drink, and when I do it’s usually no more than two drinks. I once accidentally took a double-dose of cold medicine and it was like being on speed.

        But this also means I’ve never once had a hangover in 48 years. Heh.


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