Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hair of the Dog - #FridayFlash

I started a new life last Friday—new boss, new place to live, new goals. That was the last day I had a drink too. If only it were Thursday again. I could use a drink right now.

Friday morning dawned too early, just like every other day. The alarm clock sent me bowing before the porcelain god. I climbed back into bed for a couple more hours of sleep.

The hangovers were getting worse. Even having a drink for breakfast didn't dull the pain anymore. I finally decided to take my buddy's advice and visit the Chinese herbalist he swore by.

After stumbling onto the subway, I headed towards Chinatown and hope, the shop address firmly planted in my wallet. Twelve stops later, my head pounded so badly I wandered into a bar and knocked back a shot of bourbon before continuing on.

I don't read Chinese so the address didn't help me much, but I eventually spotted a shop that said herbs in the front window. Figuring they were all pretty much the same, I walked inside.

The dim lighting soothed my eyes and I began to feel better just being here. The door in back opened and an old man squinted at me. I must have looked bad for he said, "You need hair of dog."


"Hair of dog. Hangover remedy."

I heard something yelp in the back of the shop that made my skin crawl. I hoped 'hair of dog' was just an expression.

"You don't use dog hair in it, do you?"

The man laughed as if I'd said something highly amusing and shook his head. "No dog hair. You mix only with water, no alcohol."

He reached under the counter and produced a small packet. "This one free."

I thanked him and hurried outside, making my way back to the subway. He gave me the creeps, to tell the truth. At one point, I even thought I saw his eyes flash red, but that's ridiculous.

After several blocks, I realized I was lost. My head hurt again so I stopped at a bar and ordered another bourbon. Fingering the packet, I thought what the hell and dumped it into my drink.

I felt slightly dizzy by the time I left the bar, but my headache was gone. Deciding to go back to the shop to buy more of this amazing remedy, I managed to retrace my steps without any difficulty. For some reason I could smell the herbs in the shop from far away.

When I got there, the doorknob seemed higher than before. I couldn't reach it. That's when I noticed I was on all fours. I tried yelling but all that came out was a guttural bark.

The door opened and the old man stared down at me, a smile on his face. "I told you, only mix with water."

I tried to reply but my tongue lolled out of my mouth and my ass-end shook. He ushered me in, pointing at the back of the shop. I trotted back there, joining the menagerie of sad-looking faces. Resting my head on my front paws, I wondered if there was a tree nearby. I really needed to take a leak.

©2011 Laura Eno