With such a very full weekend planned I took Monday off as a flexday and used the opportunity to meet up with my university supervisor in the afternoon. A very wise move, taking the day off, I thought, as after half an hour in my supervisor’s company, being told everything I had written so far would probably need to go, I was dizzy and sweating and in desperate need of a nice dark place to go lie down. The fact that I had been drinking pretty much constantly since Friday night had nothing to do with it.
Back in Kings Cross I went into the first chemist I passed – there are a healthy number for one tiny street. At the back counter there was a small group of customers milling around, as if waiting for the bus. None of them were in any great rush to be served so I assumed they were all there for their subscription orders. I waited patiently. After a short while one of the assistants noticed me and asked if I needed any help.
“A packet of Aspro Clear Extra Strength please,” I said to the woman behind the counter.
She started to move towards the wall before stopping. She squinted her eyes and looked at me piercingly. I smiled and tried to act as if I walk into chemists and buy effervescent pain relief all the time.
“Do you suffer from asthma?” she asked. I shook my head. “Any heart palpitations?” she continued.
“No, nothing like that,” I said. “I’m just hung over.”
Her face cracked into a smile. “Oh well, that’s all right then,” she said and passed over the packet.
I thanked her, took my change, then made my way home to a cool room void of light.