When I woke up Saturday morning I was so hung over. Like wanted to die hung over. My brain had swollen to three times its normal size and was trying to force itself out my left eye socket. And my guts had become completely twisted and decided to just slowly rot away. As for my muscles, well they packed their bags and left my body completely. However, there was no rest for the wicked as I was supposed to spend the day with Pete outside of the house, so everyone could get ready for the surprise party.
To make matters even more difficult, Pete was feeling equally bad and had no desire to move either. In fact, when I briefly mentioned a foray into Dundee he moaned, ‘My birthday wish is to spend the day in bed.’
But S was having none of it, and PoshPhD was already in my flat kicking the bedtress telling us to get up. S had made us all ‘Pete’s hangover smoothie concoction’, and PoshPhD was handing out B12 tablets like she was a dealer. ‘Rise and shine birthday boy!’ they sang, as we pulled the duvet over our heads.
We’d all slept in quite late, and it was already past one in the afternoon, and flat preparations needed to get underway for the party. I had to muster some strength and pull Pete out of bed. Saturday was a bit on and off for weather: cloudy and chilly, but not rainy and there were breaks of blue in the grey. I thought that it may be a good day for a picnic. Plus, I wouldn’t really have to do anything.
I got up and showered, and told Pete that I was going to the shop, and I expected him to be up and dressed when I got back. I was taking him somewhere. At the Co-Op I got some nice cheese, a baguette, and some olives and such. I also got some fruit and a couple of bottle of Irn Bru. (For you non-Scottish people out there, Irn Bru is a vile bright orange drink that tastes vaguely citrusy, and is touted to be made of girders. Irn Bru is also extremely sugary, extremely caffeinated, and most likely the cause of Scotland’s unfortunate dental health problem.) I don’t usually drink Irn Bru, but it is an amazing hangover cure.
Back to the flat, I was told to keep him away until 6pm. I got Pete and we went up to the top of Blagay Park and had a picnic. I won’t lie to you, the conversation yesterday afternoon was a bit stilted. Not only were we both hung over, we both knew the relationship was over. I could feel it. We made small talk, and it was all felt very awkward. Pete and I had nothing left to talk about. In fact, if it hadn’t been his birthday, it would have been the perfect opportunity to break up with him. In fact, I even contemplated breaking-up with him as a birthday present, maybe he’d welcome it. But, I decided against it, as I doubt that anyone would want to be dumped on their birthday, no matter what.
We finished eating, and it was getting a bit cold, but I still had several hours before I could bring him back to the house. I was at a loss, until he saved me by saying, ‘I know they’re throwing me a surprise party. I’ve overheard them talking about it.’
My god I was relived. ‘So, what shall I do to keep you out of the flat?’
He suggested that we go to the cinema, and I was happy to oblige. We went and saw ‘This Must be the Place’ at the DCA. It was pretty good, but weird to see Sean Penn playing a character you’d expect Johnny Depp to play.
We got back to the flat just in time for everyone to jump out and yell ‘Surprise!’
I was amazed at the crowd. How long has Pete been in Britain? Just two months? Maybe less. And he’s already accrued more friends than I’ve made in my entire life. PoshPhD opened the door to her flat, so we could have more room and people wandered between the two apartments. (For once I was happy that I don’t own anything as there was nothing for anyone to knick.) Everyone brought so much food and drink, and his presents were pilled high in a corner. There were people at the party that I’d met before, but even more strangers. Everyone in our block of flats was there, which was good as someone set up a DJ stand (are they called DJ stands?) in the corner. Even the woman that he and S dog walk/clean for showed up.
We had cake and he opened his presents. And he loves his guitar case. S had the great idea to buy a silver Sharpie, and get everyone to sign the case with a message. Pete loved it.
Then the music started and the party got going in earnest. It was a really good night.