A picture of a beautiful naked lady. by Hemingway

Potty Mouths

a picture relevant to this story.

I'm not drinking again.

A couple of months ago, I was lying in bed in my new apartment in the city. Periodically, I'll take a small apartment downtown because I love the vibe of the city and it gives Sophie a break from my epic snoring. So anyway, to celebrate my new temporary freedom, I bought a smallish bottle of vodka (actually it was biggish) and a big bottle of Orangina and also one of those JUUL nicotine vape things that are all the rage on the Interwebs. I'd read that they taste like cotton candy and they hopelessly addict our children, so I really wanted to try it. Well. Those JUULs are indeed really awesome, and in just one four-hour programming session where I was focused on my screen, I ended up distractedly drinking the whole bottle of vodka and vaping the equivalent of like 3-packs of smokes.

Fast forward to 3AM, I'm lying in bed fast asleep despite the fact it's like 42 degrees in the apartment, and I feel someone nudging my ribs which naturally wakes me up. A voice says, "Hey. Are you awake?"

I'm all like, "I am now, but I can't see you. Where are you?"

And the voice says, "You can't see me. I'm your kidneys. I've gotta message for you."

Me: "Shoot."

"If you do that again, I am going to straight-up fucking kill you, motherfucker."

"Do what?!" I say it all innocently.

My kidneys go, "You KNOW what, fuck-face. Who do you think is processing all that ethyl alcohol you pour into your useless front-hole? Your liver gave up on your pathetic ass long ago and now just sends it all downstream. You cocktard!"

I said, "Wow, I had no idea that kidneys are so profane."

"Normally, we're not. You make us that way. Now tell us, which organ of the body processes nicotine?"

I said, "The kidneys?"

They said, "No! Not the kidneys you fucktacle. Well, we actually don't really know which organ in the body metabolizes nicotine because we're well... a pair of kidneys, but something we do know is that nicotine in the body restricts blood flow, so when we're busy desperately trying to filter booze out of your bloodstream, it's not helpful if there is no blood to filter. Have you ever run a car without oil? I'll bet you have. You're that stupid."

"Hey!" I said, "I'm not that bad and this is all news to me. Why didn't you tell me before that my social drinking upsets you so much?"

"First of all, you were alone all night. B, if you really think that's social drinking then we're gonna kill all three of us right now and put ourselves out of our misery. And fourth, we have been telling you for 2 fucking years. Did you not notice the bloody piss? Hell, for the last 4 months, we've been poking knives into your sides fairly constantly..."

"Oh yeah..."

My kidneys repeated that back to me sarcastically, "Oh yeah. What do you think that means when you are getting goddamned stabbed all the time precisely in the same location where your kidneys are?"

I said, "OK, ok. Look, it's late and I need my beauty sleep or else I'll get more crows-feet and Oil of Olay here costs a fortune. So I need my sleeps to beat back the ravages of time! I gots ta have it! But I'll do whatever you say from now on."

My kidneys laughed, long and low at that. It was scary. "Oh sure you will. You'll do whatever we say. Well dipshit, we may not be as smart as brains, but we're not your bladder either, you shit-weasel. We're not stupid. You'll wake up tomorrow and you'll think, wow, what a weird dream that was and you'll probably mix yourself a bloody mary for breakfast. Well, this time is going to be different. Moo hooo mwah ha haaa....!"

And with that, they stopped talking and since I was still residually drunk I fell back to sleep.

The next morning I woke up in a pool of sweat and as I got out of bed, I noticed that my joints were cracking. All of them. I turned my head and my neck sounded like cornflakes. Weird. Then on my way to the toilet, about 3 meters, I got all exhausted and had to stop at the washing machine to rest for a minute. Also weird and a little alarming. And then the cramps came. Cramps all over my body but mostly in my joints. That was weird too and scary, so my heart started racing. I didn't know if it was my kidneys doing that or if it was just because I am a chicken-shit. I tried to take my morning piss and the only thing that came out was sand. Uh oh. I couldn't be sure but I suspected that my kidneys were somehow watching so in a panic I stumbled into the kitchen and made a big show of dropping the rest of the bottle of bloody mary mix into the garbage can. I didn't hear applause or anything but the pain in my sides - oh I forgot to mention that the pain in my sides was hella bad - at least the pain in my sides did not intensify.

I'll fast forward a bit here. The next day, it was the same if not worse. I tried to go for a walk outside, just a stroll, but I was in too much pain to manage it. The third day, I woke up instantly depressed that things weren't improving. I lay there in bed thinking that there's no way that my kidneys could actually be monitoring me like a couple of gooey enforcers. Could they? As I made my coffee, I swore could hear a whispered pair of voices, "just onnnnneeee...." Fuck. I love coffee in the morning. It might've been my brain talking, but I've been having just a single cup of coffee in the mornings since then, just in case. That day, in another gesture of good faith, I tossed all of the food in the apartment into the garbage and went out and bought everything new - this time just fresh fruit and veg, nuts and seeds, green tea, and water. About a week after that, I woke up 50% pain free. It took about 3 weeks to get back to 90% pain free.

So picture this! About 4 weeks later, me and S were on our friend Olivier's sailboat along with a couple of other friends. Olivier is French of course and he likes really good wine. I was drinking San Pellegrino and he's looking at me like I'm an alien because only S knew about the nighttime visit I'd had from my kidneys. Olivier had a bottle of something vintage in his hand that I'm sure tasted like a liquid orgasm and he was continuously refilling everybody's glasses. Even S was drinking it and she's practically a teetotaler. She was even getting a little tipsy and that NEVER happens so I was getting jealous as hell. Everybody was having a great time. At least everybody who wasn't sober. After the second bottle went I began thinking that in a minute we'd all be ripping each others clothes off and I'd finally get to have my first fivesome with me and Olivier and 3 women no less (instead of me and like, 4 guys, which is really not even at the bottom of my bucket list) and then I remembered that I need to drink alcohol to get my precious cargo to respond in a group sex situation... shit. So my lips were pressed together and I just kept nodding my head no, and batting Olivier's arm away every time he tried to get me to taste the wine. It was exhausting, but like my brain and my kidneys and unlike my bladder, I'm not a moron. I wasn't positive yet but I was pretty sure my kidneys were somehow watching all this.

Anyway, all this to tell you that after S finished her last glass of wine and put the empty glass on the floor of the boat between us, I sort of picked it up and looked into the bottom of it and there was like a half a drop left in the bottom of the glass, really it was just the legs of the wine that had settled back down after she had tipped the last into her pretty French mouth. A hit of acid has more LSD on the tab than there was wine at the bottom of that glass. And I didn't even try to drink it, I merely brought it up to my nose to give it a little sniff and immediately the twin-blades of pain came and sliced me in half, just under the ribcage, diagonally right at the torso. With a look of utter shock on my face, the top half of me slid off the bottom half onto the floor of the boat, my skin pale from blood loss, my entrails glistening in the moonlight (I should mention it was evening by this time) My lower half stayed seated next to S, who was somehow oblivious, as were the rest of them.

Those fucking kidneys were definitely watching.