About Last Week...

Yeah.  I mentioned earlier this week that I'd give the glory details.  And now that I've got some rest, I guess it's probably time to go into the nitty gritty.

Last sunday was my brother's birthday party.  As it fell on a sunday, I really didn't feel like going out, especially because I had already spent both friday and saturday out with other friends, and didn't really like the idea of drinking three days in a row.  But, I had a familial obligation to go out with my little bro and buy him as many drinks as he could possibly handle.

Long story short, we all went a little overboard.

One moment, we were relatively fine - we had ordered a round of drinks affectionately called "gladiators", and my brother and I decided on the spur of the moment to shout out "to Rome!" and "Glory to Rome!"  A few minutes later, my brother was wobbling on his feet, unable to finish sentences, and using the wall as a standing aid.

Which was to be expected.  It was, after all, his birthday.

But it got a lot less funny soon after, when we were laying his unconscious body over a snow drift in a vain attempt to get him to wake up. His eyes were open and rolled up into the back of his head. Flecks of gray bile that looked like pancake mix bubbled at his lip. 

I've never sobered up so damned fast.  I made the call to call 911, and then had to explain to the dispatcher what was going on.  All while one of my brother's friends was yelling at whomever was nearby, his guilt changing to fury due to the magic of alcohol. 

My responses to the paramedic's questions were always one or two words, as we bumped and jostled through the night, sirens off. 

I spent the night in the hospital with him, his level of consciousness the lowest possible while still being alive.  Nurses pumped IV fluids in him, took blood, and gave me a blanket.  I sat by his bed for hours and watched as the quiet drama of a slow sunday night in the ER played out around me. 

The nurse finally convinced me to go home at four thirty in the morning.  I walked in a light rain as the street began to wake up around me.  I was so damned tired I could barely stand, and yet when I got home, all I could do was stare at the ceiling.  Because while it was my brother's fault he was unable to say "no" to the drinks put before him, I was one of the people putting the drinks before him in the first place. 

The nurse called at six am in the morning, telling me he was awake.  I stumbled to my feet and got ready to go back out when my mother called - she had my brother, and was taking him home.  And she told me to go back to bed.  But I couldn't - going to sleep would mean I'd sleep through the day, and wouldn't get to sleep monday night, which is a bad idea for insomnia.  So I figured I'd stay awake and go to bed early monday night.

Eight pm on that monday night, my mother called.  My brother hadn't had any food or water since sunday afternoon, and couldn't keep even water down due to stomach damage. He was going back to ER. 

Another walk to the hospital, the rain still falling as night hit the city.  Another night by his side, as the doctors pumped IV fluids into him.  Nurses recognized me from the night before, clapped me on the back, and told me how I was such a good brother.  And I grit my teeth and felt more and more guilty. 

Eventually, he could walk without the aid of his IV stand.  And so I paid his cab fare home, hopped out of the cab a few blocks from my house, and walked home in the pouring November rain.  I collapsed in my bed, having been awake for nearly thirty six hours. 

And yet, I barely slept that night, either. 

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