The Boyfriend and I dealt with rejection the best way we knew how, which led to what we now reluctantly recall as The Great Binge of 2012.
We met up with a friend from home, who was in Melbourne studying at one of the universities. We'll call her April. April is probably the best fun you will ever meet embodied.
Anyway, we arranged to meet up with April one Friday night, post-gut-wrenching-Rejection. Yours Truly was pretty much a settled resident of Oblivion Town by the time she arrived, and almost smashed my overflowing wine glass against her cheek whilst embracing her in a sloppy, tear-stained hug. Beanie Face also put in an appearance and I was loudly slurring predictions of a wedding date between the two by the following year, much to the chagrin of the couple in question.
Now. There is a certain level of drunk that Yours Truly attains that should, by rights, exclude me as a member of the human race for the duration of that inebriation. I express opinions I do not hold; I laugh at things I don't actually find funny; I pretend I enjoy music that I really find painful to endure; I begin arguments with strangers about things I know nothing about, and then, when I am subsequently and inevitably rebutted, I finish said argument with a middle finger and a storm-off into a closed door. That is the level of drunk I was for the entire weekend that made up The Great Binge. And it was in this barely-upright state that I stumbled from The Birmy, on the arm of the equally hammered Boyfriend, determined to have the best night of my life.
Firstly, I played Cilla Black to April and Beanie Face. I cornered April as we queued for a bar and stage-whispered how good I thought they looked together. Beanie Face tapped me on the shoulder, insisting he could hear every word I said. I gave him what I must have thought was a conspiratorial wink, but which was actually a really long, really slow blink. When we finally got in to the bar, Beanie Face was all ready to make his move on April. Paving the road of romance, I bought everyone a round of tequilas - "The traditional ssssshot of LOVERRRRRSsssh!" I informed everyone within a ten mile radius - and rather aggressively pushed April and Beanie Face into each other.
Figuring my job completed, I waddled over to the bouncer at the front door, the very bouncer who had hummed and hawed over whether I would prove a liability if allowed pass through his precious red rope. I pulled on the red rope, laughing manically, and began to express how sober I actually was, how I actually always acted in this fashion, that I actually had a Bachelor degree, if he didn't mind my saying. This conversation, however riveting I may have imagined it, was short-lived, as I went tumbling arse-first through the door on to the pavement outside. I decided I didn't want to get up, either.
I stayed there, defiantly smoking a cigarette, while the bouncers gave me ample warning that they would have to resort to calling the police should I remain on the ground, outside the pub. Eventually, The Boyfriend came out, smiling from ear to ear - which seemed to be the height of his intoxication - and pulled me into a standing position. Like a fawn just expelled from the womb, I shakily found my feet and resolved I would not walk away from these bullying bouncers without imparting some cold, hard truths. "Call the poleesh, then. Sure they're only gobshites. And ye are only gobshites. YOU ARE ALL DIRTY, SMELLY GOBSHITES! So there!"
Sometimes, my wit astounds me in its ability to crop up when it’s most needed.
The next morning, I refused to accept reality. We had Bloody Marys for breakfast. Beanie Face and April were looking very close, and I mentally - and wrongly - took the credit for that union. I reckoned I deserved reward for my skillful set-up. That's how I found myself in the Salvation Army, picking through peasant blouses and floral, ankle-length skirts at one in the afternoon, declaring every garment I laid eyes on the pinnacle of fabulous, stinking of tequila and scaring away even the most hardened street-winos.
That Sunday was the most painful of my life. We'd no visa. We'd a grueling hangover. We'd a sack of clothes from Salvos that didn't even fit. And I'm pretty sure I earned a life-time ban from every bar in Fitzroy.
That Monday, though, it was a bit easier to get up for work. I began to think about the trip back to Ireland in a positive light. In a few months, I'd be seeing Da Mudder again. I'd see my friends, and the rest of the family. I'd have a night out and my drunken persona would be avoided, but accepted. It wouldn't be so bad. I thought about going back to college, getting a Masters. It wasn't the end of the world.
Halfway through the day, I got a text from The Boyfriend. His company were insisting they needed him to stay on. They'd hired a solicitor.
They were going to try to sponsor us again.