The Saturday before last was one of the worst of my life. Luckily it never happened.
Friday 29 June was my last day at NZAID. I’d suggested that I didn’t want to have a morning tea, and suggested instead that we could have drinks. My manager asked if she should invite ISU, the internet services unit. I squawked out “NO!” very loudly at her suggestion, because that is where the Web Developer works, and if someone is the sole reason for you leaving your job, you don’t really want to see him at your goodbye drinks. Instead, I told Lani to come down for it, and invited Bart to come up, and since Shirley’s starting there soon, she came in for a meet’n greet and to stay for drinks. My manager made a tiny little speech, but they didn’t even give me a card. You know how normally cards are really lame, full of impersonal messages from people who don’t even know you? Well I miss not getting one anyway. The boy who sent me sexually harrassing hilarious emails every day only stayed for one drink. Eventually everyone left, except for Bart and Shirley, and then the company director showed up which was very nice, and this crazy sixty year old woman. Bart and I laughed comparin gthe scene to my long, drunken goodbye at CWA New Media. Then the fucking cunt showed up. I went to the bathroom, went to my desk and logged out and forgot to clear my caches, and then went to get back and Shirls saying “we’ve got to go meet Dylan now”. So we ran away, leaving my tags behind me, and went up to Tupelo.
At Tupelo we drank more wine, and more wine, and more wine. Dylan showed up with his friend who I’d given a lecture on homophobia that one time, so I bought him a beer to make up for the one I’d spilt on his pants the last time we’d met. Eventually we all started playing ‘I have never’. I’m sure that wasn’t a smart idea. Shirley felt me up and I exposed my beautiful red bra to her and Dylan. It was one of those nights.
At some stage we stumbled our way up to the Southern Cross because Bart’d gone up there to meet up with his friends. More unnecessary drinks followed (but handily provided me with a receipt saying $15 at 00.39am, which makes me think it was two glasses of wine for Shirley and I) and then I remember thinking “why is that guy’s arm around my waist?” and then I believe that the guy kissed me, and I was like “umm, don’t you have a girlfriend?” and he said “yes, I have a girlfriend” and so I think we decided it’d probably be a good idea if he left, and so I went out in the rain to the back garden to find Bart. Smoo was there too, so I was like hurrah! And then the boy showed up again and I was like “didn’t you leave?” and he was like “yeah” and offered some lame excuse as to why he was back, but I just concentrated on talking to Smoo instead. Before the night was over I propositioned the last boy that I had sex with again and he was like “not a good idea” and then I woke up on the couch at 8.30am and was like “FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK” before crawling back into bed.
I crawled out of bed at 11.30am, somehow thinking that I could get up then, pack and still make it to check-in around 12pm. Interesting line of thought there. Of course, that thinking was somewhat handicapped when I got out of the shower and realised that my passport was not where it was supposed to be. I wanted to sit down and cry but I ransacked my room instead, wailing to Smoo who’d got up to drive me to the airport. By the time I’d found it in an old handbag, I knew there was no way I could make my flight, so I sat down and bawled, going “why am I such a fucking fuck-up?”. Then I shook myself off, threw a pile of clothes into my large suitcase and asked Smoo to drive me. My suitcase didn’t fit into the boot of his MR2, so we took my car. I’d kept KateH in the text loop and she was lovely, asking me if I needed her to book me a new flight, or send Shirley over to help me.
Qantas had no more flights to Auckland before 7pm that day, apparently, so I ended up forking out $400 for a ticket on Air NZ. It didn’t go until 2.30, so I very slowly bought a paper and a latte and a pastry and sat shaking at a table in the terminal, trying to do the sudoku. Then I went and threw up the pastry and the coffee and sat trembling a little more. When I finally got into KateH’s car in Auckland, I warned her I was about to cry again, and she said that aws fine. She drove me to Wendy’s in Manukau where I proclaimed that she’d saved my life – until all the saturated fat hit my heart anyway. We gossiped, and she soothed my soul over my fuckedupstupidity, and it was just so lovely to see her.
That feeling of loveliness disappeared when I got back to the airport and found no one waiting to check me in at the Pacific Blue counters. I asked at the service desk, and they were like “that flight’s already closed!” and I was like “OH MY GOD WHAT?????????????????” before the other woman said that no, it was just at a counter at the other end of the terminal. So I told my heart that was all thumpthumpthunp to calm the fuck down, and schlepped over to the check-in counter. They asked to see my tickets. I was like “umm, wasn’t this an e-ticket?” but apparently since I was coming back on Air NZ and not Pacific Blue, that was a problem for them. I had to go to an Air NZ service desk and get them to print out my flight details, trying really hard not to cry while doing so. Then they said that there were no more seats. I just about exploded. They had to unlock some seats or something, and told me that the plane was completely full. Great. I got stuck with a window seat. The rest of the waiting time was horrible. Every duty-free shop made me dry retch. Luckily I managed to sleep on the plane, although I’m sure I snored.
But then tobacco was $20 a box at Duty Free in Rarotonga, and I got a bottle of bacaardi, and my daddy was there to pick me up and drive me to our house in a late-model BMW. I opened up the lounge doors where I was sleeping and stepped out onto our lawn and looked at Muri Beach by the light of a full moon. I’d flown over the dateline and so I had a chance to redo my Saturday so it wouldn’t be the worst day of the year again…