It all blows up when you watch the IFTAS

explode

It all blows up when you watch the IFTAS

This weekend I learned just how traumatic staying over at someone else’s house can be.

It was meant to be a relaxing weekend, one full of sleep and creativity. Instead it somehow turned into copious amounts of wine, biting and a taunting blow up bed.

The aforementioned mayhem had that extra dimension due to the fact it all took place at my boyfriend’s house, a quagmire of potential faux pas and mishaps as it is. When I arrived it was obvious some drinking had taken place and I joined them in the pub. Due to a deadline for a family dinner, given with the sternest of warnings, we navigated our way our way out of there after one swift drink.

Once at dinner the wine glasses kept getting topped up. Gravy slopped and slipped, jokes shot out with boomerang efficiency and dessert time came. The sugar perked everyone up, particularly the younger contingent of nieces and nephews that along with a saccharine rush realised that in only 10 hours they would be on a plane with gadgets to enjoy and their parents in a confined space to torture. After a lot of jumping and goodbyes they left with a hassled looking mum with an encyclopedia of ‘things to do’ ahead of her.

Down to four we moved into the lounge and waited for the IFTAS. I usually avoid these award shows full of backslapping and overzealous praise, but as my boyfriend plans to be up for one of them next year I watched in the vein of support. Collectively we groaned; at the bad singing, stumbled introductions sped through like a nervous child rather than as an accomplished actor in a lead TV series and at the plethora of black dresses (this was mainly me really) that made me feel like I was watching a live funeral. It was a desperately awkward version of the Oscars with calipers and bottle-top thick glasses.

While all of this exuberant berating was going on we kept drinking. Bottles ran out and others appeared. Now I am not complaining about this fact. Wine is great, particularly as an accompaniment to giving out to the television, but some were drinking more than others. There was some indication of this throughout as I felt a pair of teeth biting me intermittently. No it wasn’t the dog, but my ‘getting drunker’ boyfriend who thought the pain infliction and impending ‘owww’ was hilarious.

By the end of the awards he had turned into a gnashing child accompanied by waving arms and a screech that must have made the hard of hearing turn their aids down. The only real option was bed, which he stumbled to on his own. The getting in wasn’t the hard part, but the getting undressed. I proceeded to peel off his clothes, which is a difficult job when laughing hysterically while being looked at with slanted eyes and a grin. He fell asleep immediately as I tried to block out the vibrations of snoring in my ear.

At some point, when light was getting ready to creep up on the sky I woke up. Something felt strange and claustrophobic. I turned to find his body pressed against mine.

“What’s going on?”

“I dunno.”

We were stuck together in a sandwich. During the night amongst our twists and turns the blow up bed had given up. While some air remained in pockets at the edges the rest was flat, a blue surround of felt and plastic cupped around us. And our reactions? Well we just lay there and moaned. We discussed the options of couch or bed next door provided his brother hadn’t come home and was already in it. What commenced was a battle of wills and energy. I prodded and coerced for him to move while he did his best to avoid all persuasion. The bed rolled as we tried to, air pushed around us like water around a dinghy. Finally we both gave in and crawled out of the deflated venus trap – on all fours, across the carpet. Out in the hallway we listened at the room (with the possible free bed) next door.

“Anything?”

I shook my head and leaned in closer seeking out breathing, snoring, an exhalation of any kind.

“Just go in!”

“Why me?”

“He’s your brother.”

“He’s probably not even there.”

“Well go in then.”

With a sigh he relented and pushed the door open slowly. It was like we were waiting for a prize to be revealed on a game show.

“Empty.”

Together we plodded and slipped under the covers. It was bouncy and air free. He fell asleep again quickly as if the pillow encouraged narcolepsy. I lay there staring at the ceiling, positive I could hear the heckle of that damn bed in a low hiss.

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