We all hate Mondays. I mean, they are tough probably because they are the direct opposite of their predecessors. We all love the weekend especially when we can loosen up and have fun. That weekend I had consumed an unhealthy amount of whiskey and this contributed to my swollen lower lip.
One of the effects of sipping whiskey neat is dehydration. I have had an unconventional perception of various things in life. I thought it made me different and special. For instance, I considered sipping neat whiskey classy but I rarely considered the adverse health effects it has on my health. My guardian angel had probably sworn to teach me a lesson that weekend. I had called my regular delivery guy and asked him to bring me the usual. A few minutes he had delivered my favourite scotch at my door where I paid and saw him off.
I sipped my drink through the afternoon watching the ninth season of blacklist multitasking with the English premier league. This was my ideal definition of a perfect weekend chilling indoors like the introvert I was. I slept through Saturday and woke up that afternoon to catch the legendary Manchester Derby. I gobbled down several pieces of chicken in between and continued having fun as I sipped through the remaining half of my whiskey bottle. After a few hours of sleeping it off came Sunday.
The last day before Monday, before I resumed working. That had been a fulfilled weekend but I felt the urgency to sober up. I was preparing for Monday and hoping that I’d resume work as if nothing had happened. But I had hardly taken any water through that weekend and my lips said it all. My lower lip was the most conspicuous. The cracks on my lower lip resembled the cracked surface of a dried-up river valley in the Sahara. I had several of them in various Nat Geo documentaries.
I dreaded office gossip and consequent judgment so I drank as many bottles of mineral water as I could hoping they would renew the cells in my lips and restore my soft lips but I was mistaken. Later that night as I brushed my teeth, I tried brushing my lips as usual to remove dead skin. I had read that in one of the blogs, but it still didn’t work. I retired to my bed and woke up the following day ready to go to work. My body and mind were in harmony which gave me the green light to go to work but my lower lip wasn’t.
There were several layers of dead skin resisting or rather not yet ready to detach from my lower lip. I always mind my appearance and there was no way I would go to the office like that. I decided to bite the dry skin off on my way to work. It was painful so I slowly peeled it off with my teeth as the driver manoeuvred through the busy morning traffic. Monday traffic was the worst especially since most of the people had woken up in a foul mood. Each time the driver did an abrupt manoeuvre I bit a little too hard stressing the soft tissues in my lip. Their weekend had been cut off soon and drivers were probably as frustrated as I was. Like most people, they took it out on anyone and everyone around them.
I arrived at the office, turned on my workstation, began checking tasks off my to-do list, and continued biting my lower lip. The problem with biting the lower lip all day is that most people perceive you as a pervert especially if you look at them. I naturally have small eyes and this increased the tension in the office every time I zoned out staring into the wall ahead. We all zone out. But I did it wrong this time. I went into the zone while biting my lower lip and staring at an attractive coworker. Who could blame my colleagues if they interpreted it as a perversion? I might have steered a lady in the wrong direction on that fateful and boring Monday as I tried to get rid of the dry skin on my lower lip.
Being the first Monday of the month, I was aware that we had client presentations. I swear that this was the toughest part of the month. My colleagues and I played along. We probably expected a check better than the one we had been awarded the previous month. It was getting late and I hated manoeuvring the city streets because of high insecurity levels once the dark kicked in. But it was getting late so I decided to text my wife that I would late that night. Being in a different time zone a few hours behind ours, our clients had little consideration.
After the meeting, I ordered an Uber that took me home where I met my infuriated wife. She sat in the corner of her favourite chair watching some comedy show on Netflix. I planted a kiss on her forehead, made a few jokes, and went into the shower as I did every night after work. Upon coming out of the shower she noticed my swollen lower lip. The same lower lip I had been biting on the entire day to cover my dehydration due to too much whiskey-drinking the previous weekend.
But that night, it was not just a swollen lower lip. She called it a ‘lover bite’ and insinuated that I had not been in the office that evening. Instead, she insinuated that I had been entertaining another woman in whatever corner of the city. It not only hurt my ego but also hurt my clean conscience. What I had done to deserve such an accusation? I mean, I had been beside her all weekend sipping my bottle of fine whiskey one shot glass after the other. I had always been a good husband but tonight she had chosen to be petty and start something whose ripple effects would change the trajectory of our lives for the years to come.