Zero to Hannah

Hello dear reader(s)!

Before we get started, you should know some background information.  When Hannah and I first got together, we did our fair share of drinking.  Now, I’m not going to say we were on the verge of alcoholism, but we enjoyed a drink or 12 when we would go out to see a band, play pool, or party with friends,  We would only drink on the weekend evenings (or whatever evenings we weren’t working the next day) and didn’t get destructive.  This is of course, before the cancer started to rear its ugly head.  Hannah is much lighter than me, and a woman, and so scientifically, I should have been able to drink quite a bit more than her.  However, Hannah defies science.  She could, and can, drink me under the table.  …usually.

She’d never be sick the next morning, or lose control.  The first night we spent together, we got a bottle of Jager at the hotel gift shop, and took it up to our room.  The next morning she found me on all fours in the bathroom of the nice hotel suite, praying that the alcohol would just free itself from me in the form of vomit.  Sadly, it did not.  Hannah was unaffected.

After living together in a few other places, we eventually moved into a tiny little house near downtown.

The location was great for being able to walk to our favorite bars and music venues.  Walking meant we could save money by employing a method known as the “pre-party”.  (For those uninitiated, the pre-party is when you buy alcohol from a store and drink before going out, to save on the over-priced drinks at the bar.)  And so, many a weekend, we would buy a bottle of 7, and 7-up, not to mix but as a chaser for shots; and pre-party before walking to the bar/club/venue.  The buzz would last most of the night, and we’d only have to buy one of the over-priced drinks to keep it going before heading home.  It worked quite well.

One night, all of that changed.  Our friend Cameron’s band was playing a show at the Knitting Factory and we decided to meet one of Hannah’s best friends (and also Cameron’s good friend) Ariel and her boyfriend (at the time) Will, right outside.  So we drank beforehand, (as usual) and walked down to meet them.  Hannah was doing fine, and had less shots than I had.  All seemed okay…

You see, Ariel and Will weren’t official.  They were for all intents and purposes, but they didn’t have the tag on themselves.  It was their business (and all worked out as they are happily married and one of the cutest couples we know) but at the time, there were things they needed to work out or decide if they were ready to be totally committed to each other.  None of our business.  Except Hannah was really upset about it.  Ariel and Will had been together for some time beforehand, were living together, and in Hannah’s mind, they needed to accept that.

As we approached Will and Ariel outside the venue, she started to stumble a bit.  I asked her if she was okay, and she said, “I’m fucking fine.”  Only, it sounded more like, “IIImm fscucking finA!”


We greeted Will and Ariel and they greeted us back.  I don’t remember exactly what was said, (chemo brain), it was just the “How are you?” kind of stuff, I think.  Hannah had stopped slurring her words and seemed to be okay again.  And then Will gave Ariel a peck on the cheek.

Suddenly, Hannah shouts, “You two need to be together!”  Only when I say shouts, what I mean is slurred very loudly.  Then she starts crying.  “You two love each other, you need to be together!  What the fu- what the fuck are you even doing?”  (This is the best I can make out of what she was saying, because she was slurring so bad.)

I put my head into my hands and tried to tell Hannah that it wasn’t her place to say anything, but she was having none of it.

Finally, she said she wasn’t feeling good.  We did go watch the band that time, but left early.  For poor Will and Ariel, that wasn’t the only time they witnessed a Zero to Hannah moment.

Again, we pre-partied and walked to meet Will and Ariel at the Knit.  Only this time, nothing was said about their relationship.  Hannah was absolutely fine, but as we approached the alley with the entrance of the club, Hannah suddenly started faltering.  She said she had to lie down.  Downtown, with a busy street, and an alley.  We propped her up the best we could against a cement outcropping and hailed her a cab home.

I put the incidents together and realized two conditions existed both times I had witnessed Zero to Hannah.

  1. She was emotional at the time.
  2. Aunt Irma was within days of visiting.

This Saturday was a bad day for us.  A lot of little things had gone wrong.  We were both in bad moods.  Hannah was anxious about going to a party with some of her friends she hadn’t seen in a while.  She’s been taking a lot of crap for the weight she’s lost and was feeling insecure.  I had a friend visiting.  I can drink again, (though not much) so I decided to get a bottle of vodka for all of us to have a few drinks before Hannah got picked up for the party by Ariel.

Hannah, me, and my friend Christy take a couple shots.  No big deal.  Everything seemed fine, (as it usually does) and we talked and waited for Ariel to pick Hannah up.  And then Christy and Hannah start talking about my cancer experience, how Hannah was always there, how Christy lost her father while I was in the same hospital on the floor below, and a lot of other emotional things.  I didn’t see it coming.

Ariel showed up, and Hannah and Ariel went into the bedroom to talk.  I could hear Hannah crying.

“Oh shit.”

They came out and announced they were not going to the party.  They called their friend to let her know, and Ariel, Hannah, Christy, and I decided to hang out here instead.  They might have had another shot.  We were sitting down, talking and laughing, and everything seemed fine again when suddenly Hannah had to get up to go to the bathroom.  She got up, tripped right over the coffee table (not the corner, not a side, but the whole thing as if she didn’t know it was there), and face-planted right into the carpet.  She now has a lovely little bruise on the bottom of her chin and a rug-burn right below her lip.  She went to bed after we all made sure she was okay, and is just finally starting to feel less pain today.  She went from Zero to Hannah, in the most epic fashion.

The funny thing is, that most people would not find this to be a positive trait in someone, but to me and all fer friends, it is endearing.  At the least, it is very entertaining.

Now we’re just waiting for Irma.


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

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