Kingsley Amis wrote of two types of hangovers, the physical & the metaphysical. The physical might be the symptoms that plague your stomach and your head but the metaphysical hangover is much worse. The metaphysical hangover is the deep shame of misremembering potential embarrassments, of what you could have said and to whom, the shame, the deep deep shame. Waking up in the morning, staring at the ceiling, thinking who the hell was I last night and how does that affect me now?
I awoke this morning with a hangover. A deep metaphysical hangover of melancholic loneliness and despair. A throbbing headache and a selection of cuts and bruises of unknown origin across my body.
I walked in to the kitchen where I was confronted by the washing up I had yet to do – towers of pans and plates and glasses. A physical monument to our debauched and decadent dinner the day before.
You see I had invited a few guys from my intake over for dinner. I had promised them grand things. (I also lied and said we would spend some time on our Arduinos.)
This was going to be a test of my creativity in the kitchen. I had asked them to pick any cuisine in the world, any cuisine and I would cook it.
I also promised myself that I would not follow a recipe, everything would be instinctual and done to taste. I would let my own creativity run wild.
They chose asian and spicy. Now that’s out of my comfort zone and a challenge.
#ApocalypseChow was born. I tried to encourage everyone to use the official hashtags throughout the day.
I made up a little menu in illustrator, practicing all my Adobe skills before we start school.
Cooking is creativity, taking raw ingredients and transforming them in to a cohesive whole.
Lets take a sauce for instance. I made five separate sauces for this meal.
A simple item like hot sauce can have so many decision points and opportunities for creativity. How do I add the heat to the hot sauce? Chillis? Fresh chillis? Dried chillis? What type of chillis? Do I add an acidic element to amplify the heat? Vinegar? Lime Juice? A sweet element to balance out the heat? Maple syrup? Peanut Butter? Honey? Sugar? And then how do I season it? Salt? Soy sauce? Fish sauce? MSG? A thickening agent to make it more like ketchup? Xantham gum? Or make it a fluid gel?
All of those creative decisions for one element of the greater meal.
All of that work for one fleeting moment.
Food, like theatre, is the culmination of a lot of work for the ephemeral moment. Once the plates are cleared the food is gone and it can never be recreated exactly the same.
But this places too much emphasis on the food, dinner would be nothing without conversation, atmosphere, friends.
Luckily those I had invited from my SCA intake are like instant atmosphere – creativity bubbling away as they try and outwit and out compliment each other.
Knowing that these creative fun people were coming forced me to work harder on the atmosphere – a soundtrack of songs from the Vietnam war era, nerf guns to re-enact the famous Russian roulette scene from Deerhunter. I was even trying to get hold of a projector so I could screen war movies on the ceiling.
Being around creative people forces me to be more creative than I would in isolation.
Having this awful awful hangover and having to do the washing up is worth it for the boost seeing all of them gave me.
This is why I am excited to start at SCA. This is why I applied to SCA.
I am ready for the ‘basic training’ that is SCA. Ready for the metaphorical war we will all wage against the advertising industry, together.