When you habitually wind down at the end of the day by having a drink, the first few nights of not reaching out for that handy little crutch can be a little disconcerting. I’m shot through with anxiety as my subconscious mind tries to invent excuses to persuade my willpower to release control of the addiction. It’s half past ten and I’ve just found myself getting profoundly wound up over nothing. Now I’m running a hot bath, with a nice cup of herbal tea while the devil on my shoulder stamps his feet and shrieks himself hoarse in my ear.
There’s booze all over the flat. Loads of different types of gin. Three bottles of red and one of white. Beer and cider in the fridge. A cabinet full of bottles. Port in the decanter. Even some prosecco. A whole world of tasty sugary oblivion, and no work tomorrow. It’s just as well I’m a stubborn bastard. Received wisdom tells us to hide all the booze when we go cold turkey but I’ve never been one for making it easy on myself, besides if all it takes is a bit of temptation for me to throw my hands up and admit defeat then I’m going to have to go live in a box. Much better to keep surrounded by it, so when I go to a press night and it’s free on a tray in front of me I don’t shrug my shoulders and say “Just this once”.
I’ve always had a control thing with booze. Sometimes I go months without just to make sure I still can. Hard not to be careful when you’ve seen loved ones die of it. It’s a nasty way to go, although I’m glad that they haven’t stigmatised it so much that instead of a label there’s just a picture of a cirrhotic liver on your wine bottle. Those sickening photos of tumors that smokers have to put on the table for us all – how is it that silver cigarette cases haven’t come back into fashion by now? It’s enough to drive a man to nicotine. But I do like a glass of wine. Or a beer. Or gin. Or …
I’m running a bubble bath. It’s at Brian’s suggestion. He just heard me predicting the end of the world over the course of what should have been a simple telephone discussion with a friend. It’s useful to have friends that know you better than you know yourself. A bath. An excellent idea.
I’ve got a lot done today anyhow. I’ve landed back in London properly. I’ve sorted out some of the stuff that needed sorting. Spoke to a mechanic in Tunbridge Wells, who sucked his teeth before quoting me £X “before VAT” just to have a look at it. Anyone that quotes without VAT can go suck an egg. They’re trying to pretend they’re cheaper than they are because they charge too much.
Anyone know any half decent half honest mechanics within limping distance of Crowborough, East Sussex? I hate paying strangers. They always skin you. Rant rant rant. Where’s my wine?