Books vs Juice

I’m sitting in The Sun Inn, Barnes on my own in the corner with a bottle of Big Drop Alcohol Free IPA. I’m going to stay off the sauce for a while this time, until I start to forget I’m doing it. Right now I’m dreaming of wine because I can’t have any. Until that sort of thing stops it’s worth drawing that line. It doesn’t prevent me from going to the pub on my own on a Wednesday night to drink a placeebeer in company but separate. I occasionally take great pleasure in sitting on my own in a public place. But we all sit so far away from one another nowadays.

Last night as I was getting ready to settle down I realised that there are no books in my friend’s flat. No books! She must have a Kindle. I couldn’t really understand a flat with no books. Confused, I walked from room to room a few times believing somehow that a shelf would magically appear loaded with Murakami, or Cromwell or something. Coffee table books or a pile of Reader’s Digest. Loo books even… I needed something to wind me down towards sleep. I hypnotise myself to sleep by moving my eyes quickly from left to right and back across a page.

I finally resorted to a Juicing Recipe book that my friend uses as a mousemat. I read the introduction and then got stuck into the recipes. That’s how desperate things were. It was godawful prose full of unconsidered wordruns, superlatives and forever the adjectives and adverbs you expect. Most of the book was ghost written around her recipes, but the recipe constructor – a healthy looking photogenic person – had clearly insisted on writing the intro themselves. Now I know a little more about amino acids and digestion from the point of view of somebody who’s selling something.

And I’m annoyed with myself for forgetting that I’ve got two books on the back seat of my car that are both so much better than the jarring words my eyes were dragging themselves over in the closing minutes of my waketime. I could’ve got some literature out of the car in no time. Ach well.

I have benefitted from learning about making juice.

Gordon the barman just told me that my bottle of alcohol free beer is over five quid, which is daylight robbery. If I could just munge up a load of carroty appleginger juiciness like Simon’s stuff the other day then I wouldn’t have had to leave the flat to satisfy my craving for sugary liquid.

Being here is part of the pleasure too though. It’s old school. Stripped rinsed out wooden floors, fairy lights, framed cigarette cards and photographs of slightly famous humans who once existed in this area. Kurt Schwitters, anyone? He lived at 39 Westmoreland Road. He’s on the wall to my left. Maybe he bought a round once.

Closing time at the pub. I’ve had one too many of these expensive booze free beers. Where’s Kurt when you need him? I’m going to stumble sober around the duckpond and take in the night air a bit before going back to a flat that now has two actual books in it, plus an annoying juicing manual. I’ll finish one book, move to the next, and return the juicing manual to its rightful place as a mousemat.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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