I fancy some port

It’s Friday night. I could use a drink. There hasn’t really been a week to be at the end of, but whatever it was, it’s finished now. Saturday’s coming. We can all stop doing all the loads of things we were definitely doing. We can relax. Maybe have a drink?

Booze is better with friends. I’d like to get quietly sozzled with good conversation and then have lots of drunken hugs and stagger home arm in arm with somebody singing badly, like Asterix and Obelix. I’m as sick for summer and company as I am for booze. I’ve got plenty in the flat and it isn’t calling to me. It’s just me and the fish and the snake. They’re the same company when I’m sober as they would be if I were pissed. I’ve made 5 months to the day booze free. I think it has helped immensely that the only instinct I had to break was the evening hand to mouth.

It makes me worry that if we lived in a world where dinner parties were a possibility I’d have spent most of my time looking at a bottle of vintage port whilst sweating profusely and occasionally holding my own spasming wrist down. Like Doctor Strangelove. I haven’t been to a press night with free champagne for ages. I haven’t had “what can I get you” from an audience member, or “it’s your round” from friends. Maybe it’s a blessing that I’ve chosen now to break the habit as by the time there are social rapids to negotiate I will have firmly defeated the basic craving.

Mel of the snake is in New Zealand. Still! She initially went for a few months. Now she’s been there over a year. I don’t blame her for staying out there. It’s summer right now, it’s blazing hot and it’s business as usual – apart from the closed borders. She’s sending me videos of people sitting shoulder to shoulder in pubs. When I tell her how touch averse we are all becoming she can’t properly comprehend it. We’re basically an island nation… Maybe if we’d acted quickly and decisively we could all sit shoulder to shoulder? I guess it was rife here pretty early on though. I’m still convinced I had it in the first wave, although can they even test for the antibodies properly yet? It might be good to know, now we’ve gone and incubated our whole new British brand of Covid and now we all have to stay indoors even more than usual in order to avoid spreading it.

I went out into the horror this evening, late. It might be cold in the world but I thought it would be beneficial to see the dark outside for a bit. It’s crisp. It’s below freezing. I didn’t like it. I could see my contagious breath. When I got back to my door it was near midnight and I am so inexperienced at going out right now that I didn’t have my keys with me. I emptied out all the pockets in my leather jacket onto a wall. Nothing. But oh the wonders of technology. I have a “Tile” on my phone. I can ring my keys if they’re in range. Turns out they were in the lining of my jacket – I’d never have found them. A rare piece of good thinking, buying that Tile. I’ve come to know myself.

I’m back in the warm, stretched out on my bed, happy if sad. I miss it all. I hate how I find it weird watching people hug on telly. I hate how there are instructions everywhere. I hate how insular and closed this all feels. I guess if we were like New Zealand we’d feel like we were being kettled. I really really want to get out, feel the sun on my skin, swim in the warm sea. Actually I think it’s summer I miss, more than booze. Summer and company and togetherness in the real sense, where the people with reservations are in the minority and there are lots of people in one room. We exchange so much with pheromones. We are losing an aspect of what it is to be human.

It’ll come. Somehow. But so slowly. So so slowly.

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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