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Going back on the wagon

From: Dave Death
Category: Art
Date: 19 March 2006


Even though I'm not drinking that much, I'm just fed up with booze. What good things has it brought me since I took it up again, a year ago? On the plus side, some boozy meals and a fun one-night-stand with a nice girl. The negative side, some horrendous hangovers and a loss of self-discipline and control; feeling myself slide further away from myself. Not poetic at all; no-one believes in the doomed romantic any more, not even Pete Doherty; just squalid, and the low-level misery of wasted potential.

I think key moments this last week were Wednesday when I went to the flat of a slightly ravaged Etonian I met in my brief tenure at AA a few years back, who for all the time I'd known him had had a twelve step/yoga/bicycyling lifestyle, after decades of coke and booze, and has just returned to work as a City tax lawyer. I saw how different he looked now he's working again. He's got himself back; even his new hairstyle looked like an expression of refound confidence.

Then Thursday night, Joffe's show, limitless free beer, and I got really rather pissed - taking two bottles each time I went to the counter, as if I was getting one for a friend when really both were for me. I suppose I had ten bottles or so. Beer drunkenness has never been any fun, despite what William Hague might tell you. It makes you a dumb stumbling fuck, ineloquent, a clown. Nothing bad happened; I didn't disgrace myself, I didn't black out, I wasn't sick, but these are all things that happened to me in similar situations in the past, and I can see I could be heading back that way. I cycled back to Kings Cross, without lights and with a rucksack on my back, holding a bottle of beer in one hand and swigging as I cycled, then fell asleep on the train home - a very familiar feeling - and woke just as the train left my station and had to wait at Bedford at 3.30am for a train going back. No fun at all.

The quantities I drink are really quite small, just the occasional binges, but I can feel the old mental obsession returning - thinking about where the next drink's coming from, rather than enjoying the company of the people I'm with - and it contributes to a general patchwork of loss of control of every aspect of my life. I think I'd be better off without it.

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