23 January 2012


~ sober or die ~

  • "Lord have merceh!" as Big Jim Potts would have it

  • "Time for some redemption songs," quoth Dickie Wells (whom I rather wish i had here as wing man as i wrestle with the devil, plucking at my sleeve and whispering his evil in my ear)

    "You can't stay drunk forever, you're either going to sober up, or die."

    Amen, Ricardo, amen.

    I'm alone in the house. Really finally destructibly alone surrounded by booze

  • Booze we had before

  • Booze Pete brought

  • Booze others brought as condolenzio

    It's cold, it's very silent and it's lonely. It's also utterly familiar.

    1425hrs ~ yep, on the dot.

    Here's how it would go: mum in garden, i sneak the first campari or G&T or whatever. Fat pack of cigs at hand and window open to the chill to let the breeze dilute the baccy pong. First hint of mum coming in to make lunch, i'm up and suggest a suitable drink, which she accepts.

  • As her health deteriorated, same routine but checking on her for requests for soup or tea. Not so easy with the smoke drifting down the corridor towards her room, but you know what? I dont think she sweated the small stuff: I tried so hard to look after her that I dont think she gave a damn about my little treats of boozerie. Enough on her plate heading for the Promised Land to worry about my own choice of sled down that slippery slope.

    Lord have mercy.

    Alone. Gates closed. No danger of footfall down the corridor, quick hide of the bottle by my left foot, out of sight below the desk.

    The body clock is chiming and grinding. The clock on the wall isnt signaling anything.

    "Sam, help me. Isnt your mistress sending signal? Bite, attaque, leap up and send the bottles skidding crashing to the hard kitchen tiles.

    I take up the guitar and plunk for distraction but it's not there.

    Isnt one meant to be able to pick up the phone and call yer buddy? "Hey it's me-" 'Yeh, me too. Talk to me.'

    Whooh, it's hard. I walk Sam and me around the property and note the raking that's needed and the where the shredding must go. Distraction. I'm going to need some cigarettes and no mum to look disapproving: 'Must you go out now? Lunch is nearly ready; just for your cigarettes?'

    I suppose this is when it's useful to have Someone to kneel to; stand before the King.

    Aiyah - difficult except the sniveling organism is going 'whats difficult? over there, easy, just the one, dont have to go beserk. Police yourself now. Easy.'

    Not easy. Get down on my knees and pray-yay. Needles and pins-uh. Needles and pina colada, more like.

    Don't want to die. Not so soon. Not so predictably.

    Become that pathetic bloated figure stumbling around, life n soul of the bar. Stagger off into the night, weaving n waving, three goes to fit the key to the car lock, everyone watching as the car lurches and not-quite misses the bin and an approaching car honks and the barflies go back to their mojitos and shake their heads sadly.

    Sozzled into that good night.


    Anonymous said...

    Hang on in. We gotta practise a duet.

    Corfucius said...

    thanks. no signposts for this sort of thing, are there? i think today might be the worst and slowly upwards hereon.

    Anonymous said...

    When you've got so much to offer, it can only be upwards!

    Corfucius said...

    thanks, Anon. each crumb of comfort helps.

    Simon Baddeley said...

    Steady the Buffs.

    Corfucius said...

    good one. perfect

    Simon Baddeley said...

    I went to the British Cemetert y'day. For what it's worth I thought you'd be...amused is wrong...but struck by the fact that having copied the Greek words on your father's headstone I've been drinking tsipero with a succession of villagers in the neighbours' garden (so not as chilly as you might expect) while they struggle to translate for me the 'old' Greek of those lines that begin ΣΚΙΑΣ ΟΝΑΡ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΣ...
    It's been near four hours and we've left translation and got into them explaining the finer points of the philosophical ideas that convey the spirit of that beautiful epitaph. In this rich earth...

    Corfucius said...

    bravo to you. my mother wrote to a number of my father's classical scholar pals to get that. i must scan the letter that came back from which she took it. that would be a fitting complement.

    youre such a classy gent.

    georgina and i went to the cemetery today and stopped george committing some sacrilege with an unknown stonemason. our own has offered to carve maman's details.

    Simon Baddeley said...

    My friend Aleko Damaskinos has given me this translation but you can see why one ends up discussing philosophy rather than translation - it's all Greek to me...


    "Σκιάς όναρ άνθρωπος, αλλ΄όταν αίγλα
    διόσδοτος έλθη λαμπρόν φέγγος έπεστιν
    ανδρών και μείλιχος αιών"

    "Man is a dream of a shadow but when
    god-given radiance comes
    fame's light is left to us
    and gracious time"


    Corfucius said...

    bravo! i must post the translation the original scholar gave mum