Monday, February 25, 2013

Booze Liberation: Part One

Booze Liberation: Part One

I currently have that feeling, not unlike when its my birthday, where I sort of feel special, as though I have a secret which I ought to tell people. And just as one doesn't go telling all and sundry that its the anniversary of one’s birth, I keep this special secret to myself. The special thing which singles me out, my achievement which would interest few outside of my doctor and mother is that I've stopped boozing. I trust you haven't been overcome by this powerful revelation and apologies if you have; compose yourself, take your time, time isn't pressing, in fact time is something I've been granted abundantly since my abstinence commenced.

I know, it does seem as though I'm giving this much greater import than might be deserved but its’ a big deal for me. The background is this, I’m forty before too long and I’ve come to learn that I could have taken slightly better care of my body. It has served me far better than it ought to have done; we’re in an abusive relationship and have been for more than twenty years. I have actually and metaphorically, done the the dirty on it, slapped it around, starved it, drugged it, sexually abused and coerced it. I could go on, suffice to say that my body has seen some pretty bleak lows. In fact, the only tenderness I afforded this carcass was good hygiene and dental care. How the liver must have envied the teeth and their thrice daily pampering whilst it endured another punishing day. In short, I drove it like I’d stolen it. Now, like a battered wife getting a second chance with the man of her dreams after years of stoically keeping up appearances, my body is eloping to a life of actual, regular foodstuffs and more importantly - no alcohol.

My drinking wasn’t necessarily ‘off the scale’; less Ollie Reed, more Queen Mum. The quantities themselves weren’t enormous but the daily regularity was absolute. Just as a matter of course, going about my daily business, I’d drink seven or eight pints. These would be drinks to accompany reading the paper, working from home, web browsing, listening to music, watching television. Any normal activity seemed suited to a drink. To be frank I’m not sure I was even enjoying it any longer, it was just habitual, tea and toast for breakfast, stella for elevenses and so on. I haven't ever really been one for convention and couldn't see why alcohol couldn’t be enjoyed just as much in the morning as at any other time of day. I’ve also been known to eat breakfast cereal in the evening.

I didn’t ever consider my drinking problematic and still don’t to be honest; I’m sure a doctor would say otherwise but the quantity didn’t trouble me just the routine. I detest routine and had allowed myself to fall into a routine albeit a somewhat unconventional one.

I should point out that twenty plus years of drinking hasn’t done me any harm, not lasting harm at least. I don’t want this to be perceived as some kind of evangelical anti-booze campaign; I personally decided to give my poor withered body a break, that’s all.

As mentioned earlier, I now seem to be awash with time, having a tea or coffee somewhere isn’t the drawn out experience that nursing a pint is and of course little time need be occupied considering which establishment to offer my patronage, one is very much like another. In fact tax avoidance and fair trade or not are the only considerations.

So now I find myself going about my daily business with a clear head. This isn’t quite the boon that you may think, a man with my cynical nature easily finds too many answerless questions. There are benefits of course, more money in my pocket, less likelihood of embarrassment and bowel movements you could only dream of. I’ll see how it goes...

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