Oh, I have been drunk. All kinds of drunk.
Oh, I have been drunk. All kinds of drunk. I have curled up beneath the heavy horse blanket of a bottle of port. I have sharpened my tongue on glasses of white and swelled my belly with gassy, pugnacious pints of Stella. Whole Sundays have haemorrhaged into awful Mondays when my Columbian flatmate breaks out her Bloody Marys (her secret recipe divulged: One part tomato juice to one part Tabasco, a tequila add on to the ubiquitous corner shop vodka, a dozen cranks of the pepper mill and a hosing of Jif Lemon Juice).
I have revised with a mug of Mr Gordon at my elbow, a poisonous concoction reportedly pioneered by a post-smack Ray Charles, in which a pot of viscous bowel loosening coffee is enlivened with a slosh of gin. Too p!ssed to study, too tweaked to sleep: what’s to be done but stand in the shower for an hour and a half, reel around the bedroom and masturbate unsuccessfully?
I write this not to boast, the above is simply a statement of my qualifications and the following a qualification of my statements – I am not a member of the twenty pint club, I am not cainer of the year nor was meant to be. In the great Olympiad of the lash I am a 200 metre man at most. Whilst keeping pace with a certain Irish girl I know (who eats like a bird but puts away the Bulmers like a stoker feeding coal to a locomotive) I not only hit the wall but puked on it.
If we get down to brass tacks, I drink five days in seven, mostly a couple of cans from the off licence, or two-for-a-fiver bottles of wine mixed with Coke or Sprite. Discovery of the Gin martini almost ruined me. I am fond of whisky with ice, vodka with orange or grapefruit or both, red wine slurped from plastics cups at gallery openings, gin and tonics when I’m feeling fat, Guinness when I’m feeling anaemic. If my surly Scottish doctor asked me how many units I went through in a week I would lie.
That’s the what, here’s the why.
Noel Coward said he drank to make other people interesting, and whilst that’s a great line, I drink to make my life, and by extension myself, less boring. Left to my own devices I am too polite, too prudish, too well behaved – not out of any kind of moral strength or intrinsic decency you understand, but out of cowardice and a propensity for cringing and self-flagellation.
If not for alcohol would I ever have embarked on my impassioned defence of page 3 at the launch of a feminist poetry collection? Would I have allowed the white girl with ratty dreadlocks down to her neon trainers to put her furry tongue in my mouth at that drum and bass night? Would I have phoned in sick, still pissed out of my box, on the Monday morning after Andy Murray’s gold medal triumph on centre court shouting “I’m sick, I’m so f*ck*ng sick, I can’t even describe how f*ck*ng sick I am” fist pumping all the while?
And though I think back on these events and a hundred more and shudder, they are mine, mine, and only mine. Alcohol crowbars me out of the path of least resistance. It makes me put my penis in people I shouldn’t put my penis in. It lets me shop lift from 24 hour garages. Alcohol enriches my life in the same way horse sh*t enriches soil.
Age Range: 25 -30
Professions: Writing, Theatre, Education, Idleness and Idolatry
Drinking Habits: Committed
Life Expectancy: Too busy to die