My Life Oy Vay 8 (Diary Of a Mad Drunken Lothario)
Oooer! Stumble out of bed and trip over an empty plastic cider bottle. Catch knee - and I stress already badly damaged knee from years of tennis and genuflecting - on corner of desk. One of the advantages of being anaesthetised by alcohol is one does not feel a lot of pain. Well not straight away; there is a time delay; much like the one when your fingers are completely frozen, as you work outside in a blizzard and are clipping cables to the outside of a barn on a windswept Coltswold hillside, and you hit your thumb but don't feel anything for about 20 seconds. And then it starts to throb with an increasing amount of pain, like a rachet being turned up one notch at a time. These things I know.
So I'm sitting on the loo and then suddenly my knee begins to throb. Ahhhoooargh! If my neighbours could hear me they'd probably think it was a severe bout of constipation. Decide that what I need is some more anaesthetic which means going down the road to the 'offy'. Why don't I think ahead and accept that I will need a 'straightener' in the morning and shop wisely, I hear you say. Because I was bleeding drunk you hear me say. So I tottered out on my Bambi legs and grabbed a bottle of Chateau Le Cider 2006, a rare vintage indeed. There are no words exchanged between the Maitre d'offy and myself other than 'thank you'.
I tottered back with anticipation and the cider. I poured a glass out with shaking hand, but not bad enough to warrant a straw. I slooshed it round and stuck my nose into it and agreed with myself that it too had an interesting nose. It had a hint of apple, methylated spirit, axle grease and paraffin. I downed it in one. Oh the agreeable warmth that embraced me. I continued as above for about ten minutes until I could feel no pain. I turned on the tele to catch the news.
Apparently food manufacturers, because of pressure from consumers and the government, concerned about the obesity epidemic, are going to put warning signs on tins and packets of food, informing consumers of the levels of fat and salt contained therein. Can't see it working myself. What they should have is some sort of microchip contained in the pack of Saltyflakes or tin of Fatty Burgers (with added phlegm), that when a fat person opens it, it will shriek 'hey put me down you fat bastard you've had enough already!' If that doesn't work the technology is there to arrange some sort of alarm system in the supermarket, that makes an unholy racket if a fat person approaches aforementioned food items. This will have the added bonus of making porky people run away and giving them much needed exercise. If Fatty Arbuckle then has a heart attack and dies, think of the saving to the NHS.
With the new hospital that's just opened down the road, it took just 6 weeks from a letter going to them from my doctor to me getting a date for my hernia op.. That's how it should be. One of the big concerns now in this country is the Mephistopheles Persistant Straptacockonus Arseus virus in our hospitals. God you go to hospital to get an in-growing toenail fixed and you get killed! By the very system that is designed to get you well. Why isn't there someone who is employed ' like me - to go round the hospital looking at obvious flaws. 'Why is there a piece of plaster hanging off the wall?' (I saw this in my local hospital The Royal Free in Hampstead London.) 'A repository of disease I think you'll find. Get it fixed TODAY!'
But I was casting my eye over the new hospital and with my designer cap on, instead of having a skirting board (which will also be a repository of bugs) they have a curve. Which then inexplicably has a ridge above it. I've seen plasterers do amazing thing in my time, and sometimes with plaster, but why do designers have to think they have to 'design' when what is needed in a hospital is simplicity. Wherever possible I would hiss with great menace into their red pinstriped shirted ears - like Don Corleone,
"I want curves everywhere, I want more curves than fucking Marilyn Monroe. And you know what we did to her when she didn't comply. I don't want edges or cracks where bugs can congregate, I want everything smooth wherever possible. Or ' where you have designed cracks, you might disappear and then you might re-appear in those said cracks as FUCKING FILLER!. Capiche? Yes I think the subtle approach would work
Other news: My ex. has managed to get herself sectioned again. She really is dropping like a stone (as I predicted) poor cow. She has been taking street drunks back to her flat (this is going to be a major Hollywood blockbuster and guess who's going to win the screenwriter's gong?) and her daughter has fled. But what happened 2 weeks ago, there was a message from her on my machine, sounding fairly cogent and could I call her. So I thought ok snot a problem. So I called her, and there was this wounded animal wail that came from the other end of the line, 'Please come and see me!' So I of course said no that would be inappropriate but she beseeched me and said that her daughter wouldn't mind.
I must admit that the part of me that hadn't felt a woman touch me (which is all parts) started to get skittish and I said OK. Suffice to say she threw herself on top of me, which involved me being on top of her and me saying 'no we mustn't Cara might come in' and her saying 'I don't care' which added to the ' well ' the oomph of it all. Anyway she's now in a psychiatric hospital again. It's all the fault of my brother Robert, if'n he hadn't forced me to go to that dance on The American air base where I was forced to dance with that girl who I can still see today in my mind's eye. God she was cute! And I was terrified. He was talking to some girls and he kind of nodded at me, and came over and said that this girl wanted to dance with me. I made a noise that was something like 'Nnnggghhhhnn.' But she came over and was such a sweetheart she put me on my knees. Nowadays I make a girl go down to my knees and she goes 'Nnnggghhhhnn' and I say '$20 extra if you swallow.' Ah how the wheel turns full circle.
Well it's 3.25am and I'm listening to Connie Francis and her greatest hits, Robot Man's on at the moment, I think my brother brought that home on an old 78 record, and the drummer still cooks. Speaking of which, I bumped into the very last guitarist I'd ever played with back in '84 at the end of my street. He had his young daughter with him and it was a reality twist. He was saying to her 'Look this is the drummer from my band!' and to play fair she didn't say 'so what!'. But we swapped numbers and who knows maybe I ain't finished yet. We have promised that we would have a 'jam' together. He's one of the top guitarists this country has produced. Albeit unknown. I wonder if it has anything to do with him being a lush.
Well this computer has decided it's too tired to go on the internet. That's four computers that have crashed on me in as many months. And I'm fucked because I have no money and I have no money because I'm a drunk. At least the word processor part of this heap of junk works. Stop drinking I hear you say. If it were that easy there would be no need for AA, treatment centres and the whole nine yards kerfuffle. Where does the phrase 'the whole nine yards' come from? And for that matter 'kerfuffle'?
Woke up this morning with thundering headache: no I didn't wake up this morning with thundering headache, I don't think that you can wake up if you've not been asleep. Catch my drift? Where does that phrase come from? Probably a drunk. No; I got up this morning having not slept, as I've stopped drinking. This'll be my second day and resolve that I'm never going to drink again for the 1000,425th time. This year.
The phone jangled at me and I jangled back at it. It was the ex-girlfriend. She's very drunk and suicidal again, and was just phoning to say goodbye. Well not so much as say goodbye as scream and wail it. She duly said goodbye and that she'll always love me, and that she's sorry. Then hung up. I phoned a mutual friend of ours who has been helping her, trying to get her into treatment and left a message about the state she was in. Again. The phone jangled again and surprisingly it wasn't her; what was surprising was that it was my old roommate from the dry house we were in. It was ten o'clock and he's normally at work and he sounded dreadful, "can you come round I need to get to the doctor?
Now this is a guy with 12 years sobriety and Mr. Sane and sober. I said "yes okay I'll be there in ten minutes. As I walked round to his place I thought maybe he's just damned ill, he's contracted bird flu, the dhobie itch or both. I just hoped he hadn't relapsed. But as soon as he opened the door and I saw the carnage in the flat my worst fears were realised. This guy isn't so much tidy, as anal. He was shaking like a leaf, he'd been downing a bottle of vodka a day for two weeks, and he hadn't eaten for five days. Now for someone who hasn't had a drink for 12 years, that much could kill you.
We wended our way to the surgery and we both asked to see the duty doctor. I was in no great shape myself having only been off the booze for two days. He was in first and I went in after to see a different doctor. I managed to extract a few pills from him although he was reluctant to. God, glory be the days when you could go in and get 20 Hemenevrin (a liquid cosh for alcoholics) go home take 4 and sleep for the rest of that day. Wake up take 4 more, sleep through the rest of that night. And repeat until they were finished and the worst of the shakes were gone.
My friend came out and he got absolutely nothing from his doctor, and the state that he was in he could have been close to 'fitting'. The idiot doctor said to him, "just carry on drinking and then reduce. If he could do that he wouldn't be there and wouldn't have a serious drink problem, you fucking idiot!!!!! Our Tony bangs on about the seriousness of the drinking culture in this country, and does nothing but put 'spin' on the problem. No change there then. Doctors get about one or two days on the problem of alcoholism in their 7 years of training. As it's the biggest social problem facing our country today, why aren't they pumping money into it?
Starting with schools. My own doctor said to me that if we could cure alcoholism, that waiting room out there would be reduced by 50%.
Well I escorted my friend home on his Bambi-like legs and he stoicly said "If I have to tough it out. I have to tough it out. In his position I have done the Guinness detox. I don't really like Guinness and can't drink a lot of it, hence it does the job. I left him to get some much need shopping for myself and said I'd be back within the hour. While I was at home the guy who's been helping my ex phoned and said that when he had phoned her, he could hear this banshee wail in the background, the police were there and an ambulance was on its way. Good I thought, they'll at least section her.
I took my friend a ham salad roll and said "eat it or at least half of it which he did. The last thing that you want to do when you're in that state is to eat, and you have to force it down. I stayed with him for a few hours and came back late afternoon to lie down. I went back early evening and sat with him for an hour, his son was coming round so I came back to chill out in front of the tele. There was a big match on ' Arsenal v real Madrid. About 20 minutes into the match and my doorbell rang and rang and rang. Fuck! I know who that is. I'm in a block of flats so just went to my door and turned the bell off. About 10 minutes later I heard a thump at the door, she had obviously waited for someone to go in or come out.
She began thumping and thumping then kicking the door ' I waited hoping that she would think I'm out and leave. But no. She continued, I heard her throw something through the letterbox and checked that it wasn't a Molotov cocktail. The noise stopped for awhile so I peeked through the spyhole. She was knocking on the next door flat, and at the back of the flats here, there are continuous verandas with inter-connecting gates which can be opened. Shit! So I closed the curtains made sure the door and windows were locked and prepared to ring the police. She is well known to them and has spent 3 separate nights in custody for being drunk with violent disorder.
But the next door neighbour obviously didn't let her in because the kicking and banging started again with increased venom. Right that's it I thought, so I dialled 999. As I was speaking to the police I heard another male voice shouting outside. The banging stopped and I finished my call, went to the spyhole and she had gone. Obviously a neighbour had threatened to do what I had just done. The police came in about 5 minutes and were very dutiful, and when I gave them the name of my ex the policewoman said "ah yes I know her, we had occasion to arrest her a couple of months ago. A member of the public phoned in and reported her wailing and shouting drunkenly in the street.
They left and I settled down to watch the rest of the match ' and wasn't that some goal from Thierry Henry? About 10 o'clock the phone rang but I didn't answer it. I dialed 1471 and it was her, and as she has a habit of phoning throughout the night, I unplugged the phone. I did actually sleep with the tablets I'd got from the doctor, supplemented with some over the counter sleepers.
I went to see 'Hidden' the new French film yesterday with my old 'mucker' Maryanne. I met her in the offices of one of the top 5 literary agent in the world, in which I was doing renovating work 28 years ago. She was teary-eyed about something and was confiding in a colleague. The sexual predator in me not so much awoke as sprang to life Oh a woman in trouble and I have a very large shoulder to cry on. Offer to talk, get them in the pub, get a few drinks down them, and ' wuhey! And that's just how it went. We ended up in bed that night. Now I tend to be a bit of an enigma to middle-class chicks. A working class guy who speaks 'well' and has read Kafka , is an ex number 1 rock drummer but prefers listening to radio 3. And the great thing is it's not an act on my part. The times I've heard the phrase "you don't seem like the normal builder. Where was I before this reverie? Ah yes. 'Hidden'.
The film of the decade one of the critics said: Mmmmmm. Enigmatic certainly, stylish, very well acted and directed and extremely tense. There is one scene, which comes out of left field, and everyone in the cinema went "Fuck! But I'm not sure if the ending let it down, or makes it. Or is the reason everyone is talking about it around the watercooler at work. Very Polanski-ish. Actually, I've sold myself on the film just writing about it. Go see.
My relationship with Maryanne gives the lie to the old adage that men and women, who've had a sexual relationship, can never just be friends. She makes me larf! And me her. I've seen her through a marriage, 3 kids who all know me as her friend, a divorce and all that trauma, and now the new love in her life. So being a sexual predator is no bad thing. My alcoholic friend is not answering his phone again. Oh dear.