The Seven Ages of Alcoholism – A Letter To My Addiction
(With profound apologies to W. Shakespeare)
You always liked Shakespeare. So, as you like it.
All the world’s a glass and all the men and women merely drinkers.
You’ve had your exits and your entrances and in your time played many parts.
First the invisible friend to the lonely, only boy, by my side as we poured
the Christmas sherry bottle, then topped it up with tepid water. They
never noticed. At least they never said. It felt good.
Then comes the teenager, my partner-in-crime. We laughed and drank and
danced till dawn. And woke in the morning to do it again.
And then the colleague, propping up the bar after work, celebrating
victories, brooding on slights.
Later the mistress, you understood me when the tedium of domestic life
ground me down. But you were a cruel and heartless mistress. You took
all you could, and gave, but only on your harsh terms.
And mistress becomes master, demanding obeisance, repaying with contempt.
But surely worms can turn? I cast you out, demons die in the wilderness,
or so I hoped.
But no. So now you gloat. Thrilled with your trophy, a yellow corpse who doesn’t remember dying. All
parts pickled, rotten or hard.