It was the clink of glass that started it, the glamour of it, the excitement. And the feeling I got from it. Oh, that was the best bit. Now it’s necessity rather than excitement, simply getting through the day. I sometimes still get a frisson from the clinking. I mostly drink alone, at home, so rather than a chink of cheers it would be the clink of bottle on bottle as I carry them home.
I’m functional, so they say. True, I do go through my life managing to work, to shop, to live, to function. My wife didn’t think I was very functional, especially not in certain husbandly duties. She found someone else who was, whilst I found an extra clink helped me forget. She’s still civilized about the kids though, and I provide for them. Sometimes I even manage to wait for my first of the day until after I’ve seen them. But not often, unless we start early.
SupaValu is one of many I visit. Inside the store I get deals on six bottles. 5% off is worth having when you spend what I do a week. I rarely see the same server twice and have been known to swap checkouts to avoid recognition. I’m not sure why that matters to me really. My local off-licence starts bagging up my usual when they see me walking up the path and that never bothers me. Maybe offies are more used to drunks and supermarkets are for social drinkers, people with parties to organize. Maybe I should buy peanuts too, to deflect suspicion.
And out here, I do my bit for the environment. Ah, the chink again. Chink if I drop the bottles into the container, crash if I shatter them in with a smash. Less of a glamorous sound that, more moody and realistic and angry. You might think it releases something all that smashing, releases some tension maybe. But to me it sounds like a death knell for my life.
I still come to places like this though, so nobody finds out. They know I drink, suspect it’s too much, but I’m good at hiding just how much. I know I should change, but I don’t actually want to. Not enough. Not yet. I tell myself it’s for the environment but it’s really for me, hiding the evidence.
I recognize it in others too. So many shoppers buy a little more than you’d need for social, family drinking. Some of them I see in other places too, doing the same as me, spreading the load as it were. But not that car driver, the red one that’s just driven into another car. I can tell he’s an angry driver or just a young and stupid one. Anybody will tell you if you drink, you’re a fool not to drive very carefully the next day. When your body is so used to alcohol it doesn’t affect your driving like other people. No, I’m sure it doesn’t.
Today I’m smashing and crashing. I wonder if tomorrow will be a drop and clink day.