A couple of weeks ago we put our flat on the market. The place is lovely but it’s tiny, and after three years squeezed in alongside a plethora of furry animals we’ve decided it’s time to upsize to a normal person sized house – a decision accelerated in no small part by the fact that our upstairs neighbour is a proper noisy chav twat. His girlfriend is perpetually angry, and sounds like a foghorn whenever she gets peeved (which is always). It’s just not a nice situation, and the golden-boy at the Housing Association, who promised us he could use our complaints and recordings as evidence to begin eviction proceedings, has turned out to be more of a gold-spray-painted boy. A cheap knockoff. All mouth and no trousers. Fucking useless.
When I was a drinker I was liable, occasionally, to be a bit of an animal. I’d think nothing of smashing down a load of beer and shots and then clawing and swearing at the people around me like a loved-up drunken Tasmanian Devil. It was never an anger thing, you understand. I became a hugger and a playfighter. Booze always impassioned me. It made me want to grasp life with gusto, and squeeze it until I could feel the soft bits oozing out between my fingers. It made me want to laugh loudly, eat bloody raw steaks, and get the people I cared about in headlocks. Everything done with fire in the belly, and a fist waving at the sky. A fury and zeal that it’s near on impossible to maintain in sober life, apart from in short controlled bursts (which is a bit of a contradiction really).
In my drinking days life was a series of massive highs and massive lows. The highs were my turbo-mental weekends – the parties, nights out, ace music, dancing like a twat, camaraderie, laughing till the early hours – all held together by the booze. The lows were the working week, made much worse, excruciatingly so, by the hangovers, paranoia, and lack of sleep. Continue reading