The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades

The usual rules shall now be put in place. I absent myself; I give you one thousand words instead of the usual five hundred.

January has been something of a living hell for me, as you may have gathered. Life has been complicated, not just by my failing to get the work done I was supposed to over Christmas but also by the slings and arrows that life usually throws at me. Rose, the most exciting thing in my world two years ago, is no longer part of my life. That relationship was recently shot like a lame horse and it was probably about time; we should both have let go sooner. The problem comes with the fact that we seemed to be in the process of patching things up when it happened and I was having to deal with a fairly mixed set of emotions along with my experience of her previous behaviour giving me cause to be constantly suspicious of her. The last fizzle came at the end of a week of running round like a mad thing trying to create a medical paper trail to get myself an extension on a piece of assessed work. The day we finally put an end to things, I was due to go out to a local pub to meet with a writers’ group.

The pub we meet in is chosen for convenience over any other factor, so it’s not one I usually drink in. I have a set of good instincts when it comes to pubs and I know when it’s a bad idea to set foot in a particular free house. On a normal night, I can see trouble coming a little in advance and this allows me a certain sense of security. That night, being in a state of anxiety, I knew my usual sixth sense wasn’t working and spent the first hour sat in a corner jumping at every shadow so I gave up and had two pints to calm my nerves. I was just over a fortnight into a dryout that was supposed to last ’til the end of January.

Normally, I’d have just shrugged my shoulders and carried on dry for the rest of the month; it was only two pints, after all. Instead, I’m extending my dryout halfway through February as a new complication has arisen in my life.

In a previous post, I briefly mentioned my comrade in popcorn sales, Adhur. She’s a drop-dead gorgeous Persian with a wicked sense of humour who often gives me the feeling that my life is turning into a protracted episode of The Muppet Show. And I’m smitten. Previously, I never believed she thought of me as much more than a close acquaintance and life seemed bearable that way. Two days after my little incident, she asked me how my dryout was going and I told her what happened. In response, she half-sulked with me for a little while before punching me hard on the arm. As far as she was concerned, someone buying me a pint and my drinking it out of politeness is a good reason for me to break my resolve; I’m not supposed to be using alcohol as an emotional crutch. The complication this causes is as follows: I can understand a minor strop because I have offended her sensibilities but the fact that she saw fit to punch me (and felt able to do so without worrying about possible repercussions) suggests that she holds me in higher regard than I originally believed. Given that she is a mistress of misdirection when it comes to her deeper personality, I am now left not knowing exactly where we stand beyond the little we’ve said out loud to each other. Not only does this worry the paranoid part of me that needs to know everything that’s going on, it’s also causing the submissive side of my personality to start kicking me into cleaning myself up. I now feel a bizarre need to carry out my stated aim of a month-long dryout even though it’s a minor burden to my social life.

Two nights ago, I was back at the Gosta Green. There was a nasty rumour that it would be the last Eddie’s night there. Fortunately this turned out not to be the case; there is one night in February – the 24th. This is the first time I’ve ever spent a night out stone cold sober for the duration and when I told the guys that I was drying out, Max gave me some very odd looks and Paddy tried to convince me that the lemonade I was drinking was worse for my health than any alcoholic beverage so I should therefore have a beer. At least no-one actually tried to twist my arm; I suspect they were just testing my resolve.

Anyway, the moral of this story, as far as I can tell, is that I have good friends. In some cases, I have better friends than I thought. I may have been unlucky enough to see the definite end of what was once a good friendship but there are always new ones just beginning. Who indeed knows how many of the people I met the other night I may keep running into? As I look beyond the mire of January’s glut of university work, I see a shining future. I see a more permanent home than yearly student rents, a stable job that pays more than the minimum wage and good people continuing to surround me. Hell, I might even finally meet a girl with a mutual attraction without it all going tits up at the first hurdle…

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~ by Scary Rob on 30 January, 2007.

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