37.5% Sorrow

As regret sinks in, some men go for a walk, other visit religious institutions, but there will always be those few who turn to drink. This is the very short story of one of them.

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1. 37.5% Sorrow

 

She makes me hate myself, pushes me beyond reason. I finally think that everything is back to normal, or at least getting that way, and she throws everything back in my face. I scream, I shout, I cry, I pull my hair out. I punch the wall; I throw my phone to the ground and watch the pieces fly. My rage consumes me and I feel alone. It is all I can do to prevent myself from picking up that bottle of gin in my drinks cabinet and downing it in one.

I sit at the table, still fuming, I have walked away again. She can accuse and point her finger and cry and scream all she wants to, but I know who I am. I am not as strong as I always make out. I am the worst kind of man. I pretend to be strong, pretend to know who I am. Pretend to have rigid morals and sturdy trains of thought. Seem more like train sets, that can be snapped and broken by the foot of a careless adult who doesn’t appreciate how heavy she is. My rigid morals are as flimsy as all my excuses.

I stare at the glass before me, the liquid within it is clear like water, with the uncanny ability to make my world quite unclear, yet more sensible than right now. I used to go for a walk at times like this, but I think this is a far better response. Down it goes, the initial taste is awful as ever, and the burn in the throat is just as bad. But here comes the bit I like. That mild citrusy aftertaste bringing with it the knowledge that everything will feel strange when I stand.

I sit alone, as usual, wishing I was with her again. Wishing she was by my side and not with a veritable sex pest who has a thing for her. Hopefully her friend and the pervert’s brother will keep him in line like they usually do.

Look at me calling someone else a pervert. That’s exactly why I’m in this mess. I couldn’t stop sitting in front of my computer every night tugging it dry. She fucking hates me. It hurts worse because she gave me so many chances to change, and each time I told her I had it was a lie. Everything you do on a computer leaves a trail and she understands that far better than I do. It hurts the worst because this time I did mean it. This time it has been two months, coming up to three since I have watched porn, and yet she can’t stop digging it all up.

She’ll find something I forgot about years ago and say I’m still doing it, tell me how I broke her heart and tell me how I’m the worst person that’s ever existed. Tell me how I’ve been unfaithful, tell me how I’ve hurt her, tell me exactly how much it has hurt her and continues to. She’ll tell me every little insecurity she has gained from this mess and make sure I live in as much of a hell as she now does.

That’s what the gin’s for. Drink it up and stop feeling. Don’t remember the night and you can’t have felt bad. You don’t dream, so there’s no nightmares. It’s all too convenient for me to not do. I tried weed a few times but that never made me pass out like gin. At least gin doesn’t render me useless enough to ‘see the colours of the music’ and sometimes be certain that there’s a bear on the other side of the door.

So I fill the glass again and I wish I could fill it higher, but any more than this and I’ll be sick. I even fail at being a drunken failure, how fucking typical of me. I sit there contemplating it. Contemplating everything. Even asking myself why I haven’t gone the whole hog and topped myself yet. The answer I come up with is that I’m a coward. This isn’t true of course. The truth is that this isn’t the end of the world and she might stop screaming long enough for me to let her know how much she means to me and how much I miss her. How I’m trying to fix things but I now they take time and we both need to be calm and civil about it.

I push that rational thought from my mind as quickly as it entered. It’s dangerous for a drunk to be having rational thoughts, it means he’s still sobre. And with that, down goes the next glass. Disgusting taste, burning sensation, better taste, my hands feel tingly.

I think it’s about time for me to pick up the pieces of my phone. Shortly after standing up from my chair I waste no time in getting to the floor, it turns out the gin makes my legs rather weak. I slowly and tediously piece my phone back together, very simple job, shouldn’t take thirty seconds.

A few minutes later and it’s back together fine. Already I want to throw it again, as I remember how it got into that state. I chuck it onto the table and Climb back up to my chair. It feels like Mount Everest, and I’m clinging on to a bit that has to have weight on the other side, or I will fall to the ground bringing the ledge down with me.

As I sit on the ledge which has now turned back into a chair, I look at the bottle and tumbler. There’s not much left, that bottle wasn’t opened three hours ago. I fill the glass a little bit more than usual, just to finish the bottle; I need to pass out soon. Disgusting taste, burning sensation, better taste, the room’s spinning.

Perhaps I should call her. That thought was rational. But why’s it back. I feel far too drunk to think rationally now. The room is on it’s way into oblivion, but now I open my eyes wide. I look at my phone, well phones but I know when I reach out there’ll only be one. I turn it on, after a while of holding the red button instead.

I go to my contacts and there she is, marked as my favourite and she is. She really is. Despite all of this nonsense I love her. I call her. She blocks it. I call her again, she blocks it again. I call her again and this time she answers. Not very politely but I tell her ‘what the fuck I want’ anyway. And of course she hangs up. But I tried.

I stand, with great difficulty as my legs now seem to have the consistency of, not exactly jelly, but rather a particularly thick country gravy. I move over to the sink, where the room stops spinning and my head starts to hurt. I wrench violently, and there’s the gin, my dinner and what looks like it was lunch at one point. I wash it away, put the plug in and fill the sink with freezing cold water. Turning of the tap, I throw my head in.

The pain like a crushing pressure on my head is now gone, but the stinging cold against my face claws and claws and claws at me until I feel like opening my mouth and letting the water claim me. Of course I don’t do this, I’ve just woken up, why would I do that? I lift my head out of the water and watch the lights of the city out of my window. Their world hasn’t stopped. Why the hell should mine?

I pick up my phone and call her again. Same as before, but this time she picks up on the fifth attempt. I tell her that she’s the one for me no matter what. That I love her and I always have that I am trying to fix things but I am weak and need her help. She seems to understand cautiously, but I know she doesn’t. She wants me to stop blubbering down the phone to her. She thinks I’m smashed, which technically, I am.  I fall asleep happy. She knows I have been drinking, she knows I hate myself. She knows that she just has to pretend she’s happy for me to accept that everything’s good.

And as I lay down to bed, that my dear onlookers and scrutinisers, is that.

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