One Worst Drunk

One Worst Drunk

Zero Man


Sometime early 1987, March or April I can’t really recall the dates or times, but I know it was my eldest son’s birthday around that time.

I owned my own Pub then that was on top of a hill, I had been removed from the family home again this was a kind of normal sequence of events that I can look back on and safely say there were two people in this relationship that where sick, and the ones that suffered most was the kids.

The pub had its own office and storage space which I made into an apartment, very basic but still a place to rest my head, I was as usual working behind the bar early evening and enjoying the atmosphere at the time, I had picked up the first drink some three or four weeks previous, hence my present circumstances, Homeless.

As the night went on someone had said that they had been enjoying there kids birthday party early on that day and that it was good to get away from the mayhem in his home as there were kids everywhere, as he says this it came into my mind that my son’s birthday was due soon or had passed. I could not remember clearly as I had lost track of time.

I knew that I was surrounded by regular customers some I would like to have called friends, but as time passed by I knew they were only drinking buddies some of them sicker than me, with a lot more problems than me, time has taught me this as there is a number of them dead now, especially the barman T, he died last year of Alcoholism, nice wee guy but would take the fillings out of your teeth.

As the night went on I remember picking up the phone and dialing my home number, one of the boys answered and shouted mammy dads on the phone, she said very abruptly what do you want, I said I have got a present for T’s birthday, a racing bike.

This was a bike that one of the customers said that he would sell me, during the conversation we were having, when I told him that it was my son’s birthday soon as well, he took advantage of a situation that allowed him to off load something that he no longer has use for, and he could make a few bob.

She went mental on the phone saying are you f—–g mental we need food not a f—–g racing bike, I was raging there was me trying to do what I believed to be right and was shot down in flames, she said don’t come near the house with the bike or else, or else meant locked doors or the cops, she always threatened me with the cops but only once called them.

In my drunken state I was adamant that my son would have his birthday present that night come what may, the more time went by the more I was proud of the bike, yer man went to his house and brought the bike into the pub to let me see it, it was a cracker.

After a few more drams I thought it was time to go and give my son his gift, all the boys Were wishing me well on my journey, looking back on this incident I know most of them were winding me up and thinking that all this was a laugh, what a fucking laugh.

As I left the pub I could see the town about 1,000 ft below, thinking to myself I will be there in no time here goes, I through the leg over and start to pedal softly at first, then all of a sudden I can feel the road slipping by me faster and faster, f–k me I can’t stop this thing, it’s too steep a hill the bike has a mind of its own.

I start to swerve all over the road the next thing I remember people looking down at me, I am in agony I just ran into a lamp post, the bike is a right off, my ribs are broken in three or four places my shoulder is cracked my jaw is stinging with force I hit the ground and slid on to the grass, my clothing is ruined and my pride is in tatters.

As a result of this latest episode in my life I needed hospital treatment for injuries sustained, my son to this day has never got his present, the kids laughed at Dad crashing the bike, and this episode was cast up to me in numerous occasions thereafter.

The long term result of this was that I was off work for six weeks, I was facing a drunk driving charge, this was eventually dropped, and again I promised never again would Alcohol pass my lips, sympathy was poured on me and was allowed back into the house to mend, all the usual promises were made to myself and my family, I also promised myself to bar the C–t that sold me the bike, that’s the only one I kept.

What did I learn out of this incident, at the time, the joke was that I would buy a three wheeler; this was to cover up my shame and stupidity, but deep down I knew time was catching up with me, changes would have to be made but I could not see a way out.

My Alcoholism allowed me to think for a brief moment, that this was the last no more, this was not the worst of my escapades’ only another one on a different day, what made this one different was the fact that I was trying to be a parent in the middle of insanity, trying to show that I could be a proper father in a haze of booze, I could not see the obvious signs in front of me.

I was blind to the obvious, all my efforts were in vain not just in this incident but in all others before and after, I was to have another two or three major incidents in this pub before I sold up and rejoined A A, today I am twenty Four years sober, clean and gambling free.

The shame that I brought on my-self and on my family was side stepped by the notion that it would be a seven day wonder; they would be talking about someone else next week and not me, the convenient memory at its best

Addiction can not be cured, but addiction can be arrested one day at a time. Through the help of the Bill W Club, my days are much more enjoyable and the freedom to choose my way of life and not have addiction choose it for me is nothing short of miraculous.

Zero Man