The drinking cesspool

Annie Mole (Licensed through Creative Commons)

It always begins the same way.

I have one (ten) drink too many, black out or fall asleep, wake up with a pounding headache and a general feeling of hatred (as opposed to the previous night's benevolence) towards humanity and spend the day ruing those last few (many) drinks and my predictable lack of good sense.

Then, I decide to go on a 'detox'. 'Never' is not something I'm brave enough to aim for even in my hangover-ridden state. So I opt for a week-long detox. Assume that this resolve is made on Monday morning.

Monday night. My will stands strong. I go home after work, without as much as a nod of acknowledgement to my favourite Old Monk.

Tuesday dawns, bright and guilt-free. When I get off from work, I find a mischievous thought straying into my mind - 'Just one beer', the thought says. 'One beer at Marine Drive would feel so good and hey, beer has less than five per cent alcohol!' But I ask the thought to go take its wily suggestions elsewhere. I go home once again, alcohol-free. I'm so proud I feel like I've contributed to saving humanity (and maybe I have, considering the things I'm capable of doing when drunk).

Ah, Wednesday. Now that's a tricky day. Because I get off from work early. And that usually means a movie or drinks and dinner with a friend. The evening loses considerable sheen without coke and rum to look forward to.

6 PM. The moment of decision looms nearer and nearer. That stray thought has now multiplied by a million. And all of them have only one thing to say - 'One drink won't hurt!'. My friend compounds matters by slyly suggesting a beer. He knows that's my weakness. One beer. Because of the five per cent alcohol escape clause. And because it lasts longer than a drink.

There is a moment - one moment - when the situation can go either way and then I collapse on the wrong side of the cliff. I give in. That sip of beer goes in - cold, flavourful and oh so satisfying. And I forget about that Sunday night. I forget about my resolve. None of it makes sense. Except the fact that beer by the sea, with a friend in tow is one of the best small pleasures that life has to offer.

Sigh. And that's how it ends. Every damn time.

My resolve never did stand a chance before the lure of light-headed, carefree happiness, otherwise known as alcohol.

It's better that we don't talk about the days following Wednesdays because I'm sure you can guess what happens. One beer turns into two and sometimes joins hands with chocolatey Old Monk. And every successive drink pushes my moral resolve a little further to the door, until it's out altogether. I watch my resolve sigh resignedly and wave me a forlorn goodbye, while I sip away like there's no tomorrow.

By the way, if you're reading this today, it's Tuesday now. So you know what stage I'm at. That's right. No drinking this week. I swear!