About 7 years ago, one of the real good memories I have is of me and my closest friend outside my family, Chooch. We went on a holiday down to the border in Belleek to do a bit of fishing. As usual, all I did was drink and Chooch could always keep up with me, but he always went to his work and never let drink come before the important things in life, though drink did affect his life sometimes.
I am telling this wee story as I learnt in these couple of days a few things about alcohol. I was off the drink for a while and back then, I knew the evils of drink and the way its evil demons work. Chooch and I always, even to this day, love challenging each other’s intellect. He always thinks he’s right (usually is…lol). But in these couple of days he learnt he was wrong this time, and I learnt that evil drink is a smart, conniving bastard.
Chooch was adamant anyone could have a couple of drinks and well, alcoholism wasn’t a disease, so anyone can have a few drinks and leave it the next day. I argued like fuck that wasn’t true, and that alcoholism was a disease, and when you are an alcoholic you can’t have a mouthful, never mind a pint. I knew that this week something wasn’t right and by fuck, I was right in so many ways.
It started when we booked in and the hotel manager was offering to drive us to the best fishing spots. People are nice, but this kant was too fucking nice. Chooch convinced me that people down there were like that, so I left it at that. We were still having the argument about alcoholism and getting nowhere close to even middle ground. That night there was some sort of party on so I had already decided I was off to the party.
I was not going to drink, just relax and see what the talent was like!! We were down first. Chooch got his pint, I got my coke and was enjoying myself.
The first people were starting to arrive, and I just knew something was about the way these people were dressed. They looked and dressed like they had been time warped there from the 1970s with the funny-looking suits and mustaches like porn stars…lol. My “something isn’t right” radar was screaming its head off. In the end, I just put it down to they were all border farmers or something. By now I was craving for a pint, and my demons wanted to come out to play. They were telling me everything I wanted to hear: “Maybe Chooch is right. I can have a couple. I’ll be okay. More confidence. Easier to approach the girls. I’ll enjoy myself more. I won’t be as paranoid about this crowd.” The demons won that night. I got a pint and within an hour I had about 10 in me!!
Now my paranoia was worse, the girls weren’t on my head, I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore. I wanted to punch people. Everything wasn’t fun anymore. I was drunk and thought I was having fun, but I wasn’t. Anyway, I was drunk and I didn’t care and drunk what I could get down my neck.
Now this crowd was doing my fucking head in. A raffle was done and the numbers were drawn and I won. I was asked to come up and get my prize. I got up to the stage, gave my ticket over, the man checked it, and I had the wrong fucking ticket — all eyes on me. I felt so embarrassed now, I hated these bastards even more.
The night went on. I got drunker and was paranoid as anything about these people. Something wasn’t right to me. Now they started playing fucking Irish shite, jigs, and were singing Republican songs. I said to Chooch, I am getting the fuck outta here, but he convinced me we were so close to the border and this was normal. Drunk, I didn’t care, and stayed.
The night came to an end and a fellow took to the stage and says, “I would like to thank our comrades from Belfast and the Sein Fein Party for using our hotel for their annual party meeting.” All night I had been at a fucking IRA/Sein Fein party!! I thought there and then I was getting kidnapped and executed. I think I shit myself, and if I thought it could not get any worse, they played their soldier song, the final song they always play. I stood up with the rest of the about 200 people there, trying to blend in, and looked over at Chooch and he fucking doesn’t get up!! To this day, I don’t know why, as he couldn’t beat his sister, lol. I didn’t care. It was the fucking IRA and I wasn’t getting shot dead, lol. He puts it down to bravery. Today, I put it down to being paraletic and stupid. It wasn’t a Boy Scout meeting that night. It was a fucking IRA party. Anyway, I learnt a couple things that night.
An alcoholic can’t have one mouthful of alcohol, because the next morning I was down at the bar getting a drink and was back on that downhill to nowhere but Hell hill. No matter who you’re with, even your best friend, the choice to drink is up to yourself. No one puts it down your neck.
Alcoholism is a disease. The demons will always be there trying to get out to play and always telling you what you want to hear. Always trust your instincts and you can enjoy yourself truthfully without alcohol. Alcohol heightens your fears.
Also, I am smarter than Chooch, too. My mate never agrees with anything we argue about, but now he does believe in alcoholism, and I was right that night, the only time he has agreed with me!
Looking back now it was probably the scariest, now funniest night of my life.
July 2, 2017