My relationship with alcohol since losing M reminds me of the joke my Dad tells:
Fred: I drink to forget.
Jim: Forget what?
Fred: …I’ve forgotten.
Someone, somewhere, must have done a study into the relationship between alcohol consumption and bereavement. The level of shit one is going through at any given time is inversely proportional to the amount of wine drunk, and the sudden loss of a soul mate must be up there with the worst of the shit. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been an enthusiastic booze-guzzler (it’s genetic), but a bottle a night doesn’t now seem to touch the sides.
School pick-up comes around and I feel my taste buds agitating for the Rioja which I know is sitting on the kitchen bench back home. I do, however, wait until 5pm to start drinking – any earlier would seem indecent, especially on a weeknight. Perhaps even more indecent is the televisual viewing legacy I face the next day – I turn the box on and find the last channel it was tuned into was QVC. Or worse still, the one showing Alan Carr.
Drinking doesn’t make me forget, but it releases endorphins which make me believe I can cope with the enormity of the loss. Oddly, wine consumption brings a clarity of thought which is absent during the day. By morning though, I’ve forgotten what I was so clear about the night before and find myself referring to this blog to find out what the fuck I’m on about.