Yesterday was Day 63 of my Year Of Living Sober. It was a Thursday. And like any other day of the week I had jobs to do and responsibilities to meet. But come evening time I was ready for a drink. Unfortunately I couldn’t have one. Because, you see, I’m on a self-
inflicted imposed year off drinking.
And here’s the thing: I really miss beer; I miss wine too.
There I’ve said it. I can admit to the fact my Year Of Living Sober has reminded me why I drink alcohol.
Because I love it.
Maybe not in the same way I love my wife or my daughter—or even in the same way I love the sensation of catching a wave and body-surfing all the way to shore—but I do have a soft spot for the spirited stuff (and I’m not talking about paranormal fiction).
But so what? Acknowledging my deep fondness for liquor won’t change my resolve to take a year off boozin’. I just have to frown and bear it. And though I am trying not to be too sulky about it sometimes I think my face tells a different story, a story that begins at about 6pm: baby bath time.
Lately, my wife looks at me sitting all forlorn looking on the bathroom tiles, waiting for her to finish washing our baby, and wonders out loud what’s wrong.
“Nothing,” I say. “Just thinking about my writing.”
“So you’re not feeling like a beer at all?” she might enquire perceptively.
“Maybe,” I reply. “Maybe a little.” Her expression questions my forthcomingness. “Okay, maybe a lot.”
Before I began my YOLS I’d often grab a beer when I finished my day’s writing, which was—and is—generally around the same time Honey Rose is due for her bath. Since my little girl has her bath with my big girl (my wife, Pauli) my job is to remove nappy (from Honey) and deliver naked-leg-kicking-smiley-faced cherub to her mother (who has already run a bath and climbed in). After washing bub is all done I’m responsible for retrieving Honey, drying and dressing her, and combing her hair.
All this I used to do with a beer on the go. Maybe not in my hand, but at least close to. Not anymore though. Nor do I then, once finished with the early evening baby duties, progress to a bottle of wine (invariably red), which I would still be enjoying when I’d take a break to put Honey to bed.
But these days I’ve got no alcoholic lubrication greasing the wheels of the Ninky Nonk Pinky Ponk Night Garden imaginary Daddy train; I’m a straight edge Daddy.
Okay, maybe it is easier—in a way—to do my Daddy tasks stone cold sober (and I don’t have to skip to the loo as often as my beer-drinking self did either) but if I do have a ‘danger time’, a part of the day when I most think about my not-drinking: it’s the end of the day.
By the way, I have tried a non-alcoholic red wine replacement and it’s not the same. Well it is the same: the same as vinegar mixed with fermented pigs blood. Luckily those Cooper’s non-alcoholic beers taste pretty good. Good enough to get me through a Year Of Living Sober I reckon.
Little Booze Joke 63:
How many wine tasters does it take to change a lightbulb? Two. One to change the lightbulb and another to savour the delicate yet bold—subtle yet brilliant—glow characteristic of modern craftsmanship meeting vintage methods.