I drank far too much last night. With no plans to talk of I drove to the local shop, picked up four large bottles of beer and some BBQ crisps and settled down to an evening of laziness. I can't tell you how good it felt.
I've not drank like that at home for months. Not since my marriage collapsed in January.
Strange things happen when I drink alone. I twist and turn in my mind and switch between being totally comfortable with the situation and one of terrible loneliness. At one point I sent a message to all of my close friends telling them how much I value their friendship and miss them. I got replies. Good replies. In a heartbeat I'd flicked from a sense of desperation and solitude to one of feeling loved. Wanted.
Full of happiness and feeling entirely comfortable in my own company I sent a message to my Mum telling her that I love her and that I was happy. I never do this. I text but I never say "I love you". I was pleased I'd done that. The reply came quickly. A very happy Mother on the other end of the line.
By now I was through the beer and drinking Jack Daniels. I was hunched over the laptop scouring the web for inspiration for a scene I was looking to complete in my story. A switch flicked. It was probably a mistake looking back. I should have ignored the damned computer. But it was too late. I'd had it in my mind that I should research and that's just what I did. My mood altered. All of that elation and feeling of delight and comfort evaporated. I was thrown back in to misery.
"Is this IT? Is this my f*cking life now? Has everything that I've worked so damned hard for really come to this?"
I remember clearly sitting with tears cascading down my face.
It was only as I gave it all up as a bad job and retired to bed that I said the one thing that made the entire evening worthwhile.
"This IS my life. This IS my life now. This is who I am, who I was always going to be."
The protagonist in my story now utters these very words at roughly the midway point in the story. No longer in fear. No longer desperate or anxious. He accepts his fate and leaves the past firmly behind him. What's the point in dwelling on it. Only the road ahead counts now.