Four Years Sober
Four years without a drink, a blackout or a hangover
5th April 2011 - Shoreditch, London.
I slip into consciousness.
I’m in a dark basement and a girl is screaming. I can smell vomit.
“Where’s my goddamn coat? I need my goddamn coat! Someone stole my coat! Who stole my coat?!”
Whoever she is, I wish she’d shut up. My head hurts and her screaming is piercing.
It takes me three minutes to realise I'm the girl who is screaming and I'm wearing the missing coat in question.
It's also slowly coming to my attention that I can’t quite remember my own name. But for the moment, I have more pressing concerns to deal with. I need a drink, and I’m going to be sick.
I’m wearing a French black rollneck cashmere dress. I unroll the rollneck and vomit into the folds. It's totally irresistible even when covered in vomit.
Stomach contents taken care of, I trip up the stairs in search of a drink, still wondering what my name might be. I’m sure it begins with L, but I can't quite be sure.
I see salvation. The bar is in sight.
Vodka. I’ll have a vodka. Just get me a vodka. Another vodka. Actually whilst you’re at it make it a double. No a triple. No mixer, just ice. Just give me the goddamn vodka. The bottle will do. Now. Hurry the hell up. Please. Thank you. So very kind.
I don’t know whether I’m speaking out loud, or to myself.
It doesn’t seem to matter. The vodka is being poured and soon blissful relief will be mine.
“You’ve had enough,” says the barman, but hands the drink over anyway.
“Enough? Too much is never enough,” I throw my head back and laugh, slipping into the crowd with my triple vodka on ice.
It doesn’t take me long to spot the boy I need. He’s sitting in the corner, between the toilets and the cigarette machine. Maybe he’ll be able to tell me my name.
He holds my hand and pulls me onto his knee. We kiss. I taste stale sick, cheap vodka and cigarettes. I hope he hasn’t noticed the vomit all over my French rollneck dress. If he has, he doesn’t seem to care.
“What’s my name?” I ask.
“I dunno, but I’m going to take you home.”
“Damn. Not until you tell me my name.”
He pours his drink into mine and kisses me.
I forget about my name. Who cares? He’s got vodka.
My world goes black.
On 5th December 2015 I celebrated four years without an alcoholic drink, a blackout or a hangover. In that period, I haven't once forgotten my own name.