The sort of conflict I usually find myself in is caused by opening my big mouth before I have engaged the brain in first gear. This is a trait which I have inherited from my mother. From my father, I inherited the tendency to never back down in an argument, and together these two things can be very wearing if taken to extremes on a daily basis.
Anyway, that's enough about me. How about you? What do you think about my latest resolution? (This is an old joke which my late sister was very fond of).
John has written a post about being kind to others, but sometimes it is very difficult to know the best way of going about it.
Last night, a 32 year-old woman came into the pub and asked for a lime and soda. I first met her when she was extremely pretty and engaging, about 10 years ago, also in the pub. Then she began to down pints of rough cider with spirit chasers and quickly started to lose her looks, along with the more appealing aspects of her personality. She is only about 5 foot three inches tall, but even a large man would have difficulty in processing that much alcohol.
The initial signs of her downfall manifested themselves in the way she used sexuality to make up for any other sort of appeal - I mean she used to rub herself up on the nearest man on a nightly basis, and you know how difficult it is for the average elderly man to ignore that sort of thing from a young woman. Believe it or not, I managed it. Beauty is, as they say, from within.
She tried to get herself together by becoming an auxiliary nurse, caring for others. She still drank in her time off, and pretty soon she was in hospital with liver disease. They released her with warnings about lifestyle, but within a year she was back and on a drip again - in the very same hospital.
They put her into a rehab hostel, partly because she lost her flat, and the regime included stringent daily alcohol tests. She told me yesterday that she had failed the last one by taking some cough medicine which showed up as 0.2 units, and was consequently asked to leave. The NHS, like God, helps those who help themselves.
I didn't believe her. Alcoholics always lie. They are always in denial,
As I rolled a cigarette, she lied by saying that she had some tobacco somewhere in the bottom of her bag, but couldn't find it. This was the prompt for me to give her some, which I did.
She ordered another lime and soda, all the while looking longingly at my beer. Then she said she was going to check in to the nearby YMCA before going to the train station to see if anyone had handed in her phone which she had recently mislaid. Or maybe the other way round. Fuck it, she was going to go to the station tomorrow. The phone could wait.
As I left, she ordered a half pint of lager, on the grounds that a half wouldn't do any harm.
"Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Because I like you and I don't want to watch you kill yourself", were my last words before I went home.
I wonder how much she drank last night.