After the last 5 months of study, freelance and generally ridiculous levels of work, I’m now having some down time. These are my stories.

Lately, I’ve been doing sweet FA. Literally. This weekend I didn’t leave the house. Come to think of it, I haven’t left the house in nearly a week. It’s allowed me to reacquaint myself with the one I cherish most dearly. Stout.













I bought myself a couple of cartons of a premium drop, and a few nice pint glasses. I also bought a heater and stocked up on political magazines and newspapers. I like to have a pint before midday, just to take the edge off the morning. In order to extract the maximum amount of time with each serving, I drink it very slowly. I gaze longingly into the glass after each sip, gently swirling the liquid, watching the bubbles swim freely in the glass. I then grin and shake my head, ‘It’s great stuff isn’t it. This is great’. It doesn’t matter that I’m alone, I’m happy talking amongst myself when I drink.

After the first pint, I like to take a moment to reflect and give thanks, before I hear a call from the kitchen. ‘I’ll be there in a minute’, I respond. I rise in a very relaxed manner, and slowly head to the kitchen and comply with the request of my dear friend. I slowly pour another drink, intensely watching the liquid fill the glass, paying close attention to the sound it creates. My friend thanks me for my gratuity, and wishes me well with the second serving. ‘Anything for you’, I say.

The pouring of each glass is one of the highlights of the day, because it’s the point at which you are farthest from having finished the glass. It’s like the first day of summer. I head back to my spot on the couch, and begin another newspaper. There becomes a point – usually after the third or fourth pint – at which a threshold of pleasure is crossed, before pleasure-levels experience a slight decline. This is because I begin to feel drunk, instead of beer-happy-tipsy. It is one of the great dilemmas of enjoying a 6.2% drop consistently throughout the course of a day. No matter how much you regulate your intake, the inevitability of drunkenness is impossible to escape.

It is at this point I begrudgingly pause my work to take a nap and sleep it off. The slightly drunk, mid-afternoon, weekday nap is always a delight, after which I gingerly rise to check the latest news developments before opening the fridge. I grin as I see my dear friends jostling amongst each other as they volunteer to do the honours. ‘Relax guys, you’ll all get a turn’. It is at this point I begin to notice the neighbours chatting to each other while pointing at me. They may be saying something like, ‘He sits in there in his pyjamas all day, drinking. I think he’s a junkie’. I scowl at them and close the curtains before returning to my dear friend; the only one who understands me.

At 6:30 my girlfriend comes home. I drunkenly turn to greet her, and slur ‘Fancy a drink, love? I bought two cartons. Loverly drop’. ‘How long have you been drinking?’. ‘Let’s not get bogged down in the specifics, what’s important is…..’, at this point I trail into a blabbering monologue of political diatribe, before she walks straight out again. I sit there in a haze, already having forgotten what just happened. I rise to pour another drink, but fall over, spectacularly crashing into the empty bottles, breaking them to pieces. I look at my dear friends, smashed all over the carpet, and panic. ‘Oh no, what have I done?!’. I drop to my knees, crawling frantically as I try to pick up the fragments of glass, profusely apologising to my dear friends as I attempt to glue them back together. It’s at this point I realise the futility of my attempts, and let out an agonising scream, clutching the smashed bottles against my chest, crying hysterically. I then fall asleep. It’s 8am before I wake up. Disoriented, I roll over, causing my face to press against the shards of glass. Covered in blood, I’m also sweating profusely from the heater, which has been left running all night, as has the news, which is humming in the background. Newspapers and broken bottles are strewn all over the floor. My girlfriend’s phone is switched off; she didn’t come home, again. I slowly clean the mess and begin to compose myself before beginning my day.

I like to have a pint before midday, just to take the edge off the morning. In order to extract the maximum amount of time with each serving, I drink it very slowly…