It appears I’m experiencing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned on the revelation that is Pitching the World that I tend to drink now and again. Well if I have – and I suspect I have – then it’s true. I do. For the last fifteen years I’ve drank almost every day and since the summer I’ve drank heavily every day and since my last post I’ve drank like a madman every day. On Saturday, after my New Years Eve celebrations had been going about a week, it all got a bit too much. On early Saturday afternoon I had to drink four cans in 15 minutes just to be able to get on the tube at Finsbury Park. And once I’d got off the tube from Finsbury Park, I had to drink another can to get me on the train at Waterloo. And once I had done that, I had to drink myself to Surrey and then drink myself from the train station at Horsley to my place a mile up the road in East Horsley and then I had to drink myself to sleep. This last bit, in particular, took some effort.
So I’ve decided to give up for a bit. For how long I don’t know, but for a bit. But what does one do when one gives up for a bit? If you’re anything like this one – and bad luck if you are – the options seem limited and terrifying. So far (and it’s been less than 48 hours so far. The bad bits are to come, apparently. The bad bits come in 72 hours) I’ve spent a lot of time walking from room to room and staring at things. I like to have a little shake now and again. I’ve been sweating lots. I’ve become fascinated by how, underneath the boozy exterior, emotionally delicate I am. I’ve been drinking lots of sugary drinks (good, apparently) and trying to take vitamins – though I’ve pretty much forgotten what vitamins are, and unless they’re in cigarettes then I’m not really taking vitamins.
This stuff is small fry though. In 72 hours, when the bad bits come, I can expect the DTs. It turns out the DTs are nowhere near as glamorous and far more dangerous than I had once thought and can lead to convulsions, fits, a stroke, a heart attack and powerful hallucinations involving snakes, spiders, and falling coins. The falling coins in particular strike me as odd, though a lot of things strike me as odd right now.
There is, however, hope. There is always hope. I’ve got responsibilities, you see. My love child, my weird kid in the attack, my darling Pitching the World needs looking after – and what better distraction than a barely-award winning blog that not that many people give a fuck about? What better distraction indeed. So, after a quick check that I’m not seeing any falling coins or snakes (I’m not) and a sugary drink (good, apparently) I open the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook for the first time in a long time. Although I haven’t pitched the publications in there alphabetically – I’ve jumped all over the place pitching whichever magazines appealed or paid the most – I’d carried a feeling around with me that my finest work was on the A’s; that if nothing else, the A’s were looking in good shape. Well they’re not. It appears that I’ve pitched the first six magazines listed in there (Accountancy; Accountancy Age; Accounting & Business; Acumen Literary Journal; Aeroplane Monthly; Aesthetica Magazine) then given up. Next on the list, rather alarmingly, is Africa-Asia Confidential.
I stare at the Africa-Asia Confidential entry for a long time. It seem that Africa-Asia Confidential is concerned with ‘news on the Africa-Asia axis’. I stare at the Africa-Asia Confidential entry for a longer time. I wonder if I know what the Africa-Asia axis is and if I did know what it was then would I know any news about it. I decide that I don’t and I wouldn’t. I’m not even sure if I know what an axis is. I stare again and decide that the best thing to do is stop staring at the Africa-Asia Confidential entry and go and have a sugary drink. Sugary drink drunk and snakes and falling coins not seen, I go back to staring at the Africa-Asia Confidential entry and, after much deliberation, decide that Africa-Asia Confidential can – for now – go and fuck itself. I move on to the next entry.
The next entry, far from hilariously, is Africa Confidential. Africa Confidential is not terribly dissimilar from its counterpart and contains ‘news and analysis of political and economic developments in Africa’. I stare at this entry for a while but not too long, quickly realising that I don’t really know a great deal about political and economic developments in Africa. If I hadn’t spent the last fifteen years drinking, I think, then I might do. But then again, if my nan had wheels she’d be a bicycle.
It’s going to be a bit of a slog, this.