I can’t drink anymore; I really have run the course of that one. I don’t wanna stop; it’s fucking hard to stop. The pains are getting worse. It takes five fucking days and a visit to the hospital to recover now. How long is it? I’m 39, started about 15/16, long fucking time. I love it. It’s part of my life, can’t imagine not drinking. I sit here with broken fingers this time, the times before there have been broken ribs when I was pushed over by a taxi driver in Austria. Lungs fucked up by smoke inhalation when I burnt my friend’s house down. That’s the thing, it’s about being there, being in the ‘buzz’, the ‘scene’ whatever you wanna call it, you have to be there, even the shittiest bar in the back streets of Birmingham or Lisbon, it doesn’t matter where it is. The shittiest bar becomes cool, like being played out in some beat poet movie or a documentary of an underground punk band or we are revolutionaries plotting…. None of this matters of course. As you can see I’m rambling, rambling because I’m fucking hungover. This is the kind of shite you say to yourself when you feel like this. This is the crap that roams around your head. It comes thick and fast, then you get scared. Scared of stopping, of not being able to do all these things any more. Of not being cool, of not being where it’s ‘at’. Where it’s fucking ‘at’, exactly who knows? Where it’s fucking ‘at’ ain’t my idea of where it’s fucking ‘at’, do you know what I mean? The ‘at’ on TV, in the papers, in the fucking private members bars in Soho, that’s not where I think it’s ‘AT!’ At all! Pretentious wankers, talentless, so-called underground artists and lad mag middle-class pricks trying to slum it with the lads, whilst smoking cigars in a private club. Look how fucking mad are we? You’re not mad at all! You’re fucking twats! The thing is I hate those cunts, cus they are only playing at it. Only doing it so everyone can see them doing it or read about how wild they are. If you really go for it, really live the Bukowski way, you don’t need recognition cus if you really go for it, live it, you have no time to write for a poxy mag, write about all those adventures, you’re too busy doing it. Only middle class university tossers do all that, the writing bit. Working class kids or blokes, who can live it and ‘DO’ something as well, form a band. I can’t sleep without some booze to bring it on, then only for a short while, then the pain hits, the shakes begin, but most of all the fucking pain in your head. The fucking panic. The nausea, well not nausea, the dry retching of bile. Drink some so called medicinal water then, exocet it up, smoke, then throw up. Wank every half hour. My dick’s swelled up now, it has sores on it, but still a moments fantasy takes my haggled, fucked up brain away, somewhere else for a while, until you finish then, then you go all fucking sweaty and you spin, tremor, the wall goes. Your arse goes, you shit liquid from both ends, swagger on the bog, acid in your arse, you can only get up from the pulsating growing piles to gag at the sink again. Nice huh? 4 or maybe 5, what the fuck can you do? Read? Been reading for hours, everything, it blurs your head for a while. Tea? The Czechs swear by it. Flu? Tea! Delirium shakes, oh tea!!! Broken fucking leg! Tea! Can’t see this out, the non-stop beckons, twenty more fags, half bottle of vodka, these are better than the morning shops, no queues, just a kiosk, smiley bloke, no questions, no baskets filled with bread you won’t eat. Why do I only buy one bottle and one pack of fags? I think, that I think, that if I just have this one, I’ll feel better. Wrong! Manage to get to the supermarket, after vomiting liquids while walking, trying to do it discreetly. Discreetly! Welcome to my bender! What to do? How the fuck can I get out of this? What day is this? 7th? 8TH? Feel a little better, only drank a little, go for a walk, it’s afternoon now. Get a video, not porn, well maybe one! Just stop for a little beer and maybe a Beckorovka, that should take the edge off the day. That’s how I lie to myself, feel better for about 20 mins. Stop off for another beer and a chaser. Now the initial well being, bought on by the first drinks, is wearing off!!! More bars, then the supermarket. 4 litres of wine and maybe a little vodka and a few beers. After ten days I start to go a bit mad. The old map of the world, according to the communist party, that fills the wall opposite my now messed up sweat and smell ridden and uncomfortable duvet, has starting to have faces that move. Greenland is now the north god of the wind and Canada is just an ugly Tolkien demon appearing in the sky. I start to go too shaky, too sweaty, too panicky. I can’t do it again! I have to get out. It’s worse outside. The Shalina thunders past, too loudly. There are too many people here on the streets. I’m retching too much. I can’t face another moronic cashier girl chewing gum, not bothering to try to understand my Czech. Maybe I should complement their slippers more often. I need help, fast, this will not pass, I’m going to go into a coma. I’m gonna fucking die! I got my neighbours out of bed and they called an ambulance. They tried to calm me down with offers of tea. Anyway, the bottom line was my friends listened; I needed to go to a hospital. I’d been bad before, you know a few detoxies on the way, but this, this was something else. Get me to a fucking hospital! So, we pull into a walled Chateaux; gardens, statues, little wooden summerhouses. There are colossal buildings, beautiful and imposing. Like the kind of places the Nazi elite would meet for formal functions. There are also barrack huts and old functional buildings that look like they hold canteens that feed hundreds of workers, huge pipes, steam rising and crows, loads of them on the lawns, squawking in an evil way, flying from statue to summer house but usually just tottering around on the lawns, like their walking with there hands behind their backs and are telling me ”You’re finally here then? We’ve been waiting for you. It was ‘The Shining’ mixed with an old film of the Siberian gulags. . Through the doors I went. There was just a fading yellowy, walled, wide corridor with adjoining rooms. A couple of guys were slowly, purposelessly shuffling up and down. One was too skinny and had wild-knotted black hair to go with his off-yellow skin. He blended in well with the walls actually! He had the empty wide stare that you see in all the films of nut jobs! I was expecting a big fucking Indian to start sweeping the corridor very soon. The other guy was a fairly normal looking young blonde guy, combed hair, but with an intelligent squint and he held on to himself with his elbows as he shuffled along. He scared me more than the plainly off-his-fucking-trolley seen-him-in-every-film-about-New-York when-a-street-nutter-is-needed geezer! Jesus Christ! The last thing you need really, when your body’s breaking down and your head’s completely fucked, is to come to a place like this! Maybe I made a mistake coming here! Now, the papers have been signed! Shit! I’m in their hands now! Maybe I could’ve fought it off after a couple of days. Paranoia, vomiting, tremors and general head gone-ness could have been fought off in a better environment than this! Stab! More thick custard takes an age to get through the fat in my arse. ”Fuck!” “Does it hurt”? Give me your hand to bite on to blunt the pain and I’ll give you back a half-eaten hand! So, I’ve got drugs going in at one end and blood coming out of my arms at the other. I am made to strip and everything on me is taken away. I’m dressed in creamy brown heavily starched pyjamas with a red star on it! Now of course all sorts of images go racing through my fucked, but mellowing head — Stalinist work camps, Gestapo prisons! The drugs are having some effect! I’m given my cigs and lighter! Things are looking up! I thank my brother-in-law and the doors are locked behind him. That’s it then! I ain’t never getting out of here! I was taken to my room. Shit! They had put me in with the young psycho! Two beds, two bedside tables and cameras. That was it! Oh ye! And a big flask of tea! There was a toilet, with no lock and a big window for people to peer in! I was given another shot in the arse. I sort of slept, at last! I drifted in and out of mad dreams, waking to find that I was actually in a mad dream. What time is it? I got up, and tried the door; it opened onto a deserted corridor. All doors were closed. There was only the muffled sound coning from the half closed door of the doctor/nurses room, the rest all shut up. Where have all the nutters gone? A shout for Dinner woke me and I shuffled down the hall to meet my new comrades…I was starving actually! I was given a roll and some cocoa, “Only this for you I’m afraid!” The others didn’t have a lot more anyway, marg and ham to go on their rolls and some cakes to follow. People took their plates and mugs and retired into a room at the end of the corridor. I followed suit. There were two dining tables and a couple of easy chairs and a few shelves of books, piles of Readers Digests and a TV! There were about eight guys of various ages and obvious fucked-upness. There was a good-looking young guy, about 25 or so, who was in a bad way. He was having difficulty holding anything and his eyes showed obvious signs of panic and paranoia. There was one woman about fifty, small, broken-veined skin, obviously drugged up to her eyeballs and obviously mad as a hatter. You can tell. The eyes say it all. She looked at me and the look behind the drugs said nothing, the brain was on stand-by. People ate in silence and glared at some talk show on the TV. Funnily enough, some famous Czech people were sitting around in a mock mountain cottage, telling anecdotes and funny stories connected with drinking! You see! Here you’re a character if you get pissed, a teller of fine tales. There’s a thin line though, I myself think I am no mean teller of fine drinking tales. Told whilst my flock gather round and consume both the stories and the common denominator! But, like I say, there’s a thin line, and maybe this hairy tale makes for a good drinking tale, it gets you in the end! Eventually people drifted off to the shower room, and smoked. Some sat sullenly on a small bench, some stood. I stood and looked through the barred windows trying to get some idea of my surroundings. “My name’s Nick, I’m from England, I’m sorry but my Czech is bad when I speak, but I can understand very well.” Fuck all! Couple of nods. The good-looking shaker was scavenging for dog-ends in the ashtray. “Please have one.” He couldn’t take the fag. I put it in his hand and held my lighter for an age for him to shake himself into a position to be able to suck a light quickly! A small stocky guy spoke! Intelligent looking but weather-beaten at the same time. A certain dignified air, a round face coupled with a slightly larger than normal hooter. This is typical of the look of a Moravian intellectual. A mountain man in his heart, they like to think, but a farmer really, with the experience and culture of the city. “So you’re Polish are you?” “No, English!” Where did he get Polish from? Either my Czech is great, because he mistook my accent for another Slavic tongue or it’s so crap that he understood nothing. The first explanation pleased me! “English! London?” “Birmingham, the second city. The biggest after London. Most people think that it’s Manchester or Liverpool, but no, it’s Birmingham.” I do this often. “Birmingham! Very fine Orchestra, no?” “What? Ere yes I suppose so, erm, why do you say so?” “ What is your job? I am a chorister for the Brno Orchestra.” “Really?!” “Yes, it is my job, I have played in many fine cities, but never Birmingham.” “Well, that’s cus it’s not that fine a city really, you know, industrial city. Well it was, you know? Before Thatcher!” I spit on the floor, which always raises a laugh. “Why are you in here?” I say. “Not a good question. Do not ask these people this question!” “Sorry!” “Well, it was the music you see? It just started going round and round in my head, too much! Like an explosion…Boom!” He was gesturing with his hands a lot. He didn’t seem crazy. Too much classical music sent ya mad did it? Understandable! He never mentioned if it was coupled with booze, but I think so. My guess is that, obviously he’s in a band, OK a classical band, but it’s still rock and roll! Musicians all, mad boozers! You can see it can’t you? Years of frustration, singing other peoples songs. You never get singer-songwriters in classical music do you? Well, maybe Mozart, but most classical musicians must be bloody really frustrated. It’s worse than some local band in a pub playing covers from the sixties! I mean these guys are playing tunes written hundreds of fucking years ago. Oh, You can feel the frustration, the sense of lack of fulfilment. And after the show? On a cold February night in some dead end, one Kino town. In the Old town hall. Local blue-suited bureaucrats, old musty fur-coated wives in tow. Well, you’d get pissed wouldn’t ya? I returned to bed with piles of Readers Digests. The ‘in-mates’ proceeded in general moping about in the hall and running to evacuate their bowels in various loos, often the one in our room. I got up a couple of times and smoked and nodded a lot. Tried to watch some TV, but just watched the withered old factory worker type of guy, pissing himself laughing at some stupid game show. I was restless and nervous and couldn’t stop shitting, where it came from I’m not sure, but it came! At about nine, we were administered drugs, loads of them! The lights were dimmed and we were told to sleep! I waved goodnight to the audience and drifted into oblivion. We were woken early. New nurses, pretty too, but still just as bolshy. We were ordered out of bed. Ordered into the smoking/shower room and ordered to strip and wash. Which I did under the eyes of a nice intellectual looking blonde nurse who looked on nonchalantly, smoking a lot. Our uniforms were thrown into a pile, later to be burned or starched to death. The array of bodies in differing states of decay was a bit too much for that time of the morning. But need less to say, I ended up showering next to The Lurch, the guy I first saw endlessly pacing the corridor when I arrived. His skin was grey and it flapped in places where muscle should have been. He had lesions all over his body and his belly was bloated like a little African boy full of Mealy Meal. We were allowed to shave, when they eventually found the key to the cupboard that held anything remotely dangerous, like razors and toothbrushes, and we were watched meticulously. We all stood there for what seemed an age, waiting to be suited, all naked. No one bothered to hide their bits. What’s the point when you’ve watched someone evacuate their bowels in the doorless toilet? There was little point in modesty. No one spoke we just looked! At nothing in particular, just waiting for the first fag of the day. Our first intake of a substance. Duly suited, the others breakfasted on porridge, juice, rolls, cheap meat paste and coffee and other specific foods individually targeted. I could have partaken too, but obviously nobody had bothered to check on what a fucked up pancreas and liver can and cannot take. I had had some experience, though not of this magnitude, so I self controlled my dietary intake by having black tea and dry bread. A bit like what they had given me for dinner anyway. The young guy looked better, his shaking had subsided and he was devouring his breakfast like a weary traveller. I offered my left over food, which he took gratefully and quickly, before he was captured. I now realised I had no fags left, after offering them around to the needy yesterday. A male nurse came round and took orders. Newspapers, chocolate and cigs. “And what time does this guy bring all this stuff?” He spoke a little English. “I give him your wants now and he go take them here at, maybe eleven!” Eleven! Three or four hours away. Shit. People drifted into the shower room and puffed away. “You want cigarette?” The musician came to my rescue. “Please! I’ll give you them back when the man comes.” “No mind, take many. Tell me, in England there are much money for working?” “Depends on the kind of job you do.” I then talked and talked to willing listeners, even Lurch seemed to have a light on. It was like being in a pub, meeting new friends. People had come to life. Guys started to shake hands with me and introduce themselves. The young guy Radek, my room mate Lubos, The musician Vladslav. I talked and acted out the words when I couldn’t remember the Czech “Worker, blue collar, (Mimed some manual task) good money!” They proceeded to ask questions. “How much cigarettes?” “How much a teacher earn?” “How much a beer?” “Why are you here?” “You like Czech beer?” “I am from…” and so on and so on. Soul mates. In it together. It was like everyone had arrived the same day on the same prison bus and had been cautious at first, as anybody would be, but had now dropped their guard. Why? The drugs? Was everyone better now? Had we all been on the same bender, but obviously in our own versions of it? Had we all bombed at the same time? Vladslav pissed the nurse off asking for something from the cupboard. He went to the TV room with his bowl and bag of goodies. There was a chat with the nurse and he was left alone. I pretended to look at the books. He had a fucking electric razor. One of those big ones that a barber uses on the back of your neck. He had been here a long time that was clear, or a lot of times before. To be trusted with such a weapon! I lay on the bed. A pile of doctors came in. I listened to some woman rabbiting on about me. The head doc with her pupils. I grasped the gist. “Yes and this is an Englishman, he has a bad liver and pancreas and has been drinking too much and he’s heads gone! You can see here on the charts. And what do the tests reveal to us?” “His insides are kaput!” A bright spark! “Yes yes, and what shall we give him in this situation?” “Custard! Into the arse?” “Correct!” “Loads of drugs injected and into the mouth, to stop the tremors and make him sleep?” “You’ll go far, but you are all forgetting one vital thing!” Dumb looks all round. “Tea!” There were nods of understanding and they waltzed off. A real Doc came and explained loads of stuff to me. And gave me a choice, they would like to keep me here for some time, but are worried about the cost for me. “So, we would give you the possibility of going to our regular ward. This is not intensive care, but you will get the same treatment as here and it’s cheaper.” “Good, good, when do I go?” “After lunch, and now we will get more blood and give you more drugs, your liver is very bad!” I listened as Lubos was advised and thanked and wished good luck. He had been here some time then! And was leaving today. I peered into the TV room; Vladslav had completely shaved not only his beard, but also the whole of his head and was onto his chest when the nurse took the razor off him. He grinned at me with pride, and was satisfied with his work! An action of defiance! I dozed, lunched and then said goodbye to a few over a cigarette. There was no change of e-mail addresses; no “We should meet up sometime, maybe for dinner?” I was given my civilian clothes and my valuables were checked off. Then unlocked the doors and a fat woman nurse led me to pastures new. I had left behind. What? I still did not know why any of the guys was in there! I can only guess! I was led through a maze of steaming alleys, the backside of hospital kitchens, iron stairwells and load laundries. We then came into what seemed like the grounds of a châteaux. Again, like the building I had first encountered, it had ornate little wind-weary statues and wooden garden tea-houses, which may be lovely in the summer, but now gave a desolate feel to the place. We entered the châteaux, and wound our way up the wide curved stairwell to the third floor. We entered a sort of waiting room, with a couple of benches and racks of huge blue and off green sturdy workmen’s coats. Underneath which were a diverse array of ex-army and farming boots, I then passed into a very long room, down the middle of which were drab dining tables and chairs. Off to the side were what seemed like a huge amount of closed doors. I waited as the nurse passed masses of paperwork onto a bemused, put out, white suited, slippered assortment of docs and helpers. I watched the room. There were a few guys changing into outside clothes, chatting away happily. A Chinese looking guy, mumbling to himself as he listened to a walk-man. A couple of the usual walking Zombies, getting in a few lengths and activity. People came and went through constant opening and closing doors. The far door, out, seemed extra busy. I was pricked, prodded and administered once again. And kitted out with a new red uniform, still as starchy but with a different symbol, a yellow moon. I was shown my room, a large long annex to the main one. There were five beds, head to head on the one side and three on the other. People had side tables and there were locked wall wardrobes. There was more of a homely feel about this place. There were books and fruit and toiletries around each occupant’s little cosy den. My bed was near the barred window, through which I could watch the kitchen staff at work and at smoke outside. I was given a tour. I was given a towel and made to shower. There were only three showers. I was shown the bogs there were only two, and they smelt. I had already gathered that there must be at least fifty inmates in on this wing. That’s a lot of loose bowel movements. Half way down the room there was an annex. A large room with benches all around and a fish tank dividing the two rooms. In the middle was a small pool table. A bookcase and a view of the gardens, but little else. The recreation room? There was a comfortable telly room and a kitchen. The good-looking nurse went through her ritual of giving info, about times and procedures, rules and regulations. I nodded a lot, but grasped about half of what she was on about. I’d wait; the rules they give are always interpreted differently by the ones who must obey them. The far busy door way lead to the smoking area. I thanked the looker and lit up. This was not a room but a stop off on the stairwell. It was dark and smelly. There was a table with three chairs and various bins filled to overflowing with fag ends, blackened banana skins and empty biscuit packets. Various pockets of people were sitting on the stairs, a middle-aged man, broken-veined face, was talking quietly to his bedraggled wife. Making promises he might not be able to keep? The three chairs were occupied by the ‘daddies’ of the smokers and maybe the ward. They talked a lot. “You are English I think, do you speak French?” A young guy, a left over punk/heavy metaler, spoke to me in some sort of French. “Qui, a petite poi!” I made the mistake of answering in French. He then let fly in a mish-mash of languages, French and German, which I could grasp only a little of. I tried to explain. In French: “Look, my French is a bit bad, but yours, I cannot understand at all!” In Czech: “I can speak Czech, it would be better if you talked in Czech!” He added Czech words to his mish-mash. This guy was a hundred miles an hour! Was he on speed? Why hadn’t they given him drugs to calm him down? Everyone else looked as if they were spaced out and I was chilled. “Birmingham! Black Sabbath, UB40, Aston Villa!” “Yes, all shit, although UB40 are all right and good guys, joined in the riots, did a lot of stuff for the miners and the printers and still live in the same area, put a lot into the local community and some of their music is ok!” Did he understand me? “2GBH, old punk group, do you remember them? I played with them!” This came out as “I was in them”. “You were the singer in GBH? I loved them! Yes, I recognise you!” I do/did/used to bear a slight resemblance to the singer. “No, I was a singer with a band who played with GBH!” This came out all wrong, again. I had only confirmed his query. He then went off on one, in French mainly. “Tell me about punk! Why are you here?” And more. He then rolled off a list of bands he thought were good. “Exploited!” “Comic punks!” “Judas Priest!” “Also from Brum, but heavy metal shit!” “Nirvana!” “American! Few good songs. Nothing original, and he was a tosser, so alternative that he blew his fucking head off! Wanker!” He looked shocked but laughed. He then took me on a tour and introduced me to people and gave me advice. “They lock the smoking door at 9.00, the TV room at 9.30. But we can meet up and smoke in the toilets.” Oh joy! We were called to dinner. Each table had paper nametags on them. Each table also had a dinner monitor, like at school, who brought water and cutlery and poured coffee or chocolate or tea. The dinner ladies, just like school, went along and looked at their sheets and checked them with the nametags and gave out the appropriate grub. I was given some clear soup and a roll, which was what I needed, but I didn’t need the heavy goulash and dumplings for second course. Did these people have no concept of diet? Did they have any idea of the pain that goulash and dumplings would lead too? Liver and Pancreas take a battering from Czech country cooking at the best of times, but mine are now fucked! Don’t they know this? I gave it away to my astonished but happy sullen faced co-diners. One guy gave me an apple. We all helped clear the tables and some guys did the washing up. There was clearly a router for different jobs etc. Back, to a now-crowded, smoking landing. Radek, I had found out his name somehow. Had soaped his hair into a mohawk, and very excitedly introduced me to some hard looking guys, who held court around the table. They spoke in Czech, wanted to know why I was living here, how much was a beer in England, and how much did people get paid? I went on my usual rant. They listened. We argued, Radek spoke French. I watched T.V. for a bit. Some action film and grabbed a last fag before the door was locked. I was given my drugs and told to go to bed. I could read, we had bedside lights. I read a few readers digests. My roommates were all away with the fairies. I slipped out to the toilet. The main room was quit, empty and dimly lit, a bright light squeezed through the half closed door, behind which could be heard gossiping and giggling. Radek’s mohawk poked out from round his door. He gestured a smoking action. I nodded, he nodded in the direction of the toilets. I gave him a few fags and we lit up. This was like Tom Brown’s school days! He sat in one cubicle, I in the other. He whispered away in his unfathomable French, I whispered back in Czech. A nurse came in as I was standing smoking at the sink. She was about to give me a bollocking when she realised that I was the foreign guy, and stopped. She then turned to Radek and had a big argument with him. I slinked off to bed, and thankfully dropped off. Woken at 5.30ish. Long line of guys at the showers, new uniforms. Long line of guys to the drugs room. Blood pressure and heart beat taken. Breathalysed for signs of booze! And where would I get that from exactly? Drugs given. We sat for breaky. My table looked on excitedly for signs of extra grub coming their way. I didn’t oblige. Bread and Jam, porridge and a banana. My appetite was coming back. Some went outside. I quizzed one of the hard looking guys. “What is this place?” “Alcohol rehabilitation unit.” “How long have you been here?” “Three months.” “Three months! Fuck! How you feeling?” “Much better. I am able to do my business now.” I didn’t ask what business, it wasn’t the asked thing! “It is a good place, but there are some guys who should not be here. Some of them need different care.” I went back into the main room. The guy, who had been pacing up and down since I had been here, had now sat down and he was crying. There was a guy in the fish room, writing and reading. Studying for a computer course. On the wall there were leaflets and wall-charts about diets and foods and parts of the body. Recipes for dishes, the recommended daily intake of fruit and veg and a recipe for a drink. A Caribbean punch. Fruit, sugar, spices and RUM! My wife came, we sat in the waiting room, I introduced her to the computer student and Radek, well he introduced himself and went off, not realising that we were having a serious discussion with tears. In French: “Radek, will you please fuck off!” He understood my French for the first time! The top Doctor came and talked to us. He talked to me seriously about the state of my health. “You have really damaged your liver, you were lucky, another day of drinking and you could have died! You have to stop! We can look after you and help you here.” The bottom line was they wanted me to stay for three or four months. I was holding back tears as he spoke to me. This is it then! After a few hours of arguing about the costs, phoning the British Embassy, me swearing at the admin woman and generally getting stressed out, we decided to get me out. We couldn’t afford for me to stay, money wise and for the sake of my mental well-being, however well-intentioned their offer of help. I bid farewell, and gave away my fruit and toilet paper. Dressed, I met Radek on the way down those lovely sweeping stairs. We shook hands and I gave him all my ciggys. It was the least I could do. Au revoir, monsieur! So I was out, I felt comfortable and relaxed, sitting in the car. As we drove out everything looked interesting, new! “So, where are we exactly?” I didn’t know the area, but it looked nice… cosy, warm, inviting restaurants and bars! “I’ve got some nice food and a DVD; we’ll go home and relax. You can have a bath. Don’t worry about work; I’ve covered for you. Just get yourself together.” This is what I needed, tender loving care. So that’s it then! No more! I’ve just written an e-mail to a mate joking about it all; maybe I could get a new liver. Maybe in ten years I can start again! The pancreas and liver might be as good as new… You see, it’s all a game, people will read this and possibly think, great story, what a laff, what a life, how fucking bohemian! I’m the same. I miss it. I long to go for just a couple of beers with some mates, watch a game. Drink whiskey in the morning with some woman I copped off with the night before. Go down Smithfield Market after a night out and carry on drinking with the journalists and barrow boys. But it can’t be! In reflection I should have stopped about twelve years ago. Not stopped entirely, but stopped drinking in the morning cus it was cool! Stopped going on for days, one hangover into another. What started off as a cool, mad, beat poetry kinda thing to do, ended up being a necessity. In the end I was so shit, so ill, I had to drink in the morning. Had to keep going for days, weeks even. So the love affair is over! What now? Fill your time with activities? Tea? Writing? Yes, all these and more. Possibly try some drugs again…something to scratch that itch! Maybe, after reading this, I realise how much of a sad fucker I am? Probably! But we’re all sad in our own little ways. We’ve all got something we’re hooked on, something we need, somewhere or something in our lives, which we have or we are fucked up on! But for me, the bottle runs dry, here! In Brno.
Bio: Nick Gerrard – Originally from Birmingham but now living in Olomouc where he writes, teaches a little, and in between looking after his son Joe, edits and designs Jotters United Lit-zine. Nick has been at one time or another a Chef, activist, union organiser, punk rocker, teacher, traveler and Eco-lodge owner in Malawi and Czech.
He has been widely published in a variety of Literary magazines.
Nick has three books published, all are available on Amazon: Travelling for the hell of it. A kind of travel book. Lyrics without music. Gritty poems. Graffiti Stories. A short story collection.