Hope everyone’s week is progressing well! I went to the zoo yesterday, it was pretty fun though kinda expensive. Walked a lot too, so super healthy. Saw the monkeys and the seals being fed which was pretty awesome. The Monkeys being fed was pretty awesome and they’re damn good at catching oranges. It was a fun day over all. Nothing too exciting happened really, took a few pictures of a very photogenic family of monkeys. Seriously, they grouped together when people were taking photos and a few photos of the red pandas, which are adorable. We also saw an asshole rhino trying to pick fights with others. There were some school tours running about the place and a bunch of kids started chanting “Fight! Fight! Fight!” it was both amusing and annoying. Also saw a pair of twins that were dressed identically, of course I distanced myself from them as if we’ve learned anything from movies it’s that if you see twins that are dressed the same, shits about to go down and you should run before they link hands and start speaking in unison.
Also saw a group of girls that were fascinated by ducks. Teenagers, standing by the monkey cage, looking at ducks that you can see at any pond in the country. For free.
Don’t worry, it made my brain hurt too.
On with the show!
Unwinding. Short Story.
He took a sip of his drink, then swirled the liquid around his mouth, trying to taste as much of it as possible before swallowing. He put the glass down slowly, too busy paying attention to the flavours dancing around his tongue. He didn’t get to drink it that often so when he did, he took his time. The bar was mostly empty, there were only two other people there, one of which was the bartender. He didn’t sit at the bar, he sat in one of the booths. He didn’t want to make meaningless small talk, he just wanted to be left alone with his drink. It didn’t help that the stools in the bar were uncomfortably tall, he always felt out of place sitting at the bar, in his mind it was a place reserved for the old and the alcoholics and as he was neither, it was no place for him. There was some kind of sport being played on the television, but sport had never interested him, it was a low murmur in the background as commenter’s made remarks and the crowd occasionally cheered. The only other patron sat at the bar, he wasn’t that old, so naturally he must have been an alcoholic. He didn’t chat to the bartender, the bartender stood against the bar, watching the TV, occasionally he would glance in the mirror to make sure there was no one looking for anything, but the glances were rare.
It wasn’t a bad place to come and drink, it wasn’t dingy or dirty, it was well lit and flooded with light, the seats were soft and comfortable. There were a few larger televisions dotted about the place, but they were off. He didn’t come here often, though he passed it most days. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to drink, it was that he wouldn’t allow himself to. There was no fear that he would lose control or that he would drink until he could barely stand, it was more just a matter of principle. He was a working man and he had responsibilities, therefore on weekdays, he should be sober. He knew other people didn’t take the same view and that was fine with him, they were free to do as they liked. Still on some days, he just needed to unwind a little before going home, stressful days like these. Days where there were no breaks, where food was hastily crammed into his mouth at his desk, where he raced to finish everything or be faced with staying for hours until it was done.
He had alcohol in his house of course, as did most people, but it was mostly wine and some days he just wanted something stronger. Something he didn’t need to drink glass after glass of to feel its affects. He never got too drunk, he merely went to the edge of tipsy. Usually the walk home would sober him up considerably and the next day there were no ill effects. He took another sip from the glass, enjoying the warmth as he swallowed. The house would be empty tonight, he wouldn’t see Jane again till the weekend, she too was swamped at work. He might suggest they stay in, though she would probably want to go out for a meal. They’d been dating for a few months now, but it was rare enough they had nights in. Sometimes he just wanted to relax and not have to worry about picking a nice restaurant and getting reservations, or dressing up, sometimes he just wanted to watch TV or a movie and eat take away. Unwind after a long week. Dinner was already done though, so there was that at least. It was left over’s, but he didn’t mind that. It made life easier to make large meals and eat them over a few days. It saved time. He drained the glass, then looked at it, wondering if he should get another. Normally there was no real question to that, he was still a few drinks from his stopping point, but the allure of alcohol had suddenly disappeared. He didn’t want to drink. The taste stayed in his mouth, harsh and cloying. He swallowed a few times, trying to dispel it, but it wouldn’t go away. He stood and went to the bar, the bartender glance around “What can I get you?” “A coke please.” he waited impatiently for the bartender to fill a glass with ice and pass the bottle over. He paid then filled the glass while he was waiting for change. One it was full he took three big gulps, then a smaller sip, swirling it around his mouth. He took his change and pocketed it and with a final gulp, he drained the glass. He placed it on the counter, then thanked the bartender and left. Passing the alcoholic on his way out.
It was still bright outside, something he always found jarring when leaving a pub. It should be dark, streetlights should be on. It was a cold day at least, the cool air seemed to calm him. He didn’t know what was wrong with him. The bar seemed too small, he had to get away. It was better outside at least. He began to walk, trying to ignore the strange feelings that were building inside him. He just needed a little exercise that was all, sitting all day at his desk hadn’t done him any good. He walked at a fast clip, dodging and weaving through the crowded street. People out shopping, normally he enjoyed walking slowly, it gave him time to think, but today he was impatient. It didn’t take him long to arrive home and once inside, he realised he didn’t want to be there either.
He was being ridiculous, that was all. He changed out of his work clothes and began to take things out of the fridge. He wasn’t particularly hungry but preparing dinner would give him something to do, for a short while anyway. He decided not to use the microwave and instead heated everything on the hob. It wasn’t really necessary but it took a little longer. When it was done, he had begun to feel a little hungry. It didn’t take him long to eat at all and when he finished he was at a loss as to what to do. He needed to relax, that was all. He found a bottle of wine and opened it. It was only a glass, it wouldn’t do him any harm. He’d have a glass, calm down a little and watch some TV. He took a few mouthfuls of the wine, then topped up the glass. He only had a few sips from it after all and there was no point going in with a half empty glass. He went into the sitting room, carrying his glass and the bottle, he sat on the couch and turned on the TV, he might as well finish the bottle now, after all, they’d be going out for dinner on the weekend so it would just sit there until it was thrown out. He was being economical, that’s all.