I do realise I should be on a blogging break but, I wanted to keep up-to-date and decided it was time to post some new writing! I wrote this last week, and it was inspired by seeing my neighbour! Hope you all enjoy it and tell me what you think in the comments! This does handle the subject of alcoholism and I hope I have done this in a mature way.
He was a Drunken man - the years of abusing alcohol shown under the nails on his hand, and through the yellow coating etched on his teeth. When he spoke, I could smell it as if a pungent oder rolled off his tongue: continuous, and in no way discreet. In my head, I prayed silently for the family of this alcoholic, who's alcohol problems had truly engrained themselves into his clothes. As well as carrying the scent of the local inn, what he wore was ragged and worn: a hole opening up on the elbow of his cardigan. Occupying his trousers were occasional patches where they had clearly been sewn up, some of the thread coming un-done at the seam. While I studied the man, I had to force myself to hold back the vile burning up inside her throat, willing myself to hold it until the clock struck the hour and I ran out, having barely waved 'Goodbye', after throwing my notebook into the satchel across my shoulder. I had just listened to his story, spilled out in short compacted sentences that would only occasionally make sense. When they did, I forced myself to listen, scribbling what I could make sense of into a notebook that would help me to write a report in a few weeks time. I suddenly regretted agreeing to take part in the first place.
After I had raced out through the doors of the Community Centre, down onto the winding level of stairs that lead to the streets below, I began to gasp in the fresh summer air. It was still warm, even though evening was drawing closer and the sun was no longer raging at the twenty-five degree mark it was earlier that day. For me though, this was perfect: the air was fresh and light, the opposite of the cramped and sweltering room inside despite the air conditioning flowing through. The sound of the constant conversation flowing throughout the room still filled my ears, an endless drone as I began the walk home. A light breeze was blowing through my thick, dark curls as people were strolling through the park opposite, making the most of this unexpected heat wave. Tim, he had introduced himself as, the son of a very proud man. I had caught on to the fact he had a wife, but not whether she was still living with him, or who this woman was. As for children, they were never brought up in conversation, where we sat around a table decorated with signatures of names, and declarations of young love scrawled across it's face. I couldn't picture Tim's timeline, I struggled to picture his father dressed in his tweed suit and silk tie, heading to work in the City. My mind had stretched to imagine this father bidding Tim's mother goodbye, the crackling radio blaring out the latest news. It must have been around the mid-1940's, although I wasn't sure. What I could do as re-create what I had learnt in a History Lesson during the past year. Was he homeschooled? Did he have any brothers or sisters? Where were they now? And, the most prominent of her questions being how had this man become a drunken disgrace to the community?
At that point, I heard a muffled cry from behind me and turned abruptly on the busy cobbled streets, gaining myself a glare from a young women pushing a giggling toddler in a pushchair. I mumbled "Sorry" before weaving my way to Tim, who's voice I recognised because of it's hoarse tone. After an hour, I guess I had memorised his voice, and the way he stood with a posture that was slightly hunched over, with the weight of life on his shoulders. I began to wonder why I had listened to my Dad's advice, "This will look great when your applying for a job in the future" but, what about now? People were staring at me as I ran towards this man, clearly drunk from the bottle that he held in his hand as he stumbled down the street. I should have ticked a box - anything - for my preferences for Volunteer Work. How about a Youth Action Center? Reading to the blind? But, I'd decided to wait and to see what I got. A sigh escaped through my lips and I finally reached him, who was know calling out "Gen" as he frantically searched around him. His eyes, Caribbean blue but glazed over from his recent drink, found mine.
"I forgot something" He mumbled, clearly out of breath. He seemed to struggled to form the next words, tasting them before he spoke, "I'm sorry"
His words startle me, "Sorry about what?" His hand reaches out and grabs my wrist, I go to pull it away but he catches me. The grip on my hand is cold, hard.
We're silent for a moment, in the middle of the street. People walk around us, craning their necks to see what is going on. A man who I guess to be in his mid-twenties, wearing round-glasses and a business-suit, with a laptop case in hand, stops next to me. He must see my expression, as he asks, "Are you okay?" taking in the sight of Tim's hand latched around my wrist. "Is he hurting you?"
I don't reply, only stare up at the man. Why was Tim apologising? Why does he seem to struggle to let out the truth? I prise his grip from my wrist, where bruises are already forming where his nails dug in.
"I'm fine" I say to the man, although concern still holds a place on his face, "Thank you, though"
"If you say so" he calls, "Stay safe, okay?"
I nod, facing Tim. "What is it?"
Staring at my wrist, he says, "You remind me of my daughter" He sighs, "She was beautiful"
And with that he walks away, bottle banging at the side on his left hip. His daughter? His daughter was beautiful? I suddenly feel guilty for judging this man.
This is the first of a two-part short story I am currently writing. All content here belongs to this blog, A Day Dreamers World and it's owner Sophie Louise as stated at the bottom of this webpage. Basically, don't copy my hard-work!