I’ll stick with that.
The night unravelled around 10.20 p.m. The Prodigal (recently returned after a years absence from the family home due to unpopular behavior) had been doing more than sniffing the wine cork………AGAIN.
-‘Why are you accusing me of being drunk? I can walk straight, can’t I? ‘ (ok, so that question just answered itself)
-‘Have you been drinking? yes or no?’
His eyes shift back towards the front door – ‘can I reach it, open it and get out before she catches me? I stand a good chance as she is half way down the stairs…hmm, she does have her trainers on….’
So after insisting that he hadn’t drunk anything, and much verbal haggling, we then progressed onto the ‘I had one or two’ which in my experience means the one or two after the shitload that broke the drunk camels back. And this one or two (litres?) seemed to make him if not, falling over drunk, then not very pleasant slightly aggressive drunk.
‘Get into your room, get into bed and DO NOT LEAVE.’
It is hard to shift a 6 foot, drunk AND righteous, 18 year old.
He was well aware of this.
He was also well aware of the fact that his step father (oh yes, there are levels of history and happenings and rewritten memories in this story) was in Paris.
I got him into the room. In there with him was his 13 yr old brother (the Face) who for once, had the good sense to pretend to be asleep.
The drunk monologue began. If it lacked anything, it certainly wasn’t volume. Then the self righteous pacing began……he must have had some tap shoes that I didn’t know about.
time check – 11.30 p.m. Mirror check – aged and ageing.
‘what did I do to deser……’ I stopped myself as I knew the answer.
Around 11.45, I called the Face to come out for his own protection (he didn’t seem to be given the right responses to the Drunken Despot), told the now sobbing number 1 to bloodywellgrowupasyouarelikea6foottwoyearoldandbloodywellgetintobedandIdontwanttoseeyouagain(ever?)untilthemorning
‘if you really insist that you aren’t drunk then we have a bigger problem to hand.’
The Face has to come in with me. Odd. It has been about 7 years since we were both in the same bed.
I go down and lock all of the exits and hide the keys (extreme measures but the Prodigal has form for nighttime escape). I then hide the vodka (it must have evaporated of it’s own accord as the Prodigal didn’t take it…….I swear, mum..) and the whiskey and the rum and the armagnac etc into the Aga (please let me remember that it is in there before we switch that heat monster back on in November).
time check: midnight mirror check: it cracked
The tap shoes gave up the pacing around 12.30 a.m; the Face fidgets……and rocks; the Dog begins her nightly toilette with a thump, thump, thump of some part of her body onto the wood floor and loud, slurps as she licks…….only she knows where; number 5 moans and bumps around his cot,
I lie awake
A light wakes me at 4.00 a.m.
The Face forgets to switch off his alarm which sounds at 6.30 a.m.
He moves too quickly and knocks over a cup of water. The cup is smashed. The cup was bought for me by a friend years ago and had enjoyed a longevity which no other cup ever had.
I give up my right to sleep and leave the bed at 7.00 a.m.
And so the day starts.