• Michael Noctor

the first goo of the one-hundred-day boycott of alcohol

It’s hard to believe that it’s five years – to the day, almost – that I moved in with Tony the Cuban in my beloved Málaga. I didn’t have any great love for the city at that time. It was new to me. Our mutual friend had explained that Tony had spent twelve years in prison for being a political activist. ‘Don’t worry,’ she told me, ‘a murderer in Cuba gets a lighter sentence than a person who goes on a political march.’ I wasn’t worried. I’d made my mind up on day one that I wouldn’t be hanging around.

Tony – mi hermano – was just as fond of the drink as I was. One day, I tried to explain the meaning of the word goo. It was like a one-word tongue twister for him. Geeuu. That’s how he pronounced it. He made me laugh. We laughed a lot, but he had a look in his eye that made me think he that if he had to, he would cut me up into a million little pieces, hermano or not.

On Sunday night I had the first geeuu of the one-hundred-day boycott of alcohol. It’s easy for me to play tricks with my own mind. I have a couple of bottles of JD in the apartment. Hard to resist stocking up with they are on special. I have half a bottle of Apothic Red, an American wine that is very special. I told myself it was a beer and wine boycott, so having a few JD (with ice and Coke) should be allowed. I told myself that leaving a half bottle of wine would result in it going off and that seemed cruel to the innocent, delicious red juice.

I don’t drink tea very often but last night I had a fried egg sandwich and a mug of tea. It hit a spot, but not the spot.

The last time I tried a one-hundred-day spell of continuous sobriety I succumbed on Day-32. I was celebrating. I had just been told I could have ‘the unit’ in the back of a man’s garden in a housing estate in Lucan. I was overjoyed coz it meant getting out of the disaster that was the apartment share in Tallaght. Imagine being happy about living, in fairness it was a quirky and nice little unit, in a back garden in Lucan. Now, I live in a beautiful apartment, more quirky, more comfortable, and an eleven-minute stroll to Stephen’s, well, My Green. I know someone was looking after me. I like to think my parents are. I should apologise to them coz I sometimes have them working overtime.

It’s after midnight. Technically, it’s Day-7.

Night, night.