Today is my first day of sobriety – yet again…. and again…and again….and again…
Yes, I am still drinking, in spite of daily attempts to stop.
The binges are getting progressively worse and follow a familiar pattern. I wake up feeling pretty shitty, but as the day progresses, my head starts to clear and then I have a shower, get some cereal and fruit inside me and feel a lot better. On a couple of occasions, I have even made the noon AA meeting down the road, and on another day the 5 p.m. meeting in Pattaya.
I usually start drinking quite late – maybe 7 or 8 p.m. Up the the point I pick up the first beer, I am resolved not to drink, but then something happens in my twisted, alcoholic brain – a little ‘monkey’ inside me says something like: “I know you want to stop, and I know you will stop eventually, but now you’ve started, you might as well postpone your abstinence for one more day.”
I think about this for a while, and the more I think the more I like the idea. “Well one more day won’t make much difference will it?”
So I start all over again.
For two nights in a row I passed out without taking my nightly medication and insulin shots. On the second occasion, I remembered bringing the glass of water to my bedside table, and when I woke up in the morning the glass was upright, but empty. I checked my pills and found that I hadn’t taken them. Then I picked up a full box of tissues that I kept on the bedside table, and discovered that the box and it’s contents were sodden. In my drunken state I must have emptied the glass of water into the the tissue box!!
Then on another night I passed out in bar in Jomtien. I was eventually woken up and told to pay a food bill to a “som tum” vendor. Apparently, before I passed out I had agreed to buy som tum, (very hot papaya salad containing tiny little foul smelling crabs), for the entire bar staff . They could have been lying, but I doubt it, as they know me quite well, and it’s the sort of thing I do when I’m drunk. At least it was cheaper than ringing the bell.
Of course on each occasion I have been driving – fortunately not very far, but it’s still pretty disgusting, and I’m not proud of it.
The black outs have been coming thick and fast. I never used to get them at all, but they started a couple of years ago, and now happen virtually every time I drink.
So today I will try yet again to stop for good.
Wish me luck folks, I’m going to need it.
MOBI’S STORY – (PART 32)
THE RETIREMENT YEARS (CONTINUED)
“It’s time for wife number 5”
It was September 2003, when I first took Dang home with me from the Office Bar. I hadn’t been mistaken – she was indeed a very lovely lady of 26 years of age. Almost immediately I became smitten with her, and my six and a half years of misery was up and running. Dang spoke virtually no English, and my spoken Thai, which by this time wasn’t half bad, improved further in leaps and bounds.
I was still living at my luxury apartment in Soi 15, and within a couple of days of Dang staying with me, I should have seen the warning signs and thrown her out. But being a perverse drunk who always dreams he can change a woman’s nature and make her love him, I became ever more emotionally entrapped by this fascinating, beautiful woman.
I recall very clearly one of our early conversations when Dang agreed to stay with me but said that sometimes she would need her own time to go out with her friends. I have never wanted to control any woman who has lived with me, and was more than happy to give her whatever freedom she needed to be happy and content. After all, we had only just met, and marriage wasn’t even being contemplated.
The “sometimes” became virtually every day. She would take off in the afternoons, assuring me that she would be back home at the latest by 11 p.m. I would lucky if I would see her before 2 or 3 a.m, and sometimes not at all. She would invariably arrive home drunk, and would sleep the mornings away, only to rouse herself in the afternoons and head off once again. Occasionally she would be so hungover that she would stay in bed for 24 hours, never going anywhere.
It was on just such an occasion when I decided to move my home from Soi 15 to another large apartment in Soi 31. Dang was so hungover, that she didn’t lift a finger to help me, when I spent the day packing up and moving all my stuff.
There were so many occasions in those early months when I should have just bitten the bullet and finished with her, but I was becoming ever more besotted and still clung to the fantasy that one day she would change.
After a while I met some of her friends, and I will never forget the occasion when I met her very best friend (who remains so to this day). She was Jay, an exceptionally pretty, very light skinned Issan lady who worked as a hostess in an exclusive Japanese club, off Sukhumvit Road. We went to her club one day to meet her, and Dang asked me if I could “bar fine” Jay so that she could go out to eat with us. I had no problem with this request, expecting the fine to be around five hundred Baht. The bill was delivered to me on a silver tray by a uniformed waiter – two thousand four hundred baht!
I said nothing and paid the bill, but inside I was starting to fume. By the time we drove to the restaurant, I was beside myself with anger for being conned into paying such an outrageous amount of money just so that a friend could go with us to eat. (Remember this was 7 years ago, when things in general were quite a bit cheaper than they are in 2010). I stopped the car outside the restaurant, and when we got out, I told the two of them that I was very angry at what had happened the two of them in the road, and told to go and eat by themselves. I then drove off in a furious rage. I decided that someone was taking the piss – and it wasn’t me.
Of course, I eventually calmed down, and Dang came back to me the next day, and forced me to make an abject apology for my outrageous behaviour. But for about two years after that I always referred to Jay as “Song Pun See”,(Two thousand four hundred), as I could never forget the most expensive ‘friend’ I had ever had the pleasure of meeting.
On occasion Dang would drag me along with her when she went out to clubs and discos with her friends, presumably so that she could get the bills paid. She frequented the most expensive places in town, and I ended up having to pay for everyone. I didn’t even get to enjoy myself. In a pattern that was to be repeated throughout the years that I was with Dang, every time she went out with me, she would get drunk, and for a while all would be fun and laughter. Then the alcohol would get hold of her and she would suddenly turn on me and start a fight, for absolutely no reason. These fights could be pretty terrible, and would continue when we arrived home. She would shout even louder at me and then start throwing things around, and slamming doors. She would sometimes rage for hours, before finally falling into a drunken sleep.
So quite early on in my relationship, I tended to avoid going out with her too often, and we both slipped into the habit of going out separately – me with my friends, Dang with her friends. Occasionally I would still go out with Dang and her friends, to celebrate a birthday, or some other special occasion, but without exception, every time we did, she would get drunk and end up picking a fight with me.
For the first few months I had tried to be the perfect ‘boy friend’. I had cut down on my drinking, and avoided ‘girlie’ bars. I was completely faithful. But once the drunken fights obliged us to go our separate ways for entertainment, I once more went back to my old haunts, although I still remained faithful. In spite of everything, Dang was still the only woman in my life and the only one I wanted to make love to.
Then we started to row over the phone. Dang would demand to know where I was, and would accuse me of having a new girl friend. I, in turn, would get angry with her, because she would never come home at a reasonable hour, despite all her promises. I would always go home when the bars closed – usually midnight or 1 a.m. but Dang would turn up, later and later – 3, 4 or even 5 a.m.
On one occasion Dang called me around midnight and demanded to know where I was. I told her I was on my way home (which I was), and when I arrived, I found a drunken Dang waiting for me. She stared screaming at me that I had been ‘sleeping around’ and when I tried to deny it, she punched me on the face – very hard. I was stunned – she had never been violent before. Then she punched me again and again, and gave me a bad black eye, and drew blood. I didn’t know what to do. I had never had a violent woman before, and I had never used violence on a woman. So I just grabbed hold of her wrists and did my best to restrain her, and eventually she stopped.
Thinking back, this was probably a warning sign that I should have heeded. If I had been Thai, I would probably have hit her back and hurt her, and as a result she probably would never had tried to hit me again. As it was, I let her hit me, and once she knew she could get away with it she would repeat this violent behaviour throughout the rest of our time together.
I don’t deny that it takes two to have a fight, and my ever increasing drunkenness exacerbated the volatile situation. But Dang would invariably start the ball rolling, and because I was drunk, I would shout back. But I have always been what is known as a “happy drunk” and as long as people don’t try to make trouble with me, I will never start a fight.
Nevertheless, she would always blame me for starting them and blame my excessive drinking on all the trouble between us. I actually believed her for a long time, and tried desperately to control my drinking, with little success. But when I eventually did succeed in staying dry for long periods – once for almost nine months – I finally realized that it wasn’t me after all. She still got drunk and still picked fights, and I would be completely sober. The ‘penny had finally dropped’ that Dang was also an alcoholic and had a greater problem with alcohol than even poor old Mobi.
We had received a number of warnings from the landlord of my apartment that my neighbors had complained about the noise we made when fighting late at night. The warnings were not heeded, and when the six month lease came up for renewal, I was given a final warning and also as a penalty, they increased my rent.
One day, soon after the rent had been increased, we had another very violent encounter late at night. She hadn’t only been hitting me with anything she could find to hand , but had also been breaking things up in the apartment. I finally saw ‘red’ and grabbed hold of her and threw her out. She banged on the door for ages but I refused to open it, and eventually she went away.
I was concerned that she may return with friends to create more mayhem, so I called my Thai ‘friend’ Chat – yes the very one who I was later to discover was ripping me off – and asked him if he could help me get some protection. He immediately called his friend, the military Colonel, and within an hour there were two military cops stationed outside my apartment door.
They provided a twenty four hour protection for me and after a few days Dang contacted me and told me that she wanted to collect her things as she had moved to a new apartment, and would go back to work at Office Bar. I refused to let her in the place, but told the maid to pack up all her stuff, and the military guards then delivered her bags to her new home.
Of course I had to pay an exorbitant fee for all these ‘services’ provided by the complements of the Thai Military.
Then the landlord gave me one month’s notice to move out. He had had enough of Mobi and his noisy, violent girl friend. This was the first, and I hope the last occasion, I had been asked to vacate a home due to unsatisfactory behaviour. And remember, this is Thailand, where almost anything goes – especially noise at all hours – so it must have been pretty bad.
It was December 2004, and Dang was gone – the affair was all over – finished, and I was to start a new single life in a new home.
Yet within three months I was married.