Today I am recovering from a 2 day binge. This is the last time I will ever drink.
I think I am lucky to be alive, or at the very least lucky to not have been badly injured, beaten up and / or robbed.
It was Wednesday and I had at long last succeeded in going for twenty four hours without having a drink.
The previous evening, one of the female bar tenders at my local pub had told me that Wednesday was her day off and she asked me if I would like to meet her at the pub at 7.p.m and take her to a birthday party at another pub down the road. I quite liked the girl and her invitation seemed like a good idea idea at the time. However as Wednesday afternoon drew on, I was busy at home on my computer and didn’t really feel like “partying”, especially as I was now determined to stay sober. I almost didn’t go, but finally decided it would be pretty shittty of me to stand her up, and what was the harm? I could always leave her at the party if I decided to have an early night.
So I arrived at the pub just before seven, ordered a coffee and waited for the girl to show. I was hoping that she might not turn up as I really didn’t feel like going. Seven fifteen came and went and there was no sign of her, so I decided to have another coffee, and that if she hadn’t shown by the time I had drunk the second coffee I would go back home.
I went to the toilet, which was situated at the back end of the pub, just in front of the kitchen which had a small, rarely used restaurant area. As I came out of the toilet, I happened to look over into the restaurant area, and there she was – dressed up in her best bib and tucker, being wined and dined by another farang. She was obviously trying to hide from me, as no-one ever eats in that area, they always eat in the pub proper. She saw me, and somewhat shyly called out to me, but I don’t know what she said, and I walked quickly back to my stool at the bar.
This story will amply demonstrate how perverse and twisted I am. The very second I saw her there with another farang, after I had made a special effort to make our date despite misgivings, I became extremely angry and upset. I had thought she was a nice girl, yet here she was, playing games with me at the first opportunity. “Is there anybody in this country who won’t try and put one over on me if they have the chance?”
I didn’t take a drink – not then, but I paid my bill and left and went to another pub down the road to get something to eat. I was still upset. I ordered some food and one of the girls I knew there sat with me and I bought her a drink. She asked me why I was in a bad mood, and why didn’t I smile?
As soon as I had eaten I decided to go to the pub where the party was being held and see if my ‘date’ was there with her ‘other farang’.
The party was in full progress but there was no sign of her. She obviously had other plans for the evening. I sat down and ordered a Coke. Then another girl who I knew sat next to me and I bought her a drink. Then the manager, whose birthday was being celebrated, greeted me, and she too was rewarded with a drink. I was trying to cheer myself up, and I bought two more drinks for two more girls within the space of minutes.
They all told me that I looked tired and unhappy. They were right – I was unhappy. Why was I unhappy? My broken ‘date’ meant nothing to me, yet I was still unhappy. Then it suddenly occurred to me that I was the only sober person at this party. No wonder I was unhappy.
I ordered a beer, and so started probably the worst drinking binge I have ever experienced.
My memories of the next forty eight hours are sketchy at best, although I do recall the first part of Wednesday evening reasonably well.
I stayed at the party for about half an hour, ordering a few more beers before setting out on a mini “pub crawl” in the immediate area. I ended up back at the pub where the girl had stood me up and stayed there until quite late, drinking heavily and chatting to girls. At around midnight I drove to Jomtien and went to yet another one of my regular drinking places, where I probably stayed until it closed.
Then I did a strange thing, and I have no recollection of the reason but I actually drove home – alone. If I had stayed home, then all would have been well. But as I parked up, in my allocated parking slot, I did the unthinkable – scratched the side of my car against a concrete post. I got out to take a look and when I saw the white scratch marks, I was furious with myself. I had just paid out twelve thousand Baht to have all the previous scratches and bumps repaired, and here I was, at it again!!
I was so upset that I got back into the car and drove to Pattaya and that’s where things start to get fairly sketchy.
I remember going to Walking Street and having some drinks there. Then, for God knows what reason, I walked to the beach and started to walk along by the sea shore. I know that by this time I was very drunk. At length I sat down on a bench next to two girls and started to talk to them. After a while two young Thai men came along and spoke to the girls and I interrupted speaking to them in Thai. I have no recollection of what I said, but remember thathey became very upset, and started shouting at me. By this time I was so drunk that I wasn’t scared, but the girls dragged me away.
We moved down the beach a few yards, but the two men followed and started to smile a sort of menacing – maybe drug induced – smile at me and started to threaten me. In my drunken daze I realised I was about to be mugged, and I looked around for something to defend myself with. I found a large stone under the bench and picked it up. The two men laughed and came closer and made menacing gestures. Then the girls dragged me to my feet and pulled me away, pushing me along the road, back towards Walking Street. Mercifully, this time my would-be muggers didn’t follow.
We sat down again, quite close to Walking Street. There were a lot of drunk or maybe drug crazed young Thai men milling around us, arguing and shouting. All of a sudden one group left, and the girls told me to get out of there immediately, as the group that left would be back soon with weapons. There was going to be a big fight. Of course all the police – including our beloved farang volunteers – had long since packed up their truncheons and gone home for the night.
I half ran and was half dragged away from this new, potential conflict, in the direction of central Pattaya.
Then I became thirsty. I asked the girls to get me some booze and gave them some money. After about ten minutes, it occurred to me that they wouldn’t be back, but incredibly they did return with some beer from a Seven Eleven. We drank it together, but I wasn’t satisfied. I asked the girls to take me to a drfinking place that was still open. The next thing I knew, the three of us, plus the driver all squeezed up onto one motorcycle taxi and we drove way out of Pattaya. I wondered where the Hell I was being taken but was too drunk to do anything about it.
We eventually arrived at what can only be described as a “karaoke on water”. We were by a large lake, and there were little platforms on stilts scattered throughout the water, each with it’s own tables and chairs, and a large karaoke machine. I had never seen anything like it before. We sat down at one such table, the Thai whisky was served, and the girls started singing. They asked me to sing but I was too drunk to do anything except sit and drink. I have no idea what the time was, but would guess it must have been the middle of the night – maybe 4 or 5 a.m.
After awhile, I gathered my thoughts sufficiently to wonder WTF I was doing there!! I told the girls I wanted to go back to Pattaya. So I guess the bill must have been paid, and once again all three of us clambered onto one motorcycle and we were driven back into Pattaya.
I could have easily been mugged or robbed by the girls, and I could have easily been mugged at this karaoke place which was in the middle of nowhere and seething with drunken Thais. Or the girls could have colluded with one of the moto-taxis and taken me somewhere to mug me. But they didn’t. In spite of everything, someone out there is still looking out for me.
My memories of the remaining hours of my binge are extremely vague.
I vaguely recall being back in Pattaya, but have no idea what happened to the girls or indeed if I paid them anything.
My next memory is being in a bar on Thursday afternoon, at the corner of a Soi and Beach Road. I was still drinking, and very, very, very drunk. It is amazing that I hadn’t passed out – or maybe I had, and then woken up again. Who knows?
I was in a very bad state and could hardly sit, let alone stand, but I was still drinking.
I looked in my pocket and found my mobile phone. Then I called my wife. I don’t know why I called her, but I did. I remember crying in the phone to her and telling her how sorry I was. I think she must have rung off because I can see from my phone call log that I called her several times. She must have called her friend in Pattaya because after a while her friend’s husband, a farang, called me and told me that Dang (my wife) was worried about me and she wanted him to come and find me. He asked me where I was, but I said I didn’t know. I rung off, then he called again, but I told him I was OK and rung off again.
Some time later I realised that I was far from ‘OK’. I was totally incapable. I called one of my friends from AA, but he didn’t answer – or if he did, I was too drunk to hear him. Then I phoned my AA sponsor. I spoke to him, but rung off before he could ask me where I was. I wasn’t sure what to do but I knew I needed help – urgently. I looked in my wallet, which incredibly, was still in my back pocket, and found my little Pattaya AA card with phone numbers on it. I phoned one person on the list but he didn’t answer. Then I phoned a second person and this time someone answered. It was Frank, one of the senior members of the Pattaya evening AA group. I knew him but hadn’t seen him for months as I no longer attended the evening meetings. He remembered me, and at long last I managed to speak to someone without hanging up.
Somehow I worked out where I was – on the corner of Beach and Soi 8. How long I had been there, I had no idea, and how I got there I had no idea. It was now late Thursday afternoon and I had been drinking for almost twenty four hours straight – no food and no sleep.
Frank arrived sometime later and found me half awake, but still drinking. When I saw him I burst into tears and he held me and comforted me. I told him that I was scared to stop drinking because I would be so ill if I sobered up. Frank asked me to give him my wallet, credit cards and car keys and asked me where my car was. I had no idea but assumed it was parked at the Wat on Pattaya Tai, near Walking Street where I usually parked.
Frank drives a motorcycle and I have no recollection of how we got to the Wat, but we did. (He told me this morning that on our way to the Wat, he had to rescue me from several potentially vi8loent situations as I kept having run ins with other drunks) Frank found me somewhere to sit down and scoured the entire parking area, but couldn’t find any car that fitted the description I had given him. We gave up, and he said he would take me home. I told him that the condo keys were in my car and I couldn’t get in without them. So we gave up going home, and he walked me to the nearby Day Night hotel where I was checked in. I only know this because early this morning I woke up on top of the bed in the hotel, still fully clothed, found my phone and called Frank before the battery gave out. He told me that he had checked me in the previous night, and we arranged to meet downstairs in half an hour to have some breakfast.
I felt terrible – I could hardly walk, and I was shaking like a leaf. I hadn’t taken any insulin or heart medication for three days and my heart was racing at over 100 beats per minute. God knows what my blood sugar levels were running at.
We met in the lobby and I managed to get some food and coffee into my stomach. Then we went back to the Wat, with me hanging precariously on the back of Frank’s motorbike. We searched the area together,and there was no sign of the car.
I could not think where it could possibly be, but suggested we check second road at the back of Walking street, and if it wasn’t there, then the only other place I could think of was Pattaya Klang, near Tops supermarket, as I used to park there many months ago when I went drinking in Sois 7 and 8. But if the car was there, that would mean that I must have driven it there in the middle of the night when I was totally innebraiated, as I was sure that I had parked at the Wat when I first went to Pattaya on Wednesday night. The idea that even I – Mobi – had driven when that drunk was unthinkable.
I couldn’t think of any other idea. So we drove along second Road, from the back of Walking Street towards Pattaya Klang. I was hoping I might see the car parked on Second Road which would mean that I hadn’t moved it since driving to Pattaya, and that I was wrong about parking it at the Wat. There was still no sign of it, and I was starting to realise that it was going be be a major problem for us to locate it.
We eventually reached the Central Pattaya junction and took a left turn down towards Tops. I had given up hope that I would find it, but there, on Pattaya Klang, a little way down from Tops on the other side of the road ,was my car, well parked, just outside a bar which led down a little alley into Soi seven. I looked at the scratches which had started me on this terrible binge. Ninety percent of them just rubbed off, and there is only one small mark remaining – no where near as bad as I thought in my drunken state back on Wednesday. In ertrospect such a small price to pay for my reckless and criminal stupidity.
I am totally disgusted with myself for my drunk driving and no amount of angry comments is going to make me feel any smaller than I do right now.
I think I am very lucky to be alive, and also very lucky that I didn’t kill or maim someone when driving. How much longer can this kind of luck hold? If I don’t stop drinking I am a gonner.
I thought that I could go back to drinking in reasonable moderation, and enjoy myself. But I can’t. I am worse than ever. I have never been on a binge like this in my life before, and the blackouts are becoming very scary. It is only a matter of time.
So my dear readers, this is no ‘turning on the road to Damascus‘, nor have I been struck by a ‘heavenly bolt of white light‘, but I have finally reached my rock bottom, and I swear on my dear departed mother’s grave that I will never knowingly touch another drop of alcohol for the remainder of my life.
Please God help me to keep this promise.