Once again I recently succeeded in remaining sober for five complete days, only to pick up a beer on day five.
By last Thursday I was completely recovered from my food poisoning, albeit still a bit weak, and I did have a couple of beers to celebrate. I know I can’t keep on tempting fate, but for the last two to three days I have managed to stop drinking after just three or four small beers, and have had no desire to drink any more.
There is a reason for this.
I think I might have finally found my soul mate. This is a new girl who I have never written about before, and I am going to wait a few days before I tell you all about her.
So far we have been so happy together that I can’t quite believe its happening. She sort of found me – I didn’t find her – as many of you told me would happen.
I will report back later.
I don’t know about nine lives – I reckon Dave must have ninety lives.
It was barely a week or so back when everyone, including the doctors had given up all hope of Dave coming out of his latest brush with alcohol, drugs and delirium.
Yet he is back home, getting stronger every day, and his mind and body are slowly repairing themselves. I speak with him every day, and I have to say I am amazed at his progress. He is becoming increasingly sharp in his conversation, and he tells me that he is managing to get around a bit, although still spends much of his time in bed.
The brain scans have revealed no permanent damage. It turns out his head injuries were quite minor and that his ‘temporary brain damage’ was all alcohol induced.
Since this latest ‘emergency’ Dave has admitted that he is an alcoholic, (this is the first time I have heard him admit this) and he has told me that he now knows for sure that he can never drink again.
He even now accepts that he cannot take a few beers every day to keep him ‘stable’ as he has stubbornly insisted on doing for so long.
He is clearly still under sedation, (which I assume is aimed at helping withdraw from his alcohol addiction) and is under the care of a neurologist at his new hospital who has told him that if necessary, she will personally take care of his alcohol addiction for the rest of his life. He will be seeing her every two weeks from now on.
I haven’t yet told him that his brother has stated categorically that he will cut off his money if he drinks again – I will tell him that when I see him – but I did tell him that if he takes another drink he will be all alone in the world. Everyone, including his lady, has had enough, and next time there will be nobody around to help him and he will die a lonely and miserable death.
He told me he understands that, and is determined to really try harder than ever this time. He said that Bob and I are the only true friends he has in the world, and that without us, he would have given up long ago. He says that just having me call him every day keeps him going. I replied that if ever he felt like having a beer he should call me, whatever time of the day or night. He said that he would do so.
Let see what happens. My best guess is he has a fifty/fifty chance of success – assuming of course that he hasn’t already done his liver irreparable damage.
AZZY – MY LOVE (Part 9 )
Andy was just seven months old when the three of us flew to England in August 1971 for my well deserved break, and also for my ‘golden opportunity’ to try and do something about Azzy, my almost ‘out of control’ wife.
My mother and father still lived in their large, three bedroom council flat in East London, and we were initially welcomed into the “bosom of my family”. My mother and father were both delighted with their very first grandson, and drooled over him like a couple of proud new parents.
I was especially surprised at my father’s behavior, who seemed to be mellowing with age, and played with the baby in a manner that was totally alien to me and my still bitter memories of his ‘normal’ behaviour.
But the idyllic family reunion was short lived.
It didn’t take many days for my parents to cotton onto the fact that Azzy had little interest in looking after the baby, and that she expected me, and her parents-in law to do a lion’s share of the work.
At first, my parents, especially my mother, took care of the chores as a pleasure, but relations started to become stained when it became apparent that Azzy wanted to spend all her time shopping for ever more clothes in the local high street shops, coming back each day dressed in all the latest skimpy, summer fashions – hot pants, mini-skirts and the like.
Although it hadn’t been that long since she had delivered her baby, her figure was slim and firm, and she looked every bit a fashion model, especially when done up to the nines in figure flattering clothes.
When she wasn’t out shopping, she stayed in her bedroom, indulging her second passion – drinking. She tried to keep this activity a secret from my family, but it wasn’t long before they realised what she was up to.
Things continued with an uneasy peace, as even my father seemed to making a particular effort not to turn this visit into a major fracas.
Then Andy became ill. He developed a very nasty cold and fever and he wouldn’t’ stop crying. When his cold symptoms first appeared, I popped down the local pharmacy and bought him some medicine, but after a couple of days, it became clear that Andy’s condition was getting worse.
My father became very concerned and told me to go and get the baby and go with him to the local doctor’s surgery.
I started to do his bidding, but my beloved wife had other ideas. Hearing my father order me around and making decisions about the care of her baby without consulting her was like red rag to a bull. She didn’t appreciate my father trying to take charge of things and told me in no uncertain terms not to move our baby from the bedroom. I started to argue with her and insist that Andy needed to see a doctor, but she wouldn’t have it.
My father heard us arguing and stormed into the bedroom and started shouting at her, raising the decibels with every word he uttered, demanding that she hand the baby over to him.
Most people’s reaction to this kind of extraordinarily intimidating behaviour from my father is to immediately back away and to become cowered into timid submission.
But my little Azzy was made of sterner stuff.
No one in this world was going to tell her what to do, and she picked up the baby and shouted back at him, giving as good as she got.
My father became ever more enraged, and as Azzy started to put Andy back in his cot, my father caught her unawares and grabbed the baby from her loosened grasp and stormed out of the bedroom, shouting at me to follow him.
Azzy was having none of it. She followed my father into the passage and grabbed hold of the baby, screaming and shouting at him. There ensued a minor tug of war, but thankfully my father quickly let go to avoid harming the baby.
She returned to the bedroom and locked the door and screamed at all of us to go away.
Things turned ever more dire.
My father was now in one of his fully fledged rages and he banged on the door so loud it must have been heard on the other side of the street. Azzy continued screaming obscenities at him from inside the room, and my mother burst into tears.
Undaunted, my father launched himself at the door which was followed by the cracking sound of spitting wood and the door suddenly flung wide open.
Azzy was sitting on the bed, Andy in her arms, and in her right hand was a kitchen knife. I had no idea where she had obtained it from but I had no doubt that she had secreted it for just such an eventuality.
She screamed at my father not to touch her or the baby, or she would put the knife in the child. I didn’t believe her. She might be a wild, self absorbed, slightly psychotic control freak from darkest Africa, but I didn’t imagine for one moment that she could be capable of such an action. It was all bluff.
My father told my mother to call the police.
Azzy responded by telling us that if we called the police she would cut herself and tell the police that my father had attacked her, at which point she ran the knife down her forearm and produced blood.
At least she seemed to have stopped threatening to harm the baby, and my father – maybe the first time in his life – decided to back off, and he retreated to the lounge from where he called me for discussion.
He informed me that he wasn’t concerned with her threats and was prepared to call the police and have the baby removed from her. He said it was up to me. If I agreed he would call the police, have them take the baby into care and then throw Azzy out, but I was welcome to stay.
Or, if I wished, I could leave today with Azzy and the baby and then the decision on the welfare of the baby would be down to me, but he warned me that Andy was becoming increasingly sick, and that Azzy was a very bad person and and an even worse mother, both of which I already knew.
I asked what would happen to Azzy if he threw her out and I left her. He said he couldn’t give a f..ck what happened to her!
I went to speak to Azzy, who had also calmed down a little by this time, and we agreed to pack our things and leave.
We called a cab, and drove around looking for a suitable guest house to spend the next few days, until we decided what we were going to do for the rest of my holiday.
We located a clean place a couple of miles away from my parents flat and moved in with Andy.
The poor little mite was still very poorly and by now had a very high fever. I was very concerned, but Azzy still refused to let me take him to a doctor. But that night Andy was becoming so ill that he wouldn’t stop crying, so I prevailed on Azzy to let me call the emergency doctor.
The doctor finally arrived late that night and immediately gave Andy an injection and provided us with a range of medications with which to treat his fever and related ailments. He told me that Andy should respond to treatment within twenty four hours, but that if there was any worsening of his condition, then I should take him straight to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.
At long last Andy stopped crying, and fell into a deep, and no doubt exhausted sleep. I felt his forehead an hour later, and was relieved to find that the fever had already started to abate.
In the middle of all this, Azzy had absented herself for an hour to go out and locate an off license where she bought herself a stock of beer.
Upon her return, she happily supped her beer, told me what a terrible man my father was, how stupid he was and laughed about how she had ‘bested’ him by threatening to harm the baby, and also herself. I kept my own counsel.
Later, she calmly informed me that she couldn’t stay in the room all day and all night, and that tomorrow she would go out alone, go shopping, go to the cinema, and leave me at home to take care of Andy. The fact that Andy was still seriously ill seemed not to have crossed her mind.
She fell into a deep, drunken sleep, and I lay beside her thinking and planning what I was going to do the next day, if she kept her “promise” to go out all day.