I’m still drinking too much.
Yesterday was Visakha Bucha Day. All the bars were closed and most bar workers had the day off.
Tan’s ex -employer on the ‘Darkside’ was no exception and half a dozen of the girls who worked there decided to spend the afternoon at Pattaya Park, a water park just down the beach from my condo.
Tan is one of the few Thai girls I have known who looks absolutely stunning in a bikini and she decided to join her friends for a few hours. Afterwards I had a condo full of semi naked women.
I wasn’t complaining, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to have a few beers. The wine followed soon after.
The girls went out to buy some food and a bottle of Sangsom and they spent a pleasant evening out on my balcony chatting away and watching the sunset across Pattaya bay.
Tan doesn’t drink at all, and none of them drank to excess and they were all very well behaved.
It just reaffirmed my conviction that I am an alcoholic, while much of the world can drink in moderation – or not at all.
Tan drove four of them back to their rooms at around midnight, but two of them slept over and didn’t leave until noon today.
I had drunk a few beers and two bottle of wine and was trying to sleep through my hangover this morning, when the three girls decided to have a communal shower! Talk about shouting and giggling! It certainly put paid to my efforts to sleep.
I was bursting for a leak, and the girls showed no sign of vacating the bathroom, with ever more shrieking and laughter.
I finally had enough and went and banged on the door and told them I was coming in for a piss, whereupon the three of them fled – naked and dripping with water.
All good fun!
I have decided to keep away from Tan’s former bar. It is no good for me, as when I go there I start with coffee, water and so on, but after an hour or so I can’t resist the temptation to drink something a bit stronger. It happens every time so I have told Tan that of she wishes to go then she must go alone.
I have not attended an AA meeting since last Tuesday, but I will make a big effort to resume on Monday, when we have to get up early to send Tan to college.
I know many of you have advised me not to go to AA and in particular criticise the central plank of their recovery programme which requires a belief in God or a ‘Higher Power’.
The fact of the matter is that I too struggle mightily with this reliance/belief in a Higher Power, and the fact that I am supposed to turn my life over to him/her/it.
There was a time last year when I thought I was actually moving in that direction and becoming more spiritual, but the moment passed.
These days, I am as agnostic as ever and I regard many of the long term sober members of AA as benevolent, ‘religious nuts’ who cling to a belief in God as it is the only thing that seems to keep them from the demon drink.
Having said all this, there is much that is good and worthwhile in the AA Twelve Step programme. A lot of the ‘Twelve Step’ philosophy has been used by other organisations and medical experts as the basis of their own programmes, not only for alcohol addiction, but also for other addictions, particularly drugs, and in Tiger Woods’ case, sex.
So I see no harm in going to AA meetings, even if I do not embrace all the aspects of their programme. I feel that listening to other people’s stories, so much of which I can relate to, is definitely therapeutic.
Who knows? One day I may receive that jolt of electrical energy that transforms me into a God-fearing sober alcoholic – a story so beloved of AA members.
On the 4th May, I wrote the following, about my alcoholic friend, Dave.
“Dave is still quite heavily medicated, still only sleeps fitfully, and leads a lonely, strange lifestyle.
We stayed with Dave for a number of hours and even took him out for a meal before dropping him back home later.
Both Jack and I felt that it was probably only a matter of time before he hits the bottle again. It was in his eyes, and in many of the things that he said. Sad to say, but we both thought that Dave actually wants to die, and sooner or later it will happen.
I hope we are wrong”.
I have not been in contact with Dave since Jack told me some unpleasant things that Dave had said about me.
I was a bit upset at the time, but I realise that Dave’s mind must be full of bitterness, resentments and distortions of the truth after all he has been through and it would be uncharitable of me if I took what he said at face value.
It is also possible that jack may be twisting what Dave allegedly said to him for his own purposes. I must remember that Jack was very drunk when this all spilled out, and at the time I was having a go at him for his patronising attitude towards Thais.
Anyway, I made a decision at the time that I should probably keep a low profile for a while, as my friendship with Dave was not helping my own condition very much so haven’t spoken to him for quite a while.
Jack has been stuck in Bangkok for the past few weeks with a similar eye infection to the one that floored me, and he has been seeing Dave quite regularly.
A week or so back Jack told me that Dave had started drinking again – quite openly. He said that the quantity of beer being drunk was quite minimal and that so far Dave was still looking and sounding fine.
But of course we all know it is only a matter of time now.
Today I called Dave’s lady, who had taken another brief trip to her home in the south of Thailand, and she confirmed that Dave was drinking again. She said that the doctor had increased his medication and was referring him to a psychiatrist.
Apparently he is suffering from depression, like so many of us I’m afraid.
I will call Dave soon, but I am not sure what I will say. Eventually it will all go downhill again, and many will suffer, especially those close to him.
He certainly has a death wish, but I wish he would just take a different route so that he doesn’t put people who love him through all that trauma again.
Azzy, the Nigerian Lady, was my first wife, and Lynda, a Thai lady from Ubon Ratchathani, was my second.
This was the shortest by far of all my marriages as the marriage wasn’t even consummated when it fell apart. The break up happened on my wedding day.
I met Lynda in the early 70’S in HP Massage Parlour, on Sukhumvit Road, opposite Soi Five, on land that is now occupied by the Landmark hotel.
If you look in ‘Mobi’s Story’ (Part 2), I recounted the events that led up to Lynda being ‘kidnapped’ on my wedding day and how I had to pay a ‘ransom’ to set her free.
It was a miserable, but mercifully short affair, and I soon put it to the back of my mind when I eventually took up my new job in Jakarta, Indonesia.
So followed a very drunken year in Indonesia, (also recounted in depth in ‘Mobi’s Story’,) a return to Thailand where all my savings disappeared in a matter of months so I ended up scratching out a living, teaching English in a suburban, low class technical college to a bunch of unruly students who had no desire to learn anything.
When even that meagre work failed to keep the wolf from the door, I managed to find my way back to England, where after a couple of months I obtained a job back in the oil industry in Tripoli, Libya.
This lasted almost a year, before I had to flee the country with the cops on my tail for making and selling illegal alcohol.
Back in Bangkok, after a wild couple of weeks in Amsterdam, I ran into my friend, Dave, who I had first met at the Fortuna Hotel some three years earlier, and it was he who indirectly introduced me to the lady who was to become my third wife.
At that time Dave was running a recording studio which had been built in offices in Wireless Road, not far from the American Embassy. He had a Thai-Chinese partner who also had their company offices in the same compound.
I have also written about this in ‘Mobi’s Story’; how I was persuaded to ‘throw in my lot’ with Dave’s partner, (the first, but certainly not the last occasion in which Dave introduced me to ‘trustworthy Thais’ who then did their utmost relieve me of my hard-earned money), and so kick-started my adventure in the pop music/ concerts / radio/TV entertainment business.
Most of Dave’s business at this time was concerned with writing and recording music jingles for the advertising industry. He had made a few friends in that business and it was through their introductions that he started to get commissions from the agencies.
Up to this point, there was virtually no original music or songs used in advertising in Thailand. Every commercial, be it radio, TV or cinema used music and/or songs dubbed or copied from music albums. Copy-write laws were totally ignored, and there was no infrastructure or history of studios in Bangkok producing original music for the advertising industry.
Dave’s arrival on the scene changed all that, although it was a long time before he was able to command reasonable fees for his productions, as the agencies simply did not budget for original music, and only came to Dave when they were unable to find a suitable song or a piece of music to fit their ads.
In those days, The Derby King bar in Patpong was the place to go for all farangs who were in some way engaged in the advertising business in Bangkok.
The place was packed with advertising executives during very long, daily lunch ‘hours’ and then again after work in the evenings.
It was inevitable that Dave would take me down to the Derby King one evening, shortly after I had returned to Bangkok from Libya and it was there, on my very first visit, that I met the girl who was to become Mrs. Mobi number three.