8. 37 Am. It’s a damn cold Friday morning, and it’s only the beginning of April. The melody of “Three little birds” sings out to let me know that someone is texting my cell phone. “Hi m8 wat u doin 2day”, it reads. It’s Gary.
I better text him back, poor guy’s been texting me all week, it might be important, I conclude.
“Just reading the Big Book at the mo, (which is the alcoholic’s bible, as I recently found out that this was what I was deemed to be for the rest of my life) then I’ll get up, do my Pilates then dye my hair, but cum ova bout 11 if you want, I reply”
“Ok m8 I see u then”, Gary txt back.
Gradually I inch out from under my warm blankets and swiftly throw on my tracks and jumper, trying to avoid the chill in the air, all the time grumbling under my breath, “What the hell could he want now?”
Man its freezing, I have to warm up, I think as I stand outside, sucking back some nicotine.
Right, butt that cancer stick out and go and do some exercise, I encourage myself.
Lying on my purple yoga mat in the lounge, I stretch out and copy the exercises shown on the DVD, by the blonde Australian, with the awesome figure and flat guts.
Gee, I wonder, when will my puku look like that, it’s been 6 months now. Maybe I better cut down on all those chips, I ponder.
I heard on the news last night that drinking 8 glasses of water is just a myth, Thank God for that, I was sure that all that water I was drinking was one of the reasons my guts was still wobbling around like a plate of jelly or maybe it was hopeful thinking.
As I stretch out my tiny taut muscles, I notice I’ve finally warmed up, so I proceed into the bathroom and start applying, what looks like some weird colour of purple through my streaked brown and white hair.
God I’m only 43, I shouldn’t have all this grey hair, but thank God for hair dye.
Actually, I Thank God for this day and everything in it and bless my children and my Mother too, I decide to pray.
Since I gave up drinking I have taken up God to replace my habit.
The house phone beckons me, damn it, I swear.
It’s my mate Ron from Tauranga, who like me, is a recovering alcoholic.
We only met 3 weeks ago and seemed to get on like a house on fire, so much so I ended up sneaking into his bed late one night, while the rest of the people that I had gone down with(also recovery alcoholics), to stay on his farm for the weekend, where tucked away snugly in their tents.
I’m not too sure whether we really have that much in common now except for lust. Funny that.
Dirty little slut I think to myself. Na, its only human nature and we’re both single, so no harm done, I mull over, even though my alcohol counsellor stipulated time and time again not to have sex with anyone in recovery.
We air our grievances openly and honestly and lend encouragement and hope to each other and end the call on nothing but goodbye.
Nice man but too countrified for this city girl, my mind contemplates.
Oh well, its time to jump in the shower, wash out the dye and hope for the best.
I get out of the shower in time to hear Gary pulling up the driveway. Actually it was my dog Miss E that let me know he had arrived. Wow 11 o’clock on the dot, must be important.
I run outside and Miss Es snarling and biting at the tyres of the new bike he has just purchased.
It’s a funny sight to see. A 190kg or maybe even a 200kg man now, on a Jap bike, 250cc with flames decorating the tank.
“Get to bed” I yell at her, and she runs into the washhouse, tail between her legs.
Joss Stone is blaring out of my little beat up CD player “I’ve got a right to be wrong, I’ve been held down too long, I’ve got to break free, so I can finally breathe” and that’s my thoughts exactly.
Now Gary is another new friend. Just before Xmas I had my bag stolen which contained all the things that women usually carry in their bags including my car keys. I couldn’t get another key cut as it was an American car that had been sold to Japan, so Gary, who was an uncle of my daughter’s friend, said he would take a look and see what he could do, being a backdoor mechanic.
I was grateful for any help at that time, as I was at my wits end, so I humbly accepted.
I recall the first time I set eyes on Gary. He pulled up to my house and struggled to get out of his car. He weighed around 190 kgs at a guess, wore no shoes and had wisps of white hair that he pushed over to the side to try and conceal the baldness. Most of his teeth were missing and he could hardly do the fly up on his dirty oily jeans for the mere fact he was grossly overweight.
After my mind finished processing this image, I found that after chatting to him for awhile that we also got on like a house on fire, had a lot in common, but I knew I would not be jumping into his bed, as the lust just was not there, not for me anyway.
“So my friend, I greet him, how are you?” I ask with trepidation.
Gary is a very lovely natured person, kind and caring but has one down fall. He likes to talk and you can’t get one word in edgewise and if you do manage to, he’s not really listening anyway.
“I have to go back to hospital. I recently had one gallstone removed and the idiots now tell me there’s three more that have to removed as well, but I’m scared. I’ve been in and out of hospitals the past 8 years and last time I nearly didn’t make it, I wish I could sue those bastards. I cant sleep and if I roll on my side its like big jagged rocks jabbing into me, so I usually stay awake for days on end then find my self falling asleep at 7.30 in the morning and sleeping till one or two in the afternoon” he spu’s out, all in one breath “Don’t tell anyone I said I was scared. I only have two people I can talk to and that’s you and Helen. You’re looking good”, he adds in, a bit skinny though. I think to myself that’s funny why fat people always say I’m too skinny. “I’m feeling awesome, I reply. It’s been three months now since my last drink and I love it”
An hour passes and he’s still rambling on about how miserable hospitals are, his gallstones, his leg, his arm and damned ACC, then tells me about this money making scheme we can get into, so we come inside out of the cold and turn on the computer and log onto Trade me.
We spend half an hour on the computer coming up with these brilliant ideas of making mega bucks, and then the thought hits me. How can we do this if he needs an operation? So I let him know, that I know its scary, but make the appointment to get the gallstones removed and I will be there with him 100% all the way.
“So what are you doing with the rest of the day” I say, hint, hint.
“Think I’ll go home and try and get some sleep” he mumbles, taking the hint.
He thanks me and lets me know that if he wins the 18 million on lotto this weekend, he will come and pick me up and take me away with him and we will get married.
Yeah right, in your dreams mate. Oh well it costs nothing to dream, I think to myself as I wave him goodbye, with Miss E close on his heels chasing him and his bike down the driveway.
Sleep well my friend and sweet dreams.