23 January 2004
The great thing about drink - no, one of the many great things about drink is the way it lays down such a crude pattern of interference, fogs up the whole district indiscriminately. Sometimes discrimination is just completely undesirable. I've been living for days with a sort of scratchy, swollen feeling to my tongue (sorry if this is too much information, but it's your own fault for reading someone else's diary); this morning I woke up with a tenderness in my throat and it was very, very hard to get out of bed. In many ways this was a relief; I'm crap about going to the doctor, but I do hypochondria very well, and if I've got a virus then I probably haven't got all the other stuff I've been worrying about.
At the same time, this would be a totally crap time to have a virus, as I have to cook a Chinese new year banquet on Saturday, and mark & write reports on a couple of dozen student portfolios by next Tuesday, and I'm seeing a friend on Sunday and still trying to keep a grip on the slippery oiled tail of my novel as it slithers out of my grasp, so I do not have time to be ill.
So I took my work to town, headed for the Lit & Phil and felt odd all the way, marked a few portfolios and felt worse, all dizzy and headachy and strange; abandoned the hopeless enterprise and went to the pub. And I've been drinking ever since, and you know what? I feel great. I have no idea if I'm sick or not; alcohol has overridden everything, numbed my nerve-endings and my neuroses both, set me in a steady state of fuzz where frankly I couldn't tell if I had a virus or bubonic plague, they'd both feel much the same through this blanket of white noise. From here I can regard the whole damn world with equanimity. At least for tonight. Tomorrow it'll all be worse, one day fewer to do the same and more, and God knows how I'll be feeling; but that's tomorrow, and there's nothing I can do about it tonight. I'm going to bed.
© Chaz Brenchley 2004
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.