Characters...oh, I have met many of all descriptions.
I have always been intrigued by severe drinkers. How can their body withstand such abuse? When did they start this personal punishment? Why? i do not like to judge; just observe and question in my own mind how things came to be like they are.
Over the years I have met many drinkers in my life. Some people prefer guzzling pints and beers, others opt for harder alcohol; sometimes mixed and rarely just drunken neat.
Personally, I love wine- all types; especially with a delicious meal. Thank you Pendy for furthering my knowledge and palate (there is a whole world of wines out there to discover). Although I will admit that i also have a juvenile taste for pop-like wine coolers. You know the ones that taste like melted down popsicles. But as much as i like to indulge i do not enjoy feeling drunk ..AT ALL!!!
In India I have managed to stumble upon a supremely fascinating alchoholic -beyond all proportions. He -lets call him Boris- (will remain anonymous) may as well be main-lining the alcohol through a drip into his veins. That would not be that far off from what he is doing orally!!!
He has been drinking for a living since he was a young boy. He is now hardened and experienced at the ripe age of 38. Boris usually starts his day with a few large beers (maybe 6). AT this point in the day he is still lucid and I have had the pleasure of having some gripping conversations with him. I have tried to catch him during these rare moments so that I can take in his detailed accounts of waking up drunk in Ecuadorian prisons, getting loaded with Indians in temples, daily life in Belgrade, history and religion and his accounts of personal relationships during his life.
His eyes tell the stories; their gaze steady and dark with detail, while his hands move furiously expressing emotion.
Then it is as if a switch goes off. I see the glint emerge in the corners of his eyes. He reaches for the bottle of whisky and adds a double shot to the remainders of the beer in his glass. Boris gulps the brew down; introducing a new line of energy to his behaviour.
I was surprised because even though his head lowers and he starts to sway a bit his interpretations are still not that cloudy. He enters a paradoxical realm of memories and current observations. The dark eyes become less focused and slightly squinted and you better be wary that you can take whatever abuse he may hurl at you.
Then....his shoulders hunch and another click goes off and he is onto the ARak. This is local moonshine sold in plastic bags for 50 cents! It is the closest thing to rubbing alcohol that I have ever smelled. I even leaned over to smell his glass of beer-whisky-arak and felt my stomach lurch from the mere odour.
I forgot to mention that throughout these sessions of bombarding his system, imbibing pure poison, he smokes about 10 packs of cigarettes and eats NO FOOD!!! Apparantly, sometimes he goes 8 days without eating!
Oh dear, this is definitely the end of all meaningful interaction with Boris. He enters a different reality in which no one can reach him. My heart goes out to such a soul. I ask you this- how can the human body withstand such punishment?
For despite his obvious addiction he is a warm and loving man. He is intelligent and emotional, but is caught in a devastating trap of avoiding reality. AS the israelies say..." Why like this?"