Updated: Jan 29
Dancing. Thats where this is going. I can feel it in my Birkenstocks. This is the one thing I've been dreading since I quit drinking.
The rest of the people sitting at the long table are now floppier. They are sweaty and some are spitty when they talk. My jealousy subsides as I think about how very shit they'll feel tomorrow. How they won't be able to care for their children and will be gobbing sour bile into a toilet after spinning in their beds. I don't miss that for a moment. I feel smug sat quietly at the head of the table. Like a queen observing a chaotic group of jesters. A few are in black outs - I can tell by the sharky black eyes that some are entering the darkness. They won't remember anything.
Are you having fun if you can't remember it? I question as I watch one lady grinding a bar stool. These women don't look relaxed and carefree to me right now... they look scary. All bleary eyed and wild. Is that what having a good night is? morphing into a neanderthal banshee? I hide my feet under the table incase one of them tries to bite my ankle.
Then the question drops,
'Are you coming for a dance Vicky?'
'Fuck no' I want to say. 'Are you mental?'
Instead I nod, pretending to be the same person I used to be.
The doddering Mum grabs my hand and drags me towards the dance floor. Ahead of me I see people making shapes with their bodies. There are the usual types, the angry thrusters, the sexy slitherers, the bog eyed ravers and the shy side steppers. I fit into the last category. sadly, I could use my Dad here right now to show me some moves.
My hand grabbing friend leaps into the throng with her hands in the air, she wobbles her hips and pumps her groin to the beat. She reminds me of a Gibbon walking along the ground of it's enclosure, all bow legged and loose. Her troop see her and make a circle around her. They are clapping and stomping. I know what this means, I used to do this. Dance off!
Without warning my arm is yanked and there I am stood in the centre of a pack of drunken primates, all desperate for me to impress them with an outrageous dance move.
I wish I'd read a manual on this moment because this is the moment where I either have the confidence to walk away with an apology or I try to dance....sober. That is something I have never even considered before. I have no idea which one I am going to do. Time slows down as the cheer gets louder. I wish a giant over sized comedy hand would appear from the roof and pluck me out of this tight spot.and drop me off at home infant of the tele.
The chanting begins, 'do it, do it. do it.'
I shimmy towards the edge of the circle in the hope of breaking through the barrier of locked arms, but it's too tight, they push me back. It's a trap.
'oh fuck it' I say under my breath.
I do a swift side step like a hip hop B-boy then launch my body forward into a swan dive. My hands hit the floor, then my chin, ouch. My body then thuds as its undignified mass hits the deck. More like a hippopotamus plunge dive than a swan. I then turn my head to the side and hold my aching chin in the curve between my thumb and forefinger in a break dancing pose. I pause there.
The crowd goes wild and the next contender moves into position.
I get a few pats on the back as I rejoin the wall of judgement.
I did it.
I have blood on my chin.
I'm sober and I danced. What is even more surprising is I enjoyed it.
Giving up drinking thus far had been a chore. I'd found it very dull. I had become boring. Staying in, hiding instead of living. Perhaps I could find a rainbow in these heavy sober clouds. Perhaps there is life after alcohol.
I stayed for an hour on that grimy dance floor, flicking out silly moves and holding hands with all my monkey friends. I had a brilliant time. I drove home with a smile on my face with Bill Withers 'Lovely Day' playing full blast on my stereo, hoping a policeman would stop me and breathalyse me.
I woke up the next day feeling great.
Maybe I can do this after all.
Pic is me in Bali drinking coffee that has been shat out the back of a mongoose. Thats the sort crap sober people have to drink to get their kicks. I love coffee now, it's my treat instead of a wine but I recommend avoiding this kind.Cut out the middle man (mongoose) Bali people! I'm happy to have it bean to grinder thanks.