About 39 years ago I picked up my first drink. It took 35 years to put it down. My earliest recollection of my drinking was when I was about 15. There was a play our class was going too, by bus, at night after school. I was to ride my bike to my friends place and then walk with them to the school to get on the charted bus. Before I left home I decided to fill my bike water bottle with booze from dads bar. I only poured a small amount from many different bottles, to fill my “water” bottle, so dad wouldn’t notice any missing. By the time I got to the bus I’d finished the bottle. (about 20 mins) I was well and truly on my way. I can’t remember the bus ride but I remember that when we got to the theatre my mates pushed me into an empty seat at the back of the theatre, next to a young couple. By this stage I was blind! I remember that the woman sitting next to me asked if I was OK. I turned toward her and threw up everywhere….Next thing the teachers had come up and got me and taken me out to the foyer. I’d wet myself at some point as well. It was all very vague. They then tried sobering me up for a few hours, drove me back to school where I rode my bike home. The teachers never told my parents or headmaster. You would think that that would have put me off for life but no, I was an alcoholic. I spent the next 35 years trying to drink responsibly……. It never happened.
From about 15 till about 18 years old every weekend was a piss up. There were probably about 30 people in our group, we were based in Salisbury North, in South Australia which was not exactly an upper class suburb by any means and there seemed to be a party somewhere every weekend. We formed a “gang”, The Sunset Surfies. We’d try and go surfing as often as possible, not so much to surf, more to just party. About the toughest thing we did was have a flour fight in the main street of a small beachside town…. We did have an opposition gang that WERE tough nuts…… The Jiffy Boys. These guys were hard case boys that wanted to fight, we were soft case guys who could run. Their calling card was to drop jiffy fire starters on the roads they walked down hence the name!! We had a few broken windscreens over the years but nothing major. I found out the police had a file on The Sunset Surfies after I was arrested for loitering outside one of the night clubs we frequented. The cops warned me a few times to move on but I just kept pushing their buttons, drunk again ! There was bugger all in the file they told me. It was more the Jiffy’s they were watching.
I was getting into and being served at pubs since I was 16 years old. Now, I look very young for my age and back then I must have looked 10!!!! I wasn’t asked for I.D. till I turned 18……go figure! We would have major drinking session, jump in our cars and drive home or to the next pub. My first car was a HK GTS Monaro, a very hot and fast car for a 16 year old. I bought it from my dad. I had it for a few months and on a particularly big drinking night at a pub in town we decided to go to another pub down by the beach. It was a dual lane highway with a huge island running down the middle with large trees in it. (Anzac Highway, if anyone knows it). I think there were five of us in the car, the two in the back were mooning passer buys. In the front was Ian in the passenger seat, Westy sitting on the centre console and me at the wheel. It was an automatic! We were so drunk that I was controlling the brake and accelerator and Westy was steering. All of a sudden another Monaro was along side of us and the next thing I new they had side swiped us, pushed us up on the island and I was breaking while Westy steered us around the trees. When we stopped and I looked up the guys from the other car were running toward us ready to kill. They threw a punch at Ian and one came around to my side. Now Im by no means a fighter, in fact I’d never had a fight in my life, but I remember trying to throw a punch at the guy but my hand got caught in the steering wheel. Other cars started stopping to see what was going on and the guys from the other car fled. It turned out later that these particular guys were actually wanted by the cops for various other offences. The cops turned up and I remember the Sarge saying to another cop that he could smell beer on me (no shit Sherlock) and to get me to blow in the bag. Back then it was a bag! He took me to one side, got me to blow, looked at the result (I must have blown the bag to bits) and yelled to the Sarge that I was under!!!!! He must have felt sorry for me or something….bizarre….. I should have lost my licence for life. The car was a right off!! My next car was a FB holden… a very old banger but that car was another whole adventure.
I met my first real girlfriend at about 18, Raelene. (I was a late bloomer) She put up with my drinking, as I was allways a happy drunk. Her father on the other hand, a very large Italian man, wasn’t as impressed. I remember going to one of their family BBQ’s at an oval somewhere. I’d bought this awesome stubby holder that would hook onto your jeans so my beer never left my side. Raelene told me the family was amazed that I could run, slowly, all over the oval with my beer constantly at my side. One of the first indications I was developing into a fully fledged alcoholic. I was working for my dad at this point, in the city, and Raelene lived in Salisbury, not far from my unit. I’d finish work about 5.00 and then me and a couple of the guys in the business next door, a second-hand car yard, would have a few drinks in my workshop before we all drove home. It started off as a couple of drinks and soon became one to two bottles of scotch between us. Turned out I had a fellow alcy next door! I would then head to Raelene’s for dinner.
During this period I decided to become a part time DJ, wedding, party’s, etc. another job I could drink in. I loved playing music and had a knack at picking music that would keep people up and dancing depending on the crowds mood. Raelene wasn’t overly happy with my job but put up with it. It was getting pretty serious with Raelene so I decided to ask her father for her hand in marriage. It was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I was shitting myself. We were in his garage building a piece of equipment I needed for a business I was starting. It took ages for me to get the guts up and when I finally did he gave me a lecture about saving money, looking after his only daughter and kerb my drinking. He the gave me his blessing. About two weeks later, at one of my shows a stunning girl asked me if I had any Barry White. I’d never heard of him!! This was a petite, stunning girl with long dark curly hair. mesmerizing!! She was a cross between Cher and Julia Roberts. Why the hell would she be interested in me? After the show we went to a nightclub and played up. She marked her territory by scratching my back with her long nails. When I got back to my unit where Raelene was waiting for me, she asked me if I’d been playing up. I confessed and she dumped me. Talk about a completely self sabotaging alcoholic. What a dick!!!!
THE MARRIED YEARS( for obvious reasons I won’t be mentioning her name)
After meeting this girl at the party I was DJ’ing for, and Raelene subsequently dumping me, I contacted her on the number she had given me. I met her mother who warned me to keep clear of her for my own safety. I met one of her friends who warned me to stay clear of her, she’s crazy!! So what did I do? We hooked up! Alcoholic self sabotage kicks in again! This girl was so far out of my league it was scary. This was pure lust on my behalf. It did turn to love further down the track. Turned out she was a manic-depressive, extremely jealous, suicidal, alcy, that dabbled in heroin and any other drug, with a killer body!!!! Why wouldn’t I get with her. So I ended up marrying her. I could write a complete book about the married years but I’ll keep it simple here. I distinctly remember one time she was desperate for a hit of heroin with her mates. She needed $10 for a share of the hit. Now I had never seen anyone shoot up before so I asked if I could be in the room when she did it. I had no idea what to expect. When we entered the room, there were about 6 people sitting around a dingy bedroom. One guy was filling the syringe. The next thing freaked me right out, they handed the needle around with each person injected a small amount from the syringe then passing it on to the next. It was the most disgusting thing I had ever seen. I told the wife, after we left, how sick to the stomach it made me feel. I explained that I compared it to someone scrounging, in the bottom of a rotting garbage bin, for food, then eating it!! For some reason this got a strong message through to her and I don’t think she ever shot up smack again. She was one complex girl, even to the point that we worked out that one of her parents could not be her parent. The ex is RH- and both parents are RH+. It could explain a lot of her problems but it was never confronted while they were alive. The unit I was living in soon became a haunt for her druggy friends. It wasn’t long before I wasn’t allowed to see any of my old friends, the jealousy thing!
It was only about 1 month after we met that the ex wanted a baby. I agreed, I figured it may calm her down and it meant more sex! (remember it was all lust at this stage). I soon became familiar with Barry White. After we did the deed she would basically stand on her head to make things happened. It must have worked, she got pregnant strait away….bugger!
TO BE CONTINUED
©Steven Court 2015