I Ran Too Slow


I know exactly why they call alcohol 'the demon drink'. It's because it lets out all of those devils inside which you wouldn't dream of showing to the world when you're sober. 

Anger, fear, jealousy... the evil, nasty, hurtful little imps which live just under the thin surface of the skin, and lie in wait until the shirt sleeves are rolled up and the tie comes off the psyche on a Friday night, leaning up against the bar with the boys. 

You never did have a control switch when it came to booze. One minute, there you were, present and accounted for; in and of the moment, laughing, charming and funny - the next, the darkness came down in the sneering curl of your upper lip and your lowered eyelids. It was inevitable, and I would beg you - beg you - to avoid it.

Because I knew who would have to deal with the consequences of that black bile. 

You did try hard, so hard, 99 percent of the time, I'll give you that.

It was the other one percent which made it a case of not trying hard enough.  

I've not to this day worked out what was more hurtful; the names you sprayed like poison at me, or the fact you genuinely couldn't remember them afterwards. 

l'm also not sure whether I'm more ashamed of the fact I allowed you to hit me more than once, or that I stayed to allow it. 

Red wine coating walls like blood. The smell of bleach as I scrubbed them clean, mixed with the taste of angry, delirious, tired tears. 

Even after all these months, now years, sometimes - in an odd moment - I can still feel the sting of your hand and tone. 

And, like a corked wine, taste the regret for both of us. Because for most of our time, you were my beloved Dr Jekyll.

If only you hadn't discovered such a liking for Mr Hyde.