Conversations With Spirits

By E O Higgins

The story of a dissipated genius in a borrowed hat and coat

Monday, 28 September 2015

Out my cups

"I wouldn't mind meeting the sober version of you!"

So the wife tells me, as I voice my concerns about the long, boozeless month stretching out before me...

Naturally, I respond with a sneer. (Admittedly, it's not a very good sneer. It's one I've copied off Simon MacCorkindale during the denouement of the 1978-version of Death on the Nile. Though I've omitted the hollow laughter, the slow hand-clap and the impressive RADA have to earn those things.)

I signed up to 'Go Sober For October' in the midst of a terrible hangover – in an effort to please my wife and new-born son.

(When I mention this now, typically the responses are:

The wife: "I've just done several months without a drink!"

The boy: nothing. Just stares up at me with large, impassive – incredibly clear –  blue eyes, before turning his attention back to his rusk.)

I'm on my own here. And that's probably very right and proper.

As a 38-year-old, it means that – like many of my contemporaries – I haven't had a sober weekend for about 22 years. (There were a lot of boozy weekdays too. But no one's counting them.)

If this was a '50s American film, I'd be looking back at all these lost weekends through a dizzying kaleidoscope of neon bar signs reading 'The Pussy Cat' and 'The Pink Slipper'...

But, unfortunately, I'm British. And the sight of a thousand, faded pub signs makes for a less impressive montage.

One Unbound author – himself something of a bar-room habitué – recently summed up my fears about the coming month with great economy.

The message that sits under his donation reads simply: "You're an idiot."  

Whilst an ex-colleague was moved to append the following explanatory note to his donation: "As it is for a good cause, and it will inconvenience you greatly, I feel this is project I can get behind."

Evidently, giving money to charity brings out the best in people...

Anyway, if you'd like to donate some cash to an excellent cause – and show a drunk a bad time into the bargain – please do.

It's all here for you:

(No pressure.)

Back to project page
Share on social

Top rewards

£15  + shipping
227 pledges


1st edition hardback and the ebook edition.
117 pledges


  • ebook edition