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Brian implements his new found idea.
I started to drink far more than I should, I'm sure you all know the scenario.
"Six years later I was living on the streets with no other interest than where the next drink was coming from. That is until one cold night I spent the night in a Sally-Ann hostel. That night the guy in the bed next to me died in his sleep, or should I say his drunken stupor. You know it was while I was stealing his half-empty bottle that it struck me just how low I'd sunk. Christ, I was steeling booze from a dead man!
"This bottle of booze!" The guy pulled an almost empty half bottle of whiskey from his pocket. "I carry it with me all the time to remind how low I'd sunk. I've never touched another drop of alcohol from that day to this!"
The guy looked around the bar again, probably to see how many of us were listening to him. I don't think he saw me watching him in the mirror.
"But that's not why I'm here tonight. It took me some time to put my life back together and there the Sally-Ann came up trumps and helped me a lot. Those people showed me the way back, but it wasn't easy for them or on me. But once I'd achieved my goal, I thought I needed to keep myself busy and try to help other folks in the same position that I had been in.
"Like most alcoholics I'm a member of AA, I attend regular meetings and I'm still very much in touch with the people at the Sally-Ann. Some weeks back they asked me to go to an AA meeting with a woman who they thought might be getting ready to take the pledge. Look, some folks take a little longer than others, they know what they should do, but they need the prop in life that the booze gives you.
"This woman was showing all the right signs, but she needed support; a little extra help to take that final very big step. She is surprisingly young and - if she had looked after herself - would be considered quite beautiful. I didn't know why she'd taken to drink at the beginning and I didn't care. I thought my job was to help her stop drinking.
"We went to the AA meeting, but she had obviously had a few drinks that day. Probably she thought that one drink would help her summon the strength to attend. But for alcoholics one is never enough. She'd obviously had quite a few before I collected her that evening and I could see that she wanted some more before we left. She didn't get any booze from me.
"The next day, I went to the hostel early in the morning and found her eating or rather picking over her breakfast. I had the idea of trying to stay close to her. The evening before, I'd known she was drinking but she'd tried to hide it from me by slipping in the ladies to take her poison. I thought if she still had the pride to try and hide her drinking from me, she might really want to stop drinking.
"I suggested that we go for a walk after she had eaten. I'll tell you now she gave me a real funny look."
"Why would a handsome man like you ask a drunk like me to go for a walk?" she asked. "Look, mister, you'd better understand, I might be a drunk, but I'm not easy. It was some smart mouthed man who put me in the position I'm in today. He plied me with drink until I didn't know any better and then had his way with me. The man I loved heard about it and threw me over. I couldn't live without him, so I took to this stuff to forget him."
She opened her bag and showed me the cheap bottle inside.
"So if you've got any ideas of feeding me booze until I'm out of my head and then having your way with me, you'd better forget it; drunk or sober any guy who tries it on with me gets to taste this!"
Then, she suddenly pulled a wicked looking knife out of her pocket and waved it under my nose. Mind she obviously was or had been a fine looking woman once and probably could be again if she sorted her act out. But as she was at the moment, a man would need a strong stomach, if you know what I mean.
"Take it easy, young Jill," I said to her.