Tennets. Whyte & Mackay. They were his muses now. Fiona too; she was still on that list, even if she’d left.
She was too beautiful for him. What she really liked was that he was a writer; especially an alcoholic one.
‘You know, I can always smell alcohol off of you.’
‘So you’re saying I smell bad?’
‘No, I like the smell of alcohol. An alcoholic writer; how poetic.’
She would gaze at him adoringly as he drank whisky and typed. He was finally happy; he didn’t even feel the urge to drink that much anymore. Nor write. But there was always pressure to.
Their happiness made the days indistinguishable. The angst that drove him to write disappeared; not an entire box of Tennet’s nor a smile from Fiona could inspire him. Even when he managed to write something, it was impossible to get it published. Things became strained but she still loved her alcoholic writer.
Struggling with a story, he’d drunk a whole bottle of whisky. When Fiona entered the room, a barrage of resentments spewed from his mouth. She fought back. It was funny; he was the writer but she was always much better with words. He smashed the bottle, waving the jagged remnants in her face. Even for her, the drinking had gone too far.
After she left, he tried to quit. But misery defeated willpower. He’d spend each night drinking and attempting to write, and then all day hungover.
One night he had a sudden blast of inspiration. Maybe it was the whisky, he wasn’t sure, but he wrote a story about him and Fiona, their life together. It was the most powerful piece he had written. There was only one opinion he wanted; he emailed it and collapsed on the couch.
He was still a little drunk when he awoke at half seven in the morning. The email from Fiona confused him, but then he remembered. Taking a deep breath he opened it. He was sure it would bring them together.
Hi. Sorry, I don’t quite understand what this is? I hope you’re okay x
As he read the story it made no sense. Names changed constantly, sentences ran into each other and there was no story, just vague recollections of their time together. She hadn’t been touched by it and he couldn’t blame her.
He swore he would never drink again. But as he got ready to leave for work, a hangover gently surfaced. And there were still two Tennet’s in the fridge to help with that.
by James Hunter
(prompts: merry muses, jagged, ‘Now you’re gone’)