He is the type that drinks alone. He has always liked drinking alone, in the house, at his balcony, as he reads a newspaper. Or just looks down at the apartment children ride bikes. Bars have never been his thing because people “crowd” him. Last year, I barely saw him.
We talked a few times on Whatsapp. His business was doing great because he is in supplies. He was constantly working, then he got one big deal, made bad decisions and he sunk into debt. I did not know this then because men do not talk about such things to other men.
We wear a brave face, keep our troubles under our hats. The other day he came over and I offered him a drink and he said, “I stopped.” I said, “you stopped what?” “Drinking,” he said.
He had been in rehab for three months. His drinking had taken a bad turn after his debt episode. He drunk a bottle of whisky a day in the house then two bottles a day. And he started smoking.
Then his wife threatened to leave if he did not change so he pointed at the door and said, “be my guest.” She left with the children. After two weeks in the house alone, barely eating, drinking a lot, sleeping on the couch like a dog, he pleaded with her to come back. Then he went to rehab where he said he saw Jesus.
“Did he have a beard?” I asked. He said, “You joke, but I saw Jesus one night, he sat on his bed and said, “I have a bigger plan for you if you don’t go back to drinking.” I rolled my eyes.
He insisted that it was Jesus. I liked his belief. It fascinated me. But of all the things he said, what stuck with me was when he said that alcoholics no longer sleep in ditches, are thin and have scratches on their faces.
“They are good at their jobs, they have weight on them and they keep saying ‘it’s only one drink, I’m okay.”