Drunken Love by Susan Evans

Cannot be friends with a drunk; I have tried.
It’s not that I don’t empathise; I just don’t
have a good time ‒ being out with a drunk, for me,
is like being at an Eat As Much As You Like Buffet,
and taking that invitation just a little too literally…
Every conversation paused to `fill up’ never sated,
always distracted by the prospect of another serving ‒
fearing a sudden rush and a pause in service…
An evening baring witness, to your friend, stuck in a
revolving door; from bar to bathroom to bar ‒
our table just a pitstop ‒ the bar being where it’s at ‒
with fellow drinking buddies, in a drunken bubble.
Thinks he’s Dylan Thomas, except his thunderous,
poetic sermons incite real trouble. I spend much of
an evening alone; apologising to others that the empty
chair is actually taken; feeling like a fraud and an
extra in my friend’s `car crash’ TV show.  Should he
abstain from alcohol abuse; funds being critically
low, he’ll be on the borrow and I could be in for some
vitriol…  he’ll recall something I said ‒ in concern or
self-defence and he’ll be all hurt by my truth.
Selective memory: he’ll never recall how uncouth
his behaviour, nor how uncomfortable it feels to
watch him down a bottle of wine in record time,
(with exception of one glass poured for me). Quickly
followed up by another bottle and another, moving
onto pints, then shots ‒ a party-for-one, with more
shakes, sweats, cramps and self-harm to come…
unaware of getting louder and louder, changing
colour and personality, not listening, not caring, not
noticing my silent tears, triggered by his spiky
projections…  pushing buttons because he can, because
he knows your heart and your Achilles heel and he
wants to make you feel as he does ‒ full of fear and
self- loathing… yeah, I’m aware he’s self-medicating…
Everyone has issues and we’re all on our own
journey; I am not able to continue being a passenger
on his; I’m not his personal therapist, this isn’t kind
to me. It’s a dilemma when your friend’s a drunk and
a member of your own family. And deep inside you
fear, that maybe one day, this could be me…

Susan Evans Performance Poet Photo by Andrew King 2015

Susan Evans is a Performance Poet from North East London, living in Brighton. Susan’s performed at various, live literature events across the UK ‒ straddling stage and page, her poetry appears/ is forthcoming in: the Fat Damsel, (Take Ten, Issue 3) Ink, Sweat & Tears, I am not a silent poet, the Jawline Review, Lighten-up online, Militant Thistles, Message in a Bottle, Nutshells and Nuggets, Poetry Space, (Winter showcase, 2014) Prole (Issues 14 & 15) Proletarian Poetry, Snakeskin,The Stare’s Nest, The Yellow Chair Review, Writing Magazine (April, 2015) Your One Phone Call. Anthologies: Brighton Stanza Poets, 2013 (Bramley Press) Slim Volumes: No Love Lost and Wherever You Roam (Pankhearst) and Spotlights, 2015 (Paragram). You can find her here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Evans-Performance-poet/485340264922817

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