Liquor Store Opening Times

December 2, 2008

12.05 pm – Eight hours and fifty-five minutes to go.
It’s a little past midday as I open my eyes. I feel safe and warm under my covers, made out of a woolen blanket and two unzipped sleeping bags. I always forget exactly where I’m situated until I open my eyes and look into the whiteness that stares at me, half an arms length from my head. In case you’re wondering, it’s not the walls I’m talking about, it’s the table. That’s right; I actually sleep, not under it, but inside the thing. It fills up about fifty percent of my little shack and its quite multi-functional, considering the simplicity of its structure. On it I store my books, clothes, my toothbrush, shaver and specs and a wide selection of glasses, plates, cutlery and bottles. I lay awake for a while and listen to what’s going on around me. An overgrown garden spawns a wide selection of sounds, from whistling birds to thumping possums, but you can always count on it to differ from the previous day.

1.17 pm – Seven hours and forty-three minutes to go.
Johnny Cash is still moaning the same song that woke me up and now it’s stuck in my head. I must have dozed off. This time I’m not letting sleep get to me again though, I crawl out of bed (literally), fold the mattress and covers, and proceed to perform my rituals of waking. Toilet first. Then coffee. Then a slice of bread with peanut butter and some cereals if there’s any milk left. I read for a bit and then head for the shower which I enjoy having medium temperature and long.

2.10 pmSix hours and fifty minutes to go
My head feels heavy. I don’t know if it was last nights adventures or the promise of the day that gets too me. I decide to answer some emails. I have about fifty unanswered ones, that poke away at my guilt like an army of disappointed mothers, every time I open my Inbox.

2.12 pm – Six hours and forty-eight minutes to go
Wait a minute, that looks interesting. A Facebook link, linking to a Youtube video that turns my attention to a music weblog, pointing me to a Wikipedia article that got me thinking of something I had in mind last night.

4.26 pm – Four hours and thirty-four minutes to go
I decided that I was in no mood for communication and instead stared helplessly at the screen for over two hours. I have no idea what I’ve been doing. I’d better get dressed.

5.00 pm – Four hours to go
The decision I made last night about not drinking today seems to have worked well. I feel strong, but my head is still heavy, despite having consumed four cops of Nescafe Gold Instant Coffee. I don’t have any plans. I don’t know what to do. There’s always a concert of course, maybe I should do that. No, it’s a bad idea. You know what’ll happen. You’ll enter the venue with strong will, but as soon as the bartender asks you what you’ll have, you know there’s no option of going for soda or water. It’s just not you. You can’t imagine yourself standing there with a Coca-Cola, which you don’t really like anyway. No, stay at home, work on your new song, get it done.

5.45 pm – Three hours and fifteen minutes to go
I disappeared into the song and forgot time. I like that. But now images of the liquor store keeps popping up, like little animated sequences before my eyes. I see myself wandering past the vast lines of wine, deciding I feel like something fresher I head for the beer that’s being cooled in not less than seven refrigerators, standing long and tall at the end of the shop. Fresh, chilled with the promise of good times. I cut of the nonsense that’s blistering through my head by doing the dishes. The water scolds my hands but it doesn’t seem to bother me.

6.17 pm – Two hours and forty-three minutes to go
I have twenty dollars left, which means I can get a cask of wine and a six pack. Or maybe two casks of wine if I buy the cheap stuff. Or maybe two six-packs. Or a bottle of wine and a small flask of scotch. Or maybe a bottle of wine, a small flask of scotch and two beers for starters. I give myself a good, hard mental slapping and remind myself that I have to take Kelly out for lunch tomorrow. I have a feeling she’ll be disappointed if I decide to show her the virtues and delicious variety of dumpster diving, while explaining I spent my last money on getting drunk. I’ve got to find somewhere cheap to take her though; twenty won’t last me long.

7.00 pm – Two hours to go

Feeling itchy and shaky. It’s getting cold in my little shack. The walls are thin as carton and temperature is dropping fast. Still, I have a feeling that bad insulation is not what’s giving me the heeby jeebies. I pet the dogs, walk around, play my guitar, sing some songs, drink some coffee, eat some rice and bread, check my email, put my clothes in the washer, talk to myself, wash my hands, turn around, forget what I was doing. It’s useless. Time is moving slower than ever, in snail pace, swaggering along in slow motion. Time is not on your side. Never has been. It’s always too fast or slow. You have to make it disappear. Perhaps that’s why we drink, play, draw, write, fuck or find other ways of making ourselves oblivious to it.

8 pm – One hour to go
What’s the point anyway? After the store closes there’s always an endless amount of bars that you’ll gladly transport yourself to. Do it. Go down there, you’ll buy just a single bottle of wine, it won’t make you feel sick in the morning anyway. Maybe it’s better to just ease it down a bit, not go for the cold turkey. I give myself a hard kick in the ass and snap out of it. Maybe I should just watch a movie.

8.33 pm – One hour and twenty-seven minutes to go
Can’t focus on the movie, turn it off, walk in circles, pick up the guitar and start strumming.

8.51 pm – Nine minutes to go
Alright old boy, it’s the last chance. You can make it if you really go for it. I rush to the hallway, put on my shoes, tie the laces and proceed out the door. I’m now in a state of total ignorance towards my earlier ambitions as I deliriously speed walk down the road. There’s still some part of me in there, not wanting to actually run for it, but I’m walking as fast as my legs allow me, and I’m sure it looks absolutely ridiculous.

8.59 – One minute to go
I reach the store just as they’re rolling down the fence and yell to the clerk

Just a minute now! Let me in! This is a case of emergency! No! Don’t roll that down just yet! The register can’t be closed! There’s still.. thirty seconds left! I want to see your boss immediately! Oh you are the boss. Let me buy just a bottle of wine, it won’t take more than a minute. Here I’ll give you a ten for the eight dollar bottle. Come on! Aww, you heartless swine. I’ll never shop here again if my life depended on it. There you go, you’ve just lost a customer. I hope you feel good about yourself. Clerk rhymes JERK you know that?“.

9.01 pm – closed
I walk home with a pounding chest, a volcano of fury and agony, enter the shack, wank off and sleep ’till the next morning where everything is just the same.

Except today, I’ll definately make it down there in time.

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