• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 12
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Another Alcoholic Sky

Drinking alone in cities is always problematic, being at risk of getting mugged or murdered or maybe just managing to stumble into the gutter and never making it out again. But out here, where both the landscape and the people are binary (left/right, light/dark, alive/dead), it is more dangerous, nature’s method of stabbing back.

You might be the one to start the fight, of course, with a drunk’s focused fascination with the mundane. At any time, in any place, there will be someone who can only hear the shredding of their fingernails or flower petals, in spite of the thudding music and someone else screaming about Jacob Rees-Mogg. But in the countryside, stark and sheer as it is here, there is nobody to yell at you and nobody to tell you to shut up.

Nature makes no attempt to smother you. Shouting into the bottom of a ravine (‘I wish you were down there too, ex-girlfriend’) is perhaps as satisfying as shouting into a stranger’s ear, although it would be more difficult to have sex with a rock formation. You don’t have to repeat things to a ravine, don’t have to move their hands away from your crotch or stop them from drinking what is very explicitly your drink. The ravine does talk back, offering the highest form of flattery, and thus it is possible to hold a decent conversation.

But it’s the sky that holds your full attention, something out of Van Gogh or Monet or whoever painted that trippy painting with all the swirls. You think that you’ve been spiked, but then you realise that you haven’t spoken to another person for 72 hours. Loneliness is next to godliness, right, and being a miserable bastard who purposely isolates themselves from society for unaddressed psychological reasons means that you’re in more need of salvation than the rest of us.


Another Alcoholic Sky

It’s you with the sky and the rock and the world. That thought is intimidating, reminds you of your insignificance and failure to pass GCSE Maths twelve years ago, but the space above and the space below welcomes you with open arms.