Intellectual drunk

a writing by James Karuga

In being an alcoholic, I would always pride myself in being one who became an intellect after I got drunk, otherwise known as the intellectual drunk. I oozed false wisdom and fake charisma, after some few bottles that I didn’t possess when I was sober. Now I am not sure my claim would be politically correct because, besides the “being high” aspect, there was always the major league screw up part, which would steal the highlights of my charisma and wisdom.

Alcohol is deceptive and if you are drinking sitting down it is only after you stand up you realize, it would be hard to walk home. There was one experience in particular that has been hard wired in my mind. It was a Sunday, and I was escorting a friend close to me back to college, since he was loaded and I was the porter he owed me. He was in a jolly mood and decided to indulge me in a mini-drinking spree. Around that time, I had an errand to run namely picking the daily newspaper for my parents. Normally my demeanor is quiet, but after some few bottles I was rambling like an intoxicated parrot. I was surprising even my pal. So after a time the party was over, and it was time for my pal to go back to college and me back home with the newspapers.

When my friend realized how drunk I was, he suggested I take a taxi but with a drunk anything seems possible. So I jabbered after a hefty burp “come on I will walk home I am not drunk.” I was in denial and confident. Now in that particular small town, everyone knew my parents who were and still are prominent members of the local church. Frankly my being drunk and a nuisance in public, was equivalent to committing treason to my home and parents. With a drunk, I guess there is no embarrassment so I would take some few steps and have an accidental fart. Now don’t stop reading this story even though that sounds gross, but it really happened. My journey to home about four kilometers away was like a circus only dangerous. I would stagger fall down and then stand up and continue on my epic journey home. I remember, almost misjudging crossing the road and I almost got hit by a speeding car.

The major mistake I made however was ignoring the fact that when drunk, you don’t stand in the sun let alone walk. But to me impossible seemed nothing. The sun rays would strike my head, and I would feel light headed and the alcohol in my bloodstream would overwhelm me to the extent that, I would fall down and get bruised and bloody. Like an anesthesia, somehow the alcohol would numb my pain. So at the time even though my elbows and knees were bruised and bloodied from the falls, I would never feel pain. That was preserved for later when I got sober. The newspapers I was to deliver to my parents were not spared. When I got them from the vendor, they were new but halfway through my journey they looked ten years old. They had turned brown, not due to oxidation but to soil. With every fall they would be dirty and tattered.

Finally after some few hours, I got near home vicinity. My epic staggering journey was almost over, but the remaining part was a bit tricky for a teen drunk. Since it was a Sunday, I knew my parents would be home that time, around 4 pm. That meant I had to be careful to enter the home without being detected. Then change my clothes, and act saintly even though I was drunk on the Lord’s Day and nurse my wounds. That was tricky because I was still stone drunk and unable to stand without falling. So then I shifted to plan S for sneaking in. I planned to take a detour, instead of using the gate like a normal sober person would, sneaking through the fence hole like a thief and hiding in the garden full of maize and banana stems seemed the viable option.

From the garden I would monitor the main door and if nobody was around and it was open, I would rush in, in my drunken stupor and enter as quickly as possible to my room that seemed easier thought than done.

Halfway through my hastily thought plan, I heard voices, peeping through the plantations I realized it was my mother and her friend walking to the garden. Instantly, I knew I would be busted if I didn’t hide in the nearby cowshed that was shielded by overgrown banana stems. So I retreated to the shed where I hid until my mother and her friend went back to the house. I was rolling there flat on my belly trying in vain to stand. When the coast was clear, I walked holding on to stems and walls and finally mustered enough energy to make a mad drunken dash to the house door. I got in and locked myself in my room. I was safe but hurting from the bruises, but that was not my immediate worry. My dilemma was how I was going to explain the tattered state of the newspapers.

Evening was here right about the time, my parents asked for the newspapers to read them. When I presented them, they were shocked but then I was a convincing liar. I hastily told them how I fell down accidentally in a dusty place. Then passed on the buck to my pal whom they knew, I said he mishandled the papers. They were livid, but surprisingly they let it slide. My wounds, since they were on the joints, the elbows and the knees really hurt. The next day my mother in a way got a hint I was intoxicated, she gave me an indirect reprimand but I was glad it was over.

That was year 2000 I was a teen who loved alcohol, not the taste of it but the sensation of being drunk. Alcohol is a pet I learnt I did not have to entertain, after I lost a dear friend to a binge related brawl that left him with a blood clot on the brain. I am way better off facing life now, without shielding myself behind the bottle. I am free and I love it. Thank you Jesus.

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