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The Vacuum Issue 3 spacer Issue 3
Love On The Rocks - The Ecstasy Of Alcohol And Love
by Helen Sharp
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A quiet drink.
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It's been a good day, you've done stuff and achieved something and a wee quiet drink with your partner is in order. You go to your local, find your spot and settle in. You laugh at idiots and rejoice at simplicity and you fancy the fuck out of each other as the first drinks set in. You watch each other go to the bar and think about sex that has been and sex that's to come, about just what I'll do to you when I get you home. Laughter multiplies and your friskiness does not go unnoticed by the other people in the bar, you're cute you two.
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Love On The Rocks
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Together.
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It's the most warm and sexy and safe feeling in the worldŠjust the two of you alone in a bar that's crowded, alcohol sliding around your veins lubricating your emotions, misting your eyes and numbing fears with nothing else matters. You sit so close that neither knows where one ends and the other begins and you smile smiles that kiss each other's souls. Drink for drink you slip together into a state of complete absorption until speech is no longer necessary and nearness is enough.
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The first of too many.
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Bliss drifts and one of you empties the glass first, orders another and the simultaneous drink pattern is disrupted, thirst prevails in an attempt to make the moment last and with that next pint, gin, vodka, absinthe, port, stout, Bailey's, Martini, Manhattan, Bulmers, WKD, brandy, white wine, Bloody Mary, Babycham the whole state changes. You are no longer in unison, the concurrence has shifted and the individual surfaces thirstier than ever. Love is all well and good but the glass is emptying quicker and numbness is creeping in - another drink may fix it and lead you back to where you were with your love twenty minutes earlier.
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Every man for himself.
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Fresh drink in front of you, you are now just two people in a room of many, not special and barely connected eyes and ears wide open and so full of the people and things around you the importance of the one next to you is misplaced. The big fat man with the moustache, the blonde with a tight arse, the American with the Guinness, the Scot with the attitude problem, the woodwork around the bar, the red of the carpet, the scuff on your shoe - all at once you are alone and thinking thoughts so removed from love that you need another wee drink to think those thoughts with lucidity. One of you has been lapped three times by the other and begins to feel the need to accelerate. The handholding ceased two rounds ago but if you catch up it may lead you back to where you were with your love forty minutes earlier.
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The sun is most definitely over the yardarm and in fact the ship is sinking. One of you leaves the other to begin what will be the first of an onslaught of pissing, the body is doing its thing absorbing the alcohol and dismissing the liquid. The mind is also doing its own thing and as one of you talks to a face in the hallway the other starts to twitch. Maybe we're not in love at all; you get another drink and have a wee think about it. The other is still chatting and looks so very happy without you so you have another drink to see if you care, you don't know if you care if you care but you know you're still thirsty. The other returns to the table, it's getting close to last orders so shorter drinks with higher alcohol content are the very thing. One of you says or does the wrong thing, the sort of wrong thing that is only the wrong thing in the eyes of a drunken person - all you know now is that your nervous system is utterly bollocksed and you have lost all feeling in your brain and that you are irritated. You are so irritated that doubles turn to triples and you can't even spell the drink you're drinking. In a wholly unprovoked and exhausting display of contempt you make it very clear just how irritated you are and with a 01:30 sway, you express by means of the international language of slabber how you don't need anybody and fuck it and fuck you. Fuck you all. You're all bastards. Especially you. Cunt.
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Goodnight Vienna.
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Love On The Rocks
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The dose of fresh air on the way home clears an inch of thought, just enough to let nausea in and to feel your body thick with contempt dosed with a premature flash of regret soon dismissed with the final wave of booze through your system. The familiarity of home opens before you enough to hold you upright and guide you to bed. You trip over something that belongs to the other and with that final irritation collapse as far to one side of the bed as is humanly possible in a last crass gesture to signify your distance. I don't love you; look I have my pants on.
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The truth of the story.
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You wake up painfully and it's hazy but you're warm and there are two of you and you're so tightly wrapped in each other that the first movement wakes the other. Both pairs of eyes open and in that split second you are lead back to where you were with your love eleven and a half hours earlier knowing this is love - the rest was only alcohol and therein lies the ecstasy.
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