Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Kaptain’s Kicked It

(The grog, not the bucket, mind.)

The easiest thing for me to do right now would be to cave in and ask the stewardess for a glass of neat gin. I crave it. And it’s “free”. The fact that I can’t even remember boarding the plane doesn’t come into it.

But I won’t. I won’t take that easy route, because that would mean letting people down. People I love, respect and care for. Myself, even.

No: it’s time to scare off the demons with a simple act of bravery. Rare for me, but something I’m finally going to accomplish.

It’s fucking hard, mind, but there comes a moment when you somehow know that this is it – it’s now or never. It has ceased to be something you can put off till tomorrow.

I could go on living a lie, but I won’t.

Whatever the consequences, the Kaptain has kicked it. Has put the grog behind him.

When my wife drapes an arm across me in bed, I ask: “Don’t you want to keep waking up next to her?” The answer, naturally, is a resounding “yes.” “So why are you killing yourself?” I continue.

This silent conversation I’ve been having – for ages, mind – is incomprehensible. Absurd. Such is the wickedness, the sheer treachery, of the poison we call alcohol. My kidneys will testify to that.

I think of my kids and ask: “How long do you want to be around? Don’t you want to see them grow, develop and flourish?” Of course I do.

But I’ve continued needing to get back on that plane: different, in every aspect, to the one I’m factually sitting on, but a place that exists only in my mind, where reality is always suspended. In practice, a good way to accelerate death.

I look at my face and wonder why a great big strawberry has been planted right in the middle of it. Have I morphed into Brian Clough?

And I can only imagine that my breath stinks (yes, a suitably horrid word.) It’s capable, surely, of overpowering any bystander with its toxic miasma. Of felling a rhino at ten paces, even.

“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy,” someone once said. I think it was one of the Marx brothers. I couldn’t agree more. Recently, I’ve been applying the “up and down” principle to my drinking habit: I’d wake up, and down a gin. Neck it, straight from the bottle. Every hour, day or night.

Those of you who know me intimately will agree that I have never been someone who could be described as normal. Sad to say, much of my exuberance has been fuelled by alcohol. Gin, particularly. I have used it as a device to liberate myself from the reserve that comes naturally from being of “English” stock.

But it’s time for me, finally, to say – with conviction –

“I don’t drink.”


posted by Kirk at 5:19 am  


  1. Kicking it is probably the toughest thing you’ll ever have to do…and I do applaud it. Loudly! You have so much to give this world but more important, so much you can receive from this world from those of us who have seen through the fog of grog and recognize who you can be. The real battle is knowing what you want and staying the course. YOU ARE WINNING THE BATTLE!

    Walt Whitman wrote about the American President Abraham Lincoln after he was assassinated. The grog was killing you, my friend, and the following could have been you. But you are altering your life and I have altered the last verse (admittedly, with no permission from Mr. Whitman, but with inspiration from a “higher authority”).

    O KAPTAIN! my Kaptain! our fearful trip is done;
    The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
    But O heart! heart! heart!
    O the bleeding drops of red,
    Where on the deck my Kaptain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.

    O Kaptain! my Kaptain! rise up and hear the bells;
    Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
    For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
    For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
    Here Kaptain! dear father!
    This arm beneath your head;
    It is some dream that on the deck,
    You’ve fallen cold and dead.

    My Kaptain boldly answers, he knows he’s had his fill;
    My Kaptain surely feels my arm, he fights with stronger will;
    The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
    From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
    Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
    But I, with upheld head,
    Walk the deck my Captain flies,
    No longer cold and dead.

    My mate and good friend, we will have Diet Cokes at ABC and Virgin Marys at Hemingways because when I know for sure that “you don’t drink”, I’ll drink to that!

    Comment by Zvi — June 8, 2009 @ 3:37 am

  2. Applause and much love from Tilbury.
    Much love And Kind Regards, Chris.x.

    Comment by Chris — June 8, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

  3. Thank you, gentlemen.

    Comment by Kirk — June 8, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

  4. Good on you mate. Well done and more power to you.


    Comment by Craig — June 10, 2009 @ 5:48 am

  5. Thanks, Craig.

    Comment by The Kaptain — June 10, 2009 @ 9:35 pm