I was standing on the edge of nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing. I remember that the air was sweet,
yet sickly. Yet all I could smell was nothing.
My eyes, barely taking in my surroundings, couldn’t really believe what I was seeing. The ground
below me looked inviting, yet strangely austere. To my left, cars. To my right, a path. A path to
where? A path to nothing? I did not know. And more importantly, I did not care. All I cared about
was the view in front of me.
Everything and Nothing, my local pub was waiting for me. Its windows fixated on me like a pair of
steely grey eyes. They were again inviting. They were again austere. Before I knew it, my legs were
moving towards the door. It was as if they had a mind of their own. I did not want to drink, but my
legs did. And that’s what mattered.
As I opened the dark brown doors of Everything and Nothing, nothing became everything and
everything was nothing. I was at home. That nauseating, bittersweet smell aroused my senses,
lulling me into a sense of tranquillity. Although I did not know it at the time, I was an alcoholic. At
the time, I thought of drinking as a trivial activity; one to be enjoyed occasionally and always in the
best of spirits. However, I did not always stick to those rules. A Friday night became a Saturday night;
a Saturday night became a Sunday morning; a Sunday morning became a Monday morning. Monday
mornings became Tuesdays and, before I knew it, I was spending every single day in that pub. I was
wasting my life away. And I enjoyed it.
I walked up to the bar and asked for my favourite ‘starter’, a pear cider mixed with vodka.
Unorthodox, I know, but I liked it, so I would have it. That seemed to be my mantra. As I was waiting,
I saw someone enter. Someone new. He was wearing a blue shirt that looked like it had been bought
in a charity shop. As the doors shut behind him, the whole pub looked in his direction. All was quiet
for a few moments, although it seemed like hours. Eventually, someone walked up to this man.
Tensions seemed to be high and the pub seemed to be waiting,...