I once fell in a Dyke on the way to a toilet…
My friend Dave and I used to travel around our local towns and villages a lot, where we’d go and find a nice pub and try their food.
He was also my personal taxi service and I could call on him any time and times when I really needed him I’d call him up and he would come to get me. Partly because he’s a nice guy and partly because he needed the company.
We once went to a place a few years ago where we hadn’t been before and as I sat there at the bar with him chatting to Gordon the barman I noticed that they sold Absinthe. I’d heard about this drink and I couldn’t wait to try it. On the wall behind the barman were even pictures of Van Gogh himself.
I’m what you might call one of life’s guinea pigs as I just love to try out new things and if things will alter my reality then I’d like some more. This is how I USED to think I have to say and now that I’m free of mental illness I stay on the short and narrow looking after myself.
There’s a particular way of serving absinthe and the barman was meticulous in getting the absinthe ritual right which intrigued me every time. He’d place a spoon over a filled glass of absinthe with a sugar cube on it and sit it underneath one of the taps on the bar. Slowly he’d drip water over the sugar until it has dissolved and has joined the absinthe.
There weren’t many people in the room where we were but people were starting to come in and sit at the other side of the room. I was very sober at this point, realising that there was going to be some kind of thing happening with the gathering crowd.
Gordon had poured the drink. “Drink it slowly” they both warned me and with the first sip I was instantly falling in love!
The music had started playing in front of where the large group sat and it seemed to be a kind of karaoke thing going on which sounded bloody terrible. Until the absinthe started kicking in!
I drank the next one a lot quicker than I did the first and the third I drank even faster than the second.
The next thing I remember was standing right behind the group of people sitting in their chairs singing along with the karaoke singer singing along with him but causing a bit of a disturbance.
Returning to the bar I was told by Gordan AND Dave that I was having no more absinthe. They were both quite disappointed that I’d got so drunk so quick and after a few minutes Dave decided that we should go. We left on good terms and I’d hate for you to think that I caused a ruckus, it was just that that group was a group of churchgoers who were enjoying a sing-song, but in my tiny absinthe soaked mind, they had sounded like your typical karaoke evening entertainment.
When we left the pub it had turned to dusk and it took Dave a good while to get me into the car because I was in yabbering mode going on about this absinthe and I kept him standing there just outside the door. Eventually, I got into the car and we sat for a while chatting and laughing about how drunk I had gotten so quickly.
Dave drove the car at his usual conservative speed and we headed out of town on our way home.
“I need to go to the toilet,” I shouted to Dave because his radio was playing loudly at this point and we were both enjoying the noise. Dusk had turned to night and with his headlights on he knew where to pull in so that I could go and empty my bladder. We had travelled that road a lot over that summer and where he stopped was the only place he could have come off of the main road.
Going for a wee is a simple thing, we do it without thinking and in the dark, it’s especially easy as no one can see, only with the headlights shining from the oncoming vehicles there was always that chance. Not that I had anything special to hide but in the interests of decency it was best to be inconspicuous.
So I left the car and headed towards some bushes that I knew were there and could just make out in the pitch blackness. I’d only moved forwards a few steps when I lost my footing and fell into some waist-high water.
Soaked to the waste and wondering what had happened I found myself standing up to my waist in the water looking at the back of Dave’s car and the headlights of the traffic. His radio was blaring so much that I could hear it from where I was and I knew that shouting for him would be futile.
It was at that moment that I started to panic knowing that no one could see or hear me and I’d be stuck for quite a while. Just then I remembered that I had my brand new trainers and jeans on and my brand new phone was tucked into one of my side pockets on my jeans and was submerged in christ knows what!
I fumbled around with my hands and everything that I could feel was moving and I knew that whatever they were wouldn’t help me pull myself out.
I don’t know how long I was stood there in the dark, in the wet, unseen and unheard but I eventually found something firm which was the bank of the dyke that I had fallen into. “I’m going to be covered in mud!” I thought to myself but that was the only way out so I clambered up the bank to safety.
I actually laughed at what had happened and the effects of the absinthe were making it seem like nothing. I suppose I am grateful for that because if I had been sober I would have panicked more?
Standing outside Dave’s shut window I was laughing my head off telling him what I’d done. Covering the passenger seat Dave let me in and was hysterical at the sight of me all wet and muddy. We cracked up all the way home and by the time we got back to mine, I was in full yabber mode again enjoying the effects of absinthe.
So let that be a lesson to you.
The next time you go for a wee outside in the dark at night, make sure you’ve eaten your carrots!