Somebody said

he was a trainee therapist

looking for clients

it was a free service

& I was in climb down

after ending with Jane again


because she would

always knock my door

offer to blow me

take me to bed

then fuck me up again later

he came to me

it was a visiting service

I was drinking orange juice

what’s in the juice? He asked

all low, slow & sneaky quiet

juice I said, y’want some?

no, he replied, I don’t drink early

wait, I say, just orange juice

here, look, taste, waving it at him

he declined

& that’s how it started

I thought he was a fucking idiot

& for some reason

he thought I was a lush

I tried talking about Jane

how I thought I loved her

how she’d beat on me

fuck other men

(not counting her husband)

throw my stuff around

is this after drinking? he asked

yes, I said, it’s what we do

I’ve not spent a day

with her sober, or me sober

she arrives drunk, demanding more

have you always been like this?

no, I’ve had sober girlfriends before

not them, you, he insisted

wait, I’m sober if I’m not with her

really? he was definitely in doubt

eyeing my orange juice again

yes, I don’t drink at the moment

but I know if she arrived later

wanting vodka, I’d be there again

would you say

you were dependent on drink?

wait, are you not listening?

yes, I drink, I drink with friends

I drink with jane

I’m not drinking now because

well, because, I’m not with Jane

& I’m wanting to be sober

this continued on

the next week I had water

just water? He asked

this time I gave it him

made him taste it

because I was that furious

I’d not seen Jane

or heard from her

its been three weeks sober now

really? he said

in that way that just made me

more angry

because I hadn’t seen her

for almost a month

I could feel my balls again

they’d been crushed by her

so many times

& also by me

for being such a pushover

but now

they were starting to grow back

look, I said, let’s start again

you are here so I can work through

my dependency on Jane

& you are here for?

your drink problem, he said straight

I never asked for that! I shouted

I was clear

right from the time I called your agency

I have Jane issues

Oh, he said sitting upright

it was that somebody said

you get drunk with a woman

& it becomes abusive….

I walked him to the door

trying gently to explain

I’d been hoping for somebody

who might understand

we were not in his fantasy land

where all women are virtuous

& only men lay hands on women

I wanted to say

if I saw him in the street

I would kick him hard

but knew that would only confirm

the better story he had

in his head

I closed the door

sat with a sigh

reached for the vodka

poured one with juice

said Salud!

to Jane

another round she’d won again


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