Morning doesn’t mean that much, when the nights are days long. When my eyes open of their own accord I do not know if I have been sleeping or somewhere else. Breathing feels like hauling a bucket up from a well and my mouth tastes of ash and dirty rubber. I feel good. I slide out from under the befouled blankets and stand naked and scratching in the tea-weak sun.
It doesn’t matter what time you get up, now that there is 24 hour opening there’s always somewhere to drink. No more hunching in cafes, faking it ‘til opening time. I don’t really walk into town. My boots know the way. Outside it is screamingly real with the air and the faces and the rollicking traffic.
Cider is wholesome, like having fruit for breakfast. It slips down sweet and tingly. The barman is still cleaning, moving round me and the other two in here, a pair of death-humping professional pissheads dedicatedly pickling their regrets. In other places, computers boot up and timecards are swiped. I lean back and consider some peanuts.
The pub fills up with odds and ends, people-casings, hungry/thirsty wolves and clowns. Everyone’s edgy until half-way down the first, the liquid sigh, the slaker. I have twenty-seven bruises on my body, and no skin on my elbows and knees. My tongue is swollen. I smell of come and coal-tar soap.
The day rolls on. I raise my glass. Later the moon comes, a communion cup in the sky. In other places people sleep, but I have taken my medicine, I am immune. I open my mouth wide and the world slips in.