Recently my head’s been like mud. I don’t like that. I remember the six weeks after my last drink, when although my body had recovered, my mind was shot to pieces. Every night I’d go to bed thinking: “hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to think straight”, and every morning I’d wake up to what I began to fear was a wet brain. This wasn't a happy state of affairs. Drinking yourself to death is one thing, but drinking yourself into a permanent state of cerebral spastication is something else entirely.
It was an especially grim prospect for me, as up to this point I’d gone through life under the happy delusion that I was the intellectual superior of everybody I’d ever met. “What have I got left,” I asked myself, “if I have damaged my brain irretrievably?” The answer was not much. A lifetime of watery soup and plastic pants, and that was about it.
Anyway, it wasn’t to be – thank God – and I recovered, like we generally do.
As I continued to stay sober, and tried to live the spiritual life, I became aware that my mind had become sharper; far sharper than it had ever been.
This pleased me: not least because I had laboured for so long under the illusion that I needed drugs and alcohol to be inspired, and without them I would become about as interesting as lettuce.
But then things started getting nasty. With almost no warning, my thinking went from sharp, to spiky, to hugely aggressive. My hitherto useful and imaginative mind started to take on the more obnoxious qualities of an officer in the Waffen-SS. I suddenly realised that I’d been invaded and occupied by a black-hearted goose-stepping Nazi; a Nazi that was trying to make me throw myself off a tall building or into the path of fast moving traffic.
There was only one thing for it, and that was to start a revolution; to overthrow the heinous dictator in my midst.
Easier said than done: Nazis don’t like to be challenged, as a rule. They’re pretty touchy. So I was going to have to go about it with some stealth. I decided to get a big club, and beat the enemy unconscious while it was asleep. Then I’d tie it up and gag it and stuff it in a tea chest and stick it in the attic amongst the rat shit and old newspapers. It wouldn’t be able to bother me from there.
After that, I’d probably go on holiday, to France.
Well, the coup came off remarkably well. As I write, the usurper is bound and gagged and utterly helpless; exiled to some dark and shadowy corner of my mind. It’s been kicking and moaning all week, but now the fight seems to be going out of it.
And me, I can walk freely in the street. I can lay down my arms and go about the business of peace. Once more, I breathe the sweet air of liberation.
Vive la Prozac.