I discovered cigarettes and alcohol
I started smoking at age 15. A lot of problem drinkers have another addiction other than alcohol. My first addiction was cigarettes. Now I felt like a grown up as only adults could smoke.
But the real enlightenment came when alcohol arrived! A group of us all went to the off licence and one by one we would attempt to buy alcohol. Some of us got served others didn’t. But no worries. Whoever got served just went back in and got more booze.
Then we would go to the playground parks and start drinking. I chose the strongest beer as my first drink! While the others got the normal strength beers I knew that I physically could not drink that much so I just went for the strongest beers as I would have to drink the least volume. The true mathematician within me came out! I had already worked out that one can of special brew was equivalent to two cans of fosters. Also as money was tight being young the special brew looked such damn good value!
So we all started to drink. One of the guys was a bit more advanced than us. He used to buy a quarter bottle of whiskey. He pretty much came up with the idea to go and get drunk. I suppose you only have to wait for one of the boys to come up with the idea for us all to follow.
Now I was the relatively quiet guy. However when I started to get a bit merry the inner voice that had always quietened me went away. I would be cracking jokes as I no longer had the worry that I would look stupid. And if I did look stupid then so what! They used to laugh at me for getting pissed on one can but that was all it took.
So it became a regular thing to do to meet up after school, go to the off licence, get some booze and then have a laugh in the play ground. I remember saying to all “How can anyone get addicted to this?” and all laughing. Little did I know…..
So this went on for a few months but I wanted to meet girls. These guys I was drinking with were quite happy to get drunk together however I wanted to get laid! I had been told by one of my colleagues about our local nightclub. He told me that the music all sounded like one record as they mixed each song together. I was interested in music (as well as girls) and I wanted to go to this nightclub and hear this mixing as well as look at the girls.
I convinced my friend Charles, the half Mauritian guy to come with me and I also introduced him to drink. We went to the same off licence, got spirits this time with orange tango (fizzy orange) and mixed it with Bacardi as we walked to the nightclub.
We would get pissed during the one hour walk to the club. We used to have a right laugh. Some of my closest friendships were built through the chaos that drinking bought. Through the adversity created a sort of bond that bonded you together.
We both had fake ID and we strolled up to the bouncers at the door. Amazingly they let us in! My fake ID was rubbish but at the time underage drinking was not such a big thing as it is now.
So we are in there and let me tell you we were WIDE EYED. We got in, took in the surrounding and pretty much said nothing to each other when we were in there. The only thing I said when we were in there was after 30 minutes we got in and I said:
“Do you want to go home?
And his answer was:
It should have been “No we have only been here for 30 minutes!” however I think he was relieved that I said do you want to go home
The next day we were raving about it. It had opened our eyes to what adults do and we wanted to be one! To think that standing in a nightclub for 30 minutes was pretty much the best night of our life was crazy however we loved it even though we didn’t look like we enjoyed one minute.
So we planned our next trip. This time we would get more pissed as we established we hadn’t drunk enough! So I mixed up some of my parent’s drink cabinet and put it a half bottle size of spirits. Charles brought something from his parents and off we went swigging from our bottles drinking the vile liquid that was in it.
We got pissed.
We got in and went to the same seat we sat in the first time we went there. Then I felt this warm feeling on my leg. I looked down on my leg and Charles had been sick all over my leg! So I went to the toilets and padded my leg down with water. Another guy was in there and was doing the same thing as me claiming someone had been sick on him. I guessed Charles had done the same to someone else!
Anyway we hit the dancefloor and me, the quiet guy, had decided I was a great dancer. I was up on the podium and dancing with girls. Well not girls but more like WOMEN! It was brilliant. So much better than the last time we went
Charles and I stayed until 2am and then we walked home. During the journey home I woke up on a hill covered in mud. I had fallen asleep on a hill and Charles was nowhere to be found. I then carried on the journey home without Charles and the next day we raved on about how good last night was!
Now the link with girls, alcohol and clubs had been firmly linked. Alcohol means clubbing means girls. All excellent pursuits as I loved the way alcohol made me feel, I loved music and I loved girls.
From age 15 to 18 I frequented our local town club and became a regular fixture every Friday and Saturday. It was all about going to the pub first and then on to the club and try to pull.
Also I attended the local college and I would often go out with fellow students to the local bar, pubs and other clubs out of town if we could find a driver.
Alcohol was brilliant. I had so much fun however I did not have to drink to have a good time. We could go out and not drink which was kind of weird looking back on it however when you are young you have more of a memory of being sober than being drunk. So having a good time whilst sober was not as alien to me as it was say when I was 35.
So I still felt it strange how anyone could get addicted to alcohol. You just drink at the weekends and that’s fine. Everyone drinks at the weekend so no problem there. People who get addicted to alcohol must be stupid, weak or have a propensity to drink which I did not have. Ignorance was bliss!
It was my time at college when I met my first serious girlfriend aged 17. It was a friend of one of my college colleagues. I lost my virginity one week before my 18th birthday in the back of a Ford Fiesta XR2 in a grave yard. I felt brilliant. I was now officially entering adulthood as a man!