I wake up and it feels as if someone stuffed five bags of cotton in my mouth and a thousand fiery needles in my foot.
The bandages are soaked red and I yell for Sharon but there's no answer.
The gin is gone.
And my mobile is silent.
Sid has found nothing.
I curse myself because I hate irony, and the irony kicking me now is so obvious, the one person I need most now is the one person I've hurt most.
My one son, who put up with all of the shit through two mothers, both of whom were somewhat successful alcoholics, and I never gave him his due for this, not even when the boy who was eight then took a punch to the eye meant for my stomach by the last one. He was just a small thing back then, and he started crying, and I remembered it like yesterday so vividly that it made me want to throw up.
I crawled to the cabinet, thankful for my longstanding insistence that I be ready to entertain all manner of businessmen and sell them on the new lines.
Glenlivet 21, great stuff, well tasted to me a bit like toilet waste but David from Bristol loved it, drank shocking amounts. Seventy quid each to keep it full up just to make sure the man bought the pricier Ricoh copiers and not the cheaper Russian knockoffs the lesser salesmen prided themselves on selling. Four bottles in here. He'd just purchased a dozen Ricohs for his office in Glasgow, so it would be a while before he would be here to drink my Whisky and tell bad jokes and hit on her.
The pain is unbearable. Maybe it's getting infected?
I cracked one of them open and drank it straight from the bottle, the nausea almost instant, but I held it back. It tasted warm.
I poured some of it over the blood-soaked bandage and yelled through a towel, lest I wake the neighbors. I knew that this was taking me right back down a dark path that had almost killed me at seventeen but at least it stopped the physical pain for a moment.
I leaned against the cheap fake wood cabinet door and drank deeply and thought about Sam, his left eye swollen shut almost as he cried and I learned to stop telling him that grownups do things for no good reason at all sometimes. And, now, I'm crying, me, Jacob Saxon, a full grown man, sitting here with a bottle of Whisky, nursing it like a newborn to try and stop my pain.
I've never apologized to him for that.
He must hate me.
This makes me cry more.
Most of all, this makes me want him here more to tell him how sorry I am for being his Dad.