Written by:- Machel Eshy Wercoly

‘Cigarettes and Cheap Whiskey’ was the key to unlocking his personal hell; as he lay loud awake with amplified thoughts of the has-been. A cell of lamentation imprisoned the youthful yet old soul as he tossed and turned on his bed of disbelief between disappointment and grief.

Misery my friend! Misery was the main factor tormenting the young lad as he craved an outlet to air-out the inferno that deep fried his short lived spasms of alcohol induced pleasures, and the brief head rush triggered by inhaling cigarette smoke. Ironic to say; ‘inhaling cigarette smoke’ for a non-smoker! Because he had quit over a year ago but could not resist lighting one for his addicted pals or any dismal in distress who could not find a lighter, box of matches or the courage to step up to the barbeque  stands offered by the intoxication centers commonly known as Bar n’grills.

He remembered so luminously how he used to passionately kiss the hallucinogen commonly known as ‘weed’, and how he thought that was the only way to vent out his pressure after attaining his high, engaging ‘the dark passenger’ that would accompany him to open doors in his mind that he never even knew existed. A sweet escape into a world of his own, a portal into a universe of whimsical mental joyrides in pursuit of the ultimate high. At a time when misery loved his company the most, alienated from his sober peers and family on an all-time low. Alive but, without a life! A social ghost…

Quite so often he would refresh by smocking his lungs out, because his broken smile never came naturally-it demanded a host, in this case a little intoxication just to ease the pressure of his harsh reality where he felt locked up by his social awkwardness to a point of near suffocation. Cigarettes he loved only because of the thrill of watching them burn out every time he added suction to the butt, and the childish fantasy of feeling like the proverbial dragon each time he exhaled smoke from his mouth and nostrils. Ironic!

Nonetheless a mere passive smoker at this point infatuated more with the thought not the act. After all, the rules of commitment had changed and the war within had evolved ever since he and his addiction had signed a pact. Let us face it- the lungs of the imaginative dragon did not agree with his release therapy.

He looked at his bed with questioning eyes, wondering why his clean sheets and perfect mattress could not massage his restless body into a beauty sleep. His drunken mind was running long frustrating staggering laps down memory lane, the intoxication had defeated its purpose, and the results-ever so worthless.

Feeling like an embryo drowning in an alcoholic amniotic fluid right in the belly of the beast, which is the mother of all mess ups, ‘Procrastination? ?’

Again dream logic had been deferred, and the nymphomaniac mistress called ‘insomnia’ was wet and ready to keep him up all night. She was going to mess with his head until his erect imagination was bruised and his mind was left scared, the succubus was to be disappointed this night.

The “whiskey philosophy” of; drink until you pass out to sink sorrow had been flawed by a conscious mind that demanded to be exercised and refused to rest, tag-teaming with a reality that hate had been detoured and left out of touch-even momentarily.

Drank ideas staggered back-and-forth and forth-and-back in the back and along the corridors of his mind, he tried a futile attempt to unwind. He tried.

He tried to understand why he was under pressure, but! Even that was an understatement to what he was undergoing. Brainstorming without the thunder, reflecting on his soul’s plunder, living life on the edge and eventually the sudden urge to go under.

Then after hours of soul searching, lamenting and meditation; Eureka! His moment of truth.                                                                                                                          He realized it was time to man up and stop socking up liquid courage; it was time to look fear dead in the eye. Time to stop wasting time, time to stop doing things on impulse and blaming it on being under the influence.

Over standing, overpowering, taking over and over taking. It was to bring the illegal chemistry he developed with the bartender to a standstill, tell that friendly companion called moonshine that all the shady things they did together and their chemical romance was now over. It was time to be sober…

…he swallowed the key to unlocking his personal hell, thinking to oneself ‘the forbidden fruits have now gone stale’. Knowing that for once his morning would not begin with a bottle of gin, a cider afternoon, a rum and tobacco moment or a whiskey sunset…now that he had decided to live;

Over the influence.













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