Whiskey Man

by Stultus

Copyright© 2008 by Stultus

Romantic Story: Wally's life has spiraled out of control since the tragic death of his wife and daughter two years ago, but can a drunken night at Phil's Cantina kick start him back on the right path? Another of my gently twisted tales of loss and love in Lovett County.

Caution: This Romantic Story contains strong sexual content, including Romantic   Drunk/Drugged   Paranormal   Cheating   .

Thanks to my usual Editors: Dowyd & Duffiedawg!

"Whiskey Man's my friend, he's with me nearly all the time
He always joins me when I drink, and we get on just fine

Nobody has ever seen him, I'm the only one
Seemingly I must be mad, Insanity is fun
If that's the way it's done"

(© 1966 - John Entwhistle)

"That does it! Keys in the fishbowl or not, I'm cutting you off! When you start talking to someone who isn't even there it's time to quit the drinking and sober up."

Phil, mine host and the sole proprietor, owner and chief glass washer at Phil's Cantina had obviously taken exception to my long conversation with the young man seated next me and I couldn't resist the urge to be witty in reply.

"I talk to myself all of the time. It's healthy — unless you start to answer yourself using different voices. I try not to do that anymore — it makes the natives nervous. Besides, you served a whiskey sour to him not five minutes ago, so he can't be all that invisible ... or is he?"

Now there was no one sitting there but sanity be praised there was indeed an empty double-old fashioned whiskey glass. Phil gave the glass and me a good number of quite evil and dubious looks and sidled off into a corner to have his own lengthy conversation with himself. Phil spends too much time here, and often alone ... and most definitely does 'talk to himself'. I'd only been here for three days and I'd figured that one out for myself early.

I do seem to have far too much time on my hands. I like to drink (a lot — probably too much these days) and I love to drive around the countryside — fortunately never both activities at the same time. I was just aimlessly driving down the coast with vague thoughts of seeing Corpus Christi when I found Lovett and more specifically, Phil's Cantina and I've been beached here ever since.

Phil has the very sensible policy of demanding your car keys when serving a third drink to any customer. They go into a big round glass art deco fish bowl right by the cash register and you won't get them back unless Phil is 100% certain you're safe on the road. For me, that would probably be last Wednesday ... also I think the last day it stopped raining for longer than ten minutes. Today was a Saturday afternoon and every County road within fifty miles was probably under at least two feet of water.

The area had had a sudden tropical depression build just offshore out in the Gulf that refused to either intensify into a named tropical storm or hurricane, or start to move out the area. Instead it had gently crept onshore for a few miles until it ran right smack into a weak cold front — stalling both of them right in place. The result was three to six inches of rain every hour, non-stop for the next three days. Not much wind, just rain and lots of it. It might have been only around 3 o'clock in the afternoon but it might as well have been night, it was so dark outside from the heavy low-lying rain clouds.

Sitting out the rainstorm in the establishment of the modern genius of frozen alcoholic concoctions seemed like a good idea at the time but after three days of hanging out at Phil's, I'd be lucky if I sobered up by Monday, even if I stopped drinking right now. Not that I would anyway. I've been finding more reasons to just stay drunk lately and precious few reasons to not to.

Rainy evenings have not been my favorite thing lately. It helped even less that today was the anniversary of her death. That was reason enough for another drink or three right there alone. I had lots of pity that needed drowning and listening to the rain pound all around us put me into 'just the mood' to do some really serious drinking. Phil was still acting like a swine and dangled my frozen hard lemonade refill just barely out of reach.

"Ok Bud, out with it! You're obviously drinking to forget, so why don't you tell me what it's all about before you become unconscious and forget your own name?"

"Can't, Lou." I replied with a wink, "Forgotten already. Everything ... just who are you again?" Too bad, he either didn't get the Abbot and Costello reference or was smart enough to pretend that he hadn't. Just as well, I didn't feel like reenacting 'Who's on First?' anyway,

"Too bad, I just remembered it's time to close the bar. Booze all gone — no more for today. Think I'll just turn of the machines, shut off the lights and grab a paddle and swim home. Actually with any more rain my mobile home will just float down the beach and meet me half way. Win-Win situation for everyone — except for you. You can just splash back to your motel room over at Charlie's."

We exchanged beady-eyed glares, but it didn't accomplish much. I blinked first, but won the tactical victory of snatching the refill from Phil's hand that had just barely crept into range.

"A toast then. To lying and cheating wives!"

"That's a toast I can drink to." Phil concurred and poured himself a glass of cheer of his own.

I never did find out what his story was but two refills later he managed to get most of the details of mine.

Two years ago this very day I was a happily married man with a delightful six year old daughter that was the very apple of my eye. Well actually, I was 'happy' ... my wife was just 'married'.

For at least the prior six months her behavior had been quite erratic. She was "working late" suddenly at least two nights a week and was spending every Saturday afternoon off with a girlfriend named Sue. Soon Friday nights and some Sunday afternoons were added to her now busy social schedule. Much too busy to spend time with our daughter, Avery, or with me.

Oh, there were the usual stories of a 'forthcoming promotion' and the seemingly endless troubles that her girlfriend needed constant assistance and help dealing with. Fine, but it was becoming increasing obvious that our own home problems were now of far less importance or significance to her.

Two years ago on this day her life of lies came figuratively crashing down upon her. Literally. It was late on a very dark and rainy Thursday evening when Evelyn, my wife, called to say that she would be home late and could I pick up Avery? Usually, I did pick up our daughter each evening, but this Thursday of every month involved a sales forecasting briefing to our Board that no one else could handle in my place and I could not get out of it until at least 7PM, at the earliest.

Evelyn raged in fury. Her 'visit to her friend' was clearly of far more importance to her than our "Rule" that only one evening each month I could not pick up Avery. Angry words were said by both of us and when she saw that she could not make me change my mind she slammed down the phone in livid anger.

I never spoke with her again.

The monthly sales meeting did finish up early anyway as everyone was eager to get home early due to some bad weather heading into our area. I was able to get to Avery's day care by 6:30 but found that Evelyn had picked her up about half an hour earlier. I went home and cooked my usual TV dinner (I never did like to cook for just myself) and was asleep alone in bed by 9PM.

The phone rang sometime early in the morning, around 2 or 3 I think but I didn't feel like answering it. The bed beside me was cold and empty and in my semi-asleep state I assumed that she had had a flat or dead battery in her car. Hah! Let her call AAA I thought and went right back to sleep. I'd forgotten that Avery was still with her or I would have most certainly answered it.

The phone rang again at about 4:30 and then again at 6 when I gave up and answered it. Then I wished I'd really answered the phone the first time at 2. Avery was in critical condition at Pearland County Hospital and died shortly before I could reach her side. If I had answered the first call that the Pearland Police had made at 2AM, then I could have at least been there with her before she passed. Evelyn had been DOA at the original accident scene.

The early facts were that Evelyn had an elevated blood alcohol level that suggested more than a few drinks and that at about Midnight in the very heavy rain her car just slightly crossed over the dividing line of the small ill-lit county highway. It was tragic that a large truck with an equally distracted driver chose that same moment to also just barely cross the line. The two vehicles just barely made contact, but their speed and mass was enough to flip Evelyn's compact sedan around like a toy and into a large roadside open drainage ditch full of water.

The truck driver wasn't drunk, but he had been receiving a blowjob from an 'unauthorized passenger' at the time and never even stopped to render aid or even to call the accident in. The damage to his truck was noted and reported and a smart Sheriff's Deputy followed up and got paint chip matches and arrested the driver a few days later for Manslaughter, Hit and Run and fleeing the scene of an accident.

The initial Coroners Report stated that Evelyn had probably died instantly after the accident of a broken neck but Avery's injuries would have been treatable if the accident had been reported in a timely manner, instead of being discovered nearly two hours later by a passing patrol car.

Some odd questions about Evelyn started to arise the very next day when the County Coroner had some embarrassing questions to ask me; the most poignant being "Why did Evelyn have fresh semen in her mouth, vagina and ass from multiple DNA donors?"

The 'facts' took several more days to finally weasel out. Evelyn had been having an affair with her boss at work, Jeff Madison, for about six months. He had been dangling the carrot of 'promotion' at her in return for sex and apparently she was far from the first to fall prey to his charms. This affair was an open secret in her workplace. In fact, even Evelyn's own younger sister, Velma, when I cornered her and pressed her for answers was aware of many of the details.

Evelyn had always been close to her younger sister and they talked frequently, sharing innumerable private details of their lives. The plan was apparently that after the promotion was finalized, Evelyn and Jeff would divorce their spouses and remarry. Neither Velma or her parents had, apparently liked me very much anyway and each of them had encouraged Evelyn in every step of the affair. This didn't stop Velma or her mother from trying to steal all of Evelyn's clothes, jewelry and other household possessions they took a fancy to minute they walked into my house after the funeral. Ten minutes later I firmly escorted Velma out of the house — along with her equally obnoxious parents and made it abundantly clear to them I had no interest in ever speaking to any of their lying faces again.

Proving the affair and getting details to confront the management of her company proved to be rather complicated over the long term.

I quietly contacted Jeff Madison's wife, May and found out that while she was unaware of his current affair, this was far from the first time he had strayed on her. He particularly had a fondness for fishing in the company pond, invariably with the bait of a promotion for the willing girl. Eventually she would indeed have gotten a slight promotion but would then be targeted for further sexual advances by members of higher management, who protected Jeff and used him to find 'vulnerable' and attractive women.

She had some evidence already gathered from previous affairs and we took them to a lawyer who specialized in workplace sexual harassment cases but we really needed a smoking gun. We eventually turned up three other women that Jeff had failed to recruit into the company harem that no longer worked for the company but we still needed more to make it a slam dunk case.

Evelyn's girlfriend Sue had been an earlier conquest of Jeff but was now the 'girlfriend' of several higher directors and her testimony could be critical. She knew all of the details and dirty little secrets but unfortunately soon realized how important she could be to us. Negotiating with her initially got us nowhere. In the end, we had to cut a secret financial deal with her that gave her 10% of the final court settlement in order to get her testimony as a 'victim'.

No one was very happy about having to pay the rat Sue and karma got its sweet revenge on her shortly afterwards, but that's a different story and didn't involve me in the slightest way.

Evelyn, Sue & Jeff's company was a big multi-national oil company that had already gotten into this sort of trouble a few years previously in Florida and were quite eager to settle quickly, out of court ... especially if all of us would sign non-disclosures that prohibited discussion of these 'unfortunate misunderstood and unconnected events' before the judge handling the ongoing class action suit in Florida, who was eagerly looking for ammunition just like this.

We got a big fat settlement, but the lawyer took his third off of the top and our rat got her 10% off of the top, which ended up being slightly larger than the value of the equal remaining splits. We could have gotten much more in open court but of course the decision would be appealed for the next decade or two and in the end when we were all old and gray get about what we were getting now.

We took the money and let them get away with it. If Jeff got his hands slapped by upper Corporate, we never saw any signs of it. Shortly after his divorce from May he was promoted to be President of a downstream marketing division. I bet he, or someone working below him, is still culling vulnerable ambitious women to be manipulated and groomed into being company sex slaves. Frankly that's someone else's problem now — I've done my bit.

The LLC shipping company owning the truck that hit Evelyn was badly under-insured and the management was more than a bit dodgy. My attorney filed a wrongful death suit against them but for all practical purposes it was a waste of paper. They shut down the company and filed bankruptcy a week later leaving nothing but debts behind and reopened for business under a new LLC name about a month later. Any future insurance settlement against the old company will go into the creditor pot and we'll be lucky to ever see a dime.

The money, while nice, had very little meaning for me anyway. I'd have given back every penny of it just to have my daughter back with me alive. I also just couldn't seem to get my head around the fact that my wife had been having an affair on me for over six months without my detecting it. Worse, she had left our daughter with a virtual stranger (an elderly neighbor next door to the rat Sue) while the women went off partying and became drunk. Lastly and unforgivably, driving home while drunk and getting them both killed in a very preventable highway accident.

I wasn't sleeping very well and started to drink too much. My work performance at my own job started to suffer accordingly. My general trust in people seemed to be gone. I became aggressively suspicious of every minor detail and changes at work and frankly became an utter pill to deal with on a daily basis. My bosses knew of my home problems — namely I no longer seemed to have a 'home' to return to and they were unusually patient with me. Eventually, when increasingly strong hints that I needed to take some time off didn't work, I was placed on an involuntary leave of absence.

They paid me for all of my vacation time (I had quite a lot), sick days and even for another 60 days afterwards until it became clear that I wouldn't be coming back soon, if at all. By then I'd sold off the old house, the old car and given away anything and everything inside that had reminded me of either my late wife or the daughter that had been tragically taken away from me.

I moved into a small one bedroom apartment that had a nearby local liquor store I could stagger. I then unscrewed all of the light bulbs from the light fixtures and lived like a mushroom for most of the next year. I would wake up, get something to drink, drink it and watch bad TV until I passed out, never leaving the apartment otherwise.

If any old friends ever found my new address and knocked on the door I'll never know — I never ever answered the door or even looked to see who might be knocking outside. I was lost to everyone, brooding alone in my darkness.

I think I started to come out of my temporary insanity a few months ago when I realized that my hands were starting to shake and my stomach was sick nearly all of the time and out of necessity I had to cut down my drinking significantly. My clever plan to drink myself to death apparently wasn't working so well. I seemed to have no real aptitude for being a career drunk and my body was rather loudly telling me to cut it out and get back to living. I can't tell you how much the discovery of this failure disappointed me.

Unfortunately, now that I had apparently decided to live, I didn't have much of any idea of how to go about it. I cleaned myself up and did some laundry for the first time in months. Money was not an issue for me — I hadn't quite managed to piss even a fraction of my savings away but it was much better to keep myself busy. I found a full time job as an apartment manager at a slightly better dive than my previous place and it also provided me with a free room. Small, but perfect for just me.

Likewise for the well used but reliable Honda Civic I bought immediately afterwards. I wanted to get out of city on my days off and see a little of the outside world. I was tired of living like a mushroom!

Now, two years after their tragic deaths, here I was in a weird nowhere town along the coast drinking once again to forget, equally unsuccessfully.

Phil didn't have much comment about my story. He opened his mouth once or twice but never volunteered to tell his own story. I think he realized at the last moment that it didn't have much in the way of a happy ending to it either and that he was the last person to offer sound 'life advice' to anyone.

"Drink up — I'm going to turn off the lights and shut things down until things dry out a bit", was all he eventually muttered and we parted in silence a few minutes later.

Walking along the beach in the torrential rain didn't seem to sober me up much and my staggering walk back to the motel room seemed to take much longer than it should have. In fact, once I stopped to take a good hard squint through the rain I couldn't even see the big bright 1950's era neon lights of the diner and motel. Charlie and his wife were proud of those lights, they'd hired some big firm in Vegas to come down and fix them up right and proper a few months ago. I should have been able to easily see them even from Phil's place, but I guess they were hidden by the storm.

I kept walking and noticed only when I needed to stop and take a really wicked piss like a racehorse that I was no longer even walking on the beach. I was on some low dunes that were just barely dry and above a marshy bay. I still couldn't see the motel or Phil's, or anything much further than about 10 yards away from me in any direction.

The thought of just sitting there in the sand until the rain stopped had some appeal to me but something inside me now was urging me onwards. I thought I picked the right direction to head back but after another ten minutes of so of walking I realized that I was now completely lost right in the middle of some marshlands with water up to my waist.

There is more of this story...
The source of this story is Storiesonline

For the rest of this story you need to be logged in: Log In or Register for a Free account