Mr Okreke the village alcoholic

>> Friday, October 30, 2009

Mr Okreke has two wives. He stands firmly on the ground in a withered suit. It is as if his eyes are far behind his eyeballs. He's far in there, not really present. But they look kind. A sweet smile pushes away the wrinkles on his cheeks. He is short and has grown a little pot-belly over the years, but according to the rumours he used to be really handsome in his prime-age. He's calmed down a bit now, but has been a heavy drunk for as long as many people can remember. His wives always remained faithfully by his side. When my father-in-law died, my mother-in-law says, that Okreke was the only man to play with her two remaining sons. When everyone else talked crap, Okreke was playing with them. When he wasn't entirely drunk. He'd stagger from side to side and stumble his way forward, maybe fall into the ditch. He'd say: "I'm going to GET you I swear to God! I'll beat the hell out of you" , and point his cain at the boys. They'd laugh because he could never muster the strength to fight back and was just talking empty words. It was as if he knew he could make them laugh in one of the darkest days of their life. Wonder what made him drink in the first place...

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This is a real story I thought I'd bring up. Last night one of my closest friends confessed to me how her mother drinks a bottle of conjac every day. It started when her little sister got a serious form of cancer. She was hospitalized for a year, but miraculously survived. Now that everyone is fine and well, the mother who's kept them together for all those years is the one to take the blow. It hit me - alcoholism is way more common than anyone can imagine. Or any other similar family problem. But we never talk about it and just pretend everything's fine. Everyone thinks their neighbour is better off while in fact every family has their cross to bear.

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13 comments:

Lady X October 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM  

Yup! You never truly know a person till you have lived with them or shared their sorrows. That's what I believe.

Enkay October 30, 2009 at 3:00 PM  

Truly sad.

People start to drink for many different reasons but the worst I think is drinking in order to cope with life's problems.
There will always be challenges in life so that person will have to continue drinking for as long as he/she is alive. That's a sure recipe for premature death if you ask me.

It's a real problem for many because they become addicted to the substance before they realize it!

BBB October 30, 2009 at 8:31 PM  

i agree, i had this one friend in uni.. who thot it was cool to drink it started small but by d time we were graduating he was passing out and shitting on himself...
really sad...
funny thing is he still thinks its FUN

Myne Whitman October 30, 2009 at 9:14 PM  

You're right, it's strange how we overlook some of these things. You do very good characterization BTW...

BSNC October 31, 2009 at 2:36 AM  

it is really a serious case, but some people think its a for fun..

Nana Yaw Asiedu October 31, 2009 at 3:20 PM  

Amazing. I've thought about this theme today. The grass always looks greener on the other side, but everybody has problems. Some handle it well (or hide it well), and this may even make us think life is all rosy for them. Short, sweet and direct post. You know I like them this way. ;-)

Bibi November 1, 2009 at 1:00 AM  

i know what you mean my dear, i have a family friend who has to have her vodka everyday. calls it her "inspiration". now thats serious.

Ms. 'dufa November 1, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

There's always more than meets the eye.

kay9 November 1, 2009 at 11:07 PM  

Tolstoy said, Happy families are all alike; unhappy families are unhappy in their own way. Or something like that.

We had a drunk like that back in my villa; he died some 5 years ago. I kinda missed him.... a little.

Writefreak November 2, 2009 at 7:11 PM  

I kinda think turning to alcohol is a kinda cowardly way to deal with life's problems...issues will always arise and alcohol never really deals with them..

How're you doing? been a while you swung by my end!

Miss Natural November 3, 2009 at 11:44 AM  

you got that right, in this world everyone has problems no matter how happy they may seem. Alcoholism is dangerous...cos you're no longer in control with devastating consequences.

g,  November 4, 2009 at 6:10 PM  

You paint a picture of a disease that I find is often well hidden by those who suffer from it.

I need to pray more regularly for those I fear may spiral into alcoholism.

Thanks for the reminder.

Good Naija Girl November 4, 2009 at 6:12 PM  

Woops! That last comment was me o!

I was going to add that as shown by your example, the person isn't bad; they are just through a (very) bad time. I hope there is someone who would be brave enough to try to get me some help.

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