Dave was a dear friend of mine for over 20 years. He was smart, funny and cheeky. He was fun to be around when he was in a good mood, not too drunk or not trying to stay sober.
He was also and an addict.
Alcohol was his crutch and ultimately what killed him.
Towards the end of his life he lived in squalor with a broken heart and no hope.
His descent and eventual death was brought on my major health issues separate to his drinking and a broken heart.
I miss him and his friendship.
I made a Photobook of portraits I made of him over the last 2 years of his life. It is called, Motorbikes and Masturbation
The book’s introduction reads thus:
Motorbikes and Masturbation
Dave has been a mate for over 20 years. Originally from England, he has had a colourful and varied life. He worked in advertising in London and ran pubs but since I have known him, he has worked as a carpenter/handyman in the past, but now he just drinks.
Dave is an alcoholic.
His addiction has been exacerbated by a serious illness – for which he is medicated – the loss of his mother and heartbreak. In recent times his life has oscillated between fleeting moments of sobriety and continuous weeks of alcoholic abuse; with many bottles of alcohol drunk each day.
He cannot stop drinking.
Dave however, is a very funny guy. He is street smart with the gift of a quick mind and fast tongue. We keep in regular contact by video chats, texts and phone calls. I also visit him as he lives close-by. Sometimes I do not hear from him for a week and I wonder if he is trying to be ‘sober’, he is on a binge or he has actually drunk himself to death – something he has told me that he’d like to do.
I cannot stop him from drinking.
My relationship with Dave is friendship; one of many laughs, cheeky banter, respect – even though he is very naughty – love and support. The title of this book is derived from the fact that after his drinking, Dave says that Motorbikes and Masturbation are all he has left.
Ironically, because of his drinking (and medication) he can do neither.
This post may seem rather hopeless and depressing but I do feel it needs to be seen and read. Addiction is a disease. There was never any judgement from me. I couldn’t help him other then be there for him when he rang and check in on him when I could.