Story 3 of my Portrush Quartet; this one was published in “Magpie’s Nest” Winter 98 edition
Everyone called her Suicide Sue. She must have done her wrists over a hundred times in the four years she lived in the town .Accepted wisdom had it that she liked cocks more than anything else in the world. This wasn’t true. After sharing a flat with her for three months it became clear that it was drink she loved the most. It could be difficult to argue the case for alcoholism over nymphomania when she did things like wanking off Larry’s Alsatian for a litre bottle of screw top German wine, or letting Dan O’Hara jack off between her tits, getting a half bottle of Bushmills in return. She even put her soiled draws over Dessie Bacon’s head when he bought her a double vodka and coke in The Edgewater.
She did like dicks. Everyone who wanted it could have it. There used to be a procession of them knocking on the kitchen window every Sunday afternoon. Of course this was back in the days before all day opening and Premiership football. Nobody ever went down on her though. The time whole we shared the place, she never once washed herself properly. True there wasn’t a back boiler and the immersion heater was slow and expensive, but three months without a bath was pushing it.
These were her good times, when she was working in The Anchor. The bad days were when she’d lock herself in the bogs and start sawing away at her wrist with a busted pint glass, because some bloke had given her the knock back or she just felt tired. You wouldn’t think that she’d once started a course training to be a Primary School teacher. Not when she laid unconscious across a table in some bar, tits hanging out. Allthe scumbags and low lifes milling around, grabbing a handful and laughing about it.
Sue never had much dignity. A normal working day for her was sitting in bed, smoking Silk Cut and drinking gallons of fizzy pop until she got up around seven. Then she’d eat a sandwich and put fresh make up on the smudged remains of the day before. She started work at eight, finished at midnight and drank in the back room of The Anchor until she fell asleep.
On her days off she’d go pub crawling with wild eyed psychos, drinking furiously at Bacardi with Diet Coke. She’d once been careful about her figure. Generally she’d fuck one or maybe more than one of her companions, sometimes in the bogs, sometimes in a doorway, and then carry on drinking.
Eventually she fell in love. He was from Dublin, a quiet bloke, doing a Ph.D.in psychology. Well, you’d have to be to take Sue on. His name was Dermot. Said he wanted to marry her. At first we all thought it was a joke, like he was using her for an experiment or something, but when they headed off to tell her mother you had to sit up and take notice. His family didn’t come to the do and her lot were every bit as bad as you’d expect. Sue stayed sober until it got dark, and then hit the rum with a vengeance. Three bridesmaids and the best man carried her upstairs.
When Dermot finished his research, they moved down to Cork as he’d got some lecturing job. She had a leaving do, got all tearful and threatened to do her wrists. He sighed indulgently, turned off the stereo, chased the joint makers out of the bedroom and made her go to sleep. They had a long journey and a lot of packing to do the next day.
About a year later she died. He was away at some conference in Utrecht and she’d gone on a binge. Apparently she’d not been drinking that much and maybe wasn’t used to it in huge amounts any more. It must have made her feel really down. Lonely, drunk and sad, she’d run a bath, smashed a crystal tumbler and pushed her luck too far one final time.
None of us got to the funeral. It was a long way and involved an expensive train journey.