Throw Him Away and Get a New One

Winthrop placed the bottle on the mattress. He picked up three empty whisky bottles from the room’s only chair and crammed them into the waste bin with the two empties already in there. Then he sat down and straightened the seams of his trousers. “Tell me your story, Mr Highsmith. Delineate, if you will, your descent from middle class respectability to insolvent ruination.”

Angus took the bottle. He opened it and sniffed the contents. It was whisky all right. The glue that had held him together these past few weeks.

He took a swig. And then another. “I haven’t always been a bum,” he said, sitting on the bed.

Winthrop nodded. “I know, Mr Highsmith. I know.”

“I used to have a nice house, a great family and a job with prospects. If ever a man was living the English middle class dream, it was me. I was doing very nicely, thank you. And then, about a month ago, without warning, it all went horribly wrong.

“It was a Wednesday. As soon as I woke up I had a feeling it was not going to be a good day. But if I’d known how bad it was going to get, I would have stayed in bed.

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