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Sober Life
by Sinclair Newton



Sober Life

Trousers are something you can deal with when you don’t have a drink to start the day.

This morning I put three pairs of them in the washing machine. There’s the pair of black Hugo Boss numbers that I wore for a fortnight when I went by train across Spain and carried on wearing them when I was in Ibiza because I had forgotten to pack a spare pair.

I reckoned I could have called to them and they would have got up from the side of the bed in my Sant Antoni apartment and followed me home to Meadow Lane.

But I have to say they’ve washed beautifully and retained the sheen that comes with paying a hundred Euros for a pair of pants.

Then there are the Marks and Spencer blue cords. They’re a bit out of date now because I remember Mick Jagger wearing these kind of elephant strides and he must be a hundred years old by now.

And finally there are the muted grey Wrangler jeans. They don’t wash so well and look a bit fluffy round the turn-up department.

All of them seem to me to have got longer, but I suppose the truth is that I’m shrinking. You know that T.S. Eliot thing from the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock about growing old and wearing the bottoms of your trousers rolled.

Mind you, I still dare to eat a peach.

Anyway the three pairs are hanging on a sort of indoor washing line my sister gave me. There are socks and underpants there too, but that’s another shorts story and another full wash on number 10, whatever that means.

The weather just isn’t up to me putting all this stuff on the washing line and I’ll have to see if drying indoors is an option. Oh, how I remember being able to put washing on the line on the roof of an apartment block in San Antonio. Ten minutes later, before you could even manage just the one, it was all dry and gleaming and you should count this as a blessing if you live there. It means you don’t have to drink while you wait for your washing to dry. I have to think about soot coming down chimneys, never mind contemplating white slacks.

A friend of mine has bought an apartment in Ibiza and he reckons it means you don’t have to take so much luggage when you go because you take enough shirts and trolleys to last a week and then wash them. That assumes you have a washing machine in your apartment, of course, mind there are laundrettes in Sant Antoni where you can have a drink and a smoke while you watch your dressing gown go round and round. That assumes you bothered to take a dressing gown with you on your holidays and that sounds a bit like excess baggage to me.

Mondays should be washing day and there used to be a pride among neighbours about who had the cleanest shirts on the line. It’s where soap operas got their name, because Daz or Omo sponsored the programmes, and whatever happened to that brand name? I can tell you. It’s still on sale in Turkey because it doesn’t mean you are a shirt lifter when you put the box in your window. It allegedly stands for “Old Man Out”, however if you put the box upside down in your window it can mean something else altogether and implies you are male and in your altogethers.

I found two fifty Euro notes in the back pocket of the Hugo Boss kecks (I’m seeing how many colloquial words I can come up with for trousers) and I am guessing here but I think they might be worth about £60 including the commission. I should have spent them on lunch at Rias Baixas, but Gary would insist on paying. What’s he like? I think he’s a philanthropist and that’s why you are reading this today and why I will be wearing clean pants tomorrow.

Sinclair Newton